DIY Understanding Exterior and Interior Paint

New painters frequently ask if Exterior and Interior paint are interchangeable, more durable, or in some way superior to each other. The short answer is that the differences between Exterior and Interior paint are formulated to resist different conditions and potential problems. Exterior paints will resist mildew and intense changes in temperature as well as moisture. Interior paints will be more resistant to physical damage such as nicks and finger prints and allow cleaning.

To explore this question more deeply we look at the four components of paint:

  • Binders are the portion of paint that forms a film layer and gives the paint adhesion to a surface.
  • Solvents are the wet portion of paint allowing it to stay spreadable.  The solvents will begin a process of curing or evaporating when they meet air. This is the Volatile Organic Chemical (VOC) portion of the paint.
  • Pigments are primarily the colored portion of a paint but they are also a key component in the texture and durability of a paint as well as providing the fade resistance.
  • Additives are a wide category of paint components added to  change a specific property of the paint. They may help support pigment, change paint wetness, ease of application, final paint texture, adhesion, as well as many other parts of the paint.

Formulating paint for each unique application is a difficult task. Benjamin Moore is dedicated to ensuring that a paint will perform at its absolute best, but it is important to be aware of how different paints are specialized. Each paint component plays a critical role in ensuring the final quality and appearance of your paint project. Exterior Paints will not be designed for the challenges of the interior of a home and will use more solvents and different binding agents meant for the challenges of rain and sun. Interior paints are designed to cure faster, and have less chemicals that interfere with day to day life while still remaining more durable.

If you have any questions about your specific paint needs, talk to the paint experts at Mallory Paint Store.