How Exterior Paint Can Be Used Indoors to Prevent Mold and Mildew

calander Apr 10 , 2022 user-icon Nash Painting

Nash Painting owner Bill Nishanian was featured on in February of 2023 regarding the use of exterior paint on bathroom walls. Most of Nashville, TN and the surrounding areas get plenty humid, especially in the summer. Even if your Nashville home is outfitted with the best insulation and air conditioning system, some of this moisture will end up inside. All of the internally produced moisture in your bathrooms doesn’t help matters, either. It’s no wonder that so many homeowners across the region reach out to us with concerns about mold formation on bathroom ceilings or visible streaks on bathroom walls.

Of course, understanding the problem is one thing – solving it is another. Improving interior ventilation and air circulation (often with the aid of a more powerful bath fan) will certainly help draw humidity out of the room, but your paint job can still suffer over time. At Nash Painting, we’ve found that using water-resistant exterior paint products on bathroom walls and ceilings provides a more durable solution, especially when combined with other moisture mitigating measures. Let’s explore how exterior paint can be used indoors to prevent mold and mildew growth in your bathrooms.

How Exterior Paint Indoors Can Prevent Mold and Mildew

The Difference Between Interior and Exterior House Paint

Painting companies that provide both interior & exterior painting services will typically use different products depending on the task at hand. Indeed, exterior and interior paints feature unique properties that make them better suited for specific applications. For exterior surfaces, contractors will use paint products that can withstand the various environmental pressures in their purview, such as sunlight (UV radiation), moisture, pests, mildew, sudden temperature changes and more. Interior paints are protective as well, but they’re more specifically designed to resist staining and abrasion. Interior paints also tend to feature fewer, if any, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), harmful emissions that can linger indoors for a long time. Because exterior paints dry in the open air, they can contain more VOCs without the same level of risk. In many cases, these VOCs contribute to the increased durability and resistance afforded by exterior paints.

Is it Okay to Use Exterior Paint Indoors?

There’s nothing preventing you from applying exterior paint to interior surfaces. That said, doing so isn’t usually advised. As mentioned above, exterior paints tend to emit more VOCs than their interior counterparts, which lead to negative health outcomes and effuse powerful odors for some time. Moreover, exterior paints tend to cost more than interior paints because they contain more ingredients. So, if you’re looking to keep costs low, applying exterior paint on interior cabinets might not be practical.

Now, there are exceptions to every rule, and certain situations might actually call for the use of exterior paint on interior walls and ceilings. The key is knowing whether or not your upcoming project lends itself to this “breaking of the rules,” like protecting your bathroom from mold and mildew formation.

Using Exterior Paint for Interior Problems

So, bringing exterior paint to an interior painting project isn’t customary, but this doesn’t mean it’s always a bad idea. On the contrary, once you consider the advantages of exterior paint, you can understand how it might benefit certain interior issues. Exterior paint is meant to resist rain, snow, sleet, and hail, and these waterproof aspects still apply indoors. Your bathroom is one of the dampest areas of your home, so it only makes sense to choose a paint that offers superior water resistance if you want to keep mold and mildew at bay. As an added bonus, most exterior paints include mildewcide components, which prevent biological growth. These key exterior paint features have proven effective against even the most humid and stubborn bathrooms in the area.

Thinking Outside the Box when Painting Inside

It’s strange to admit, but exterior paint isn’t just for exterior painting, so long as it’s applied properly and in the right context. Many of our clients across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN can attest to the truth of this statement. If you struggle with mold or mildew in your bathroom, our experts can help. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!