Dealing with Exterior Paint Problems: Can Paint Be Dangerous for My Health?

health considerations

Can paint be dangerous for my health? What can I do if I accidentally painted an interior room, kitchen or bathroom using paint designed for exterior use? Also, what are the risk I expose myself and my family if I just leave the paint there for an extended period of time?

These are all valid questions that most homeowners would ask because of the remarkable ability of exterior paint to withstand bad weather conditions such as moisture and excess heat. However, while exterior paint is meant to be more resilient than interior paint, manufacturers are usually a lot less careful about the substances and chemicals they add to these types of paint.

After all, since the paint is outside, any fumes or odors will be dispersed into the atmosphere, and won’t lead to any health issues. However, if you use it indoors, it’s an entirely different story.

Harmful Substances That Have to be Avoided

So, can paint be dangerous for my health if I use exterior paint inside my home? The answer that interior painting Highlands Ranch experts will give you when you ask this question is a definite and incontrovertible “yes.”

The reason why exterior paint is considered dangerous is because it can contain so-called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are not just bad for the environment, but also bad for your health. Should you use exterior paint in your bathroom, and leave it in place for more than a few months, you are likely to experience symptoms such as headaches, lightheadedness and even nausea. VOCs are known to cause what is known as “sick building symptoms” and can lead to fumes developing in the room in question. If you breathe them in for a longer period of time, they can lead to even worse health issues.

The problem is you can’t really have efficient exterior paint without the use of these compounds. These VOCs, along with other fungicides and harmful UV-resistant compounds, have the role of preserving the paint, increasing its protective abilities, preventing the formation of mold and mildew, and avoiding a scenario in which the paint would stain or become discolored as a result of sun exposure.

It can be quite hard to find exterior paints that don’t use these compounds, and in many cases, they will be far more expensive than what you might pay for a typical acrylic, latex or oil-based exterior paint product.

What to Do If You Have Exterior Paint on Your Interior Walls

It can happen that you move into a house where the previous owner used exterior paint to paint an interior room by mistake, or you might even have done it. Fortunately, you found out in time, and now you’re ready to take the necessary measures to remove it.

The first thing you have to do is scrape off as much of the paint as possible. If necessary, sand down the surface as thoroughly as possible. The next step is to wash the surface and allow it to dry. That way you can prevent lingering VOCs from continuing to contaminate your room. Finally, add a stain-blocking primer, and you’re ready to apply your new interior paint.

It is essential to follow these steps as soon as possible, if you want to avoid lingering VOCs and health problems in the near future. Answering the question “can paint be dangerous for my health” is easy enough when you know all this, but now you also have the means to protect yourself.