Can You Mix Interior And Exterior Paint? [Explained!]

Since you already know that both interior and exterior paint have individual features and are used in different situations. Now, what about mixing interior and exterior paint? Will you get a good outcome?

It’s not recommended to mix interior and exterior paint because it might degrade the durability of the exterior paint. Also, exterior paint comes with a high concentration of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) that might be harmful for indoor uses. Mixing the two paints may make the application process more difficult as well.

This is not the full story, though. The differencing factors between interior and exterior paint are specially designed for individual purposes. So, if you mix them, you must compromise at least one great feature of each painting.

Let’s go through the piece to know more about the topic (you owe an explanation regarding what we’ve stated above!).

Can You Mix Two Types of Paint Together?

One of the most common questions many DIY homeowners ask is whether it’s okay to mix different types of paint when painting a room. The short answer is yes, you can mix two types of paint together if you want to create a custom color or achieve a certain effect. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when mixing paints.

  • First, different types of paint have different bases. For example, oil-based paint and water-based paint cannot be mixed together. If you try to mix these two types of paint, the resulting color will be muddy and uneven.
  • Second, even if you’re using two paints with the same base, they may not mix evenly. This is because different brands of paint can have different formulations in terms of pigment properties, VOC emissions, and finish. Mixing them may lead you to unexpected results. It’s best to test out the combination in a small inconspicuous area before committing to them.
  • Finally, keep in mind that mixing paints can change their overall properties. For instance, mixing latex paint with acrylic paint will make the resulting color more resistant to fading and chipping.

What Types of Paint Can Be Mixed Together?

One of the great things about paint is that it can be mixed together to create new colors. But not all types of paint can be mixed together. Here’s a quick guide to what can be mixed:

  • Water-based paints can be mixed together. This includes latex paints, acrylics, and emulsions.
  • Oil-based paints can also be mixed together. This includes alkyds, enamels, and varnishes.

Can You Mix Exterior And Interior Paint?

It’s not recommended that you mix interior paint with exterior paint. Interior paint is designed to be used in a controlled environment, while exterior paint is made to withstand the elements. This means that the ingredients in each type of paint are different, and mixing them can result in an inferior product.

Another reason why it’s not a good idea to mix indoor and outdoor paint is because doing so can void the warranty on both products. If you have any questions about whether or not you should mix paints, it’s always best to consult with a professional painter or the manufacturer of the paints themselves.

Can I Make Interior Paint into Exterior Paint?

Although we don’t support the idea, if you have some leftover paint, you can turn it into exterior paint by mixing it in with the exterior paint. However, it isn’t going to be as simple as just pouring both into the same container. There are some important steps you must follow before you can commit.

Firstly, the base of the paint must match. You can’t mix an oil based paint with water based formula. Secondly, most interior paints are low gloss, whereas most exterior paints are glossy. If you mix them together, the combination may produce clumps or streaks when applied to the surface. So, when you’re mixing interior and exterior paint, make sure the sheens are equal or at least close to each other.

In addition, exterior paint is formulated to withstand the elements, so it won’t perform as well when you mix it with less durable indoor paint. To avoid this, you can add a weatherproofing agent to the mixture following the manufacturer instructions. Finally, before committing to an entire room with the mixed paint always try out a small section first.

Mixing Application:

  • Start by stirring the two paints together in a large bucket
  • Next, use a paint stirrer or a power drill with a paint mixer attachment to thoroughly mix the paints together
  • Once the paints are mixed, test the color on a small patch of siding or trim to see if it’s what you’re looking for
  • If not, keep mixing until you get the desired color

Alternatively, you can use interior paint outside without mixing it with exterior paint. In that case, you’ll have to apply two coats of exterior-grade, clear coat sealer over the interior painted surface. While it will not prevent the paint from fading, it will improve the durability of the paint to some extent.

Can I Use Exterior Paint Inside?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve made a mistake that many DIYers have also made- using exterior paint indoors. While it may seem like no big deal, there are actually a few key differences between exterior and interior paint that make using the wrong type inside your home a not-so-great idea. Here’s what you need to know about why using exterior paint indoors isn’t ideal, and what you can do to fix it.

One of the biggest differences between exterior and interior paint is the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they contain. VOCs are chemicals that off-gas into the air as the paint dries, and can be harmful to both your health and the environment. Exterior paints generally have higher levels of VOCs than interior paints, so using them inside your home means exposing yourself and your family to more toxins than necessary.

In addition to containing more VOCs, exterior paints also typically have different finishes than their indoor counterparts. For example, many exterior paints are semi-gloss or high-gloss, which can look out of place in a room with a more matte finish. If you do decide to use exterior paint indoors, be sure to choose one with a flat or low-gloss finish so it doesn’t stand out too much.

Can You Change the Sheen of Paint? Read here!

Another significant difference between the two types of paints is the hardness. Exterior paints don’t dry as hard as interior paints so they can adjust to changing temperatures. If you use them inside of your home, the lack of hardness means they will scratch more easily.

Finally, keep in mind that even though exterior paints are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions like sun and rain, they’re not meant to be used on surfaces that come into regular contact with food or drinks. If you accidentally use outdoor paint in your kitchen or bathroom, be sure to give all surfaces a good wash before using them again.

In short, it’s not the end of the world if you accidentally use exterior paint inside of your home, but it’s definitely not ideal.


Whether you’re trying to match your home’s trim or creating a color scheme for the entire house, it’s important to know if you can mix interior and exterior paint. The short answer to this is, no you shouldn’t do that.

There are too many variables to consider. The risks of higher VOC emissions, uneven color, mismatching brand formulation, and incorrect paint base and paint finish interactions are not worth the effort. Even if you are able to mix exterior and interior paint relatively easily, the application will be challenging. The texture, color, and longevity of the combination will all be less than average.

Hopefully, by reading this article you are no longer confused about whether mixing interior and exterior paint together is safe or not and things you’ll need to consider before doing so. Keep the above information in mind next time you need to use both interior and exterior paint!

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