Is Paint Flammable? - Looking at What Types of Paint are Flammable (2022)

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Paint is one of those products that all of us have used at some time in our lives, whether it is painting our home, furniture, wooden decks, garage floors, or some piece of artwork. One question that often comes to mind when working with paint is whether it is flammable. There is no straightforward answer to this question, as there are many different factors involved that make paint flammable or inflammable. In this article, we will try to answer this questionso that you can have peace of mind when working on your next painting project.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Do Combustible and Flammable Mean the Same Thing?
    • 1.1 What Is a Flash Point?
    • 1.2 What Does Flammable Mean?
    • 1.3 What Does Combustible Mean?
  • 2 What Types of Paint Are Flammable?
    • 2.1 Is Water-Based Paint Flammable?
    • 2.2 Is Oil Paint Flammable?
    • 2.3 Is Acrylic Paint Flammable?
    • 2.4 Is Latex Paint Flammable?
    • 2.5 Is Acrylic Enamel Paint Flammable?
    • 2.6 Is Spray Paint Flammable?
    • 2.7 Is Paint Thinner Flammable?
    • 2.8 Is Chalk Paint Flammable?
  • 3 Safety Tips for Paint
  • 4 Frequently Asked Questions
    • 4.1 Is Paint Flammable?
    • 4.2 Is Dried Acrylic Paint Flammable?
    • 4.3 Is Paint Combustible?
    • 4.4 Can Acrylic Paint Be Put in the Oven?

Do Combustible and Flammable Mean the Same Thing?

It is important to understand the two terms mentioned above. For safety’s sake, you need to know whether the paint you are using is flammable, combustible, or both. These two terms are not the same thing, however, with the main characteristic separating them both being their flashpoints. However, many people use these terms interchangeably, which can make things a bit confusing.

What Is a Flash Point?

A flashpoint is merely the temperature at which a substance will catch alight and burn. The flashpoint of flammable paint is a maximum of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius), while the flashpoint of combustible paint is between 100 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 to 93.3 degrees Celsius).

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What Does Flammable Mean?

We have discussed what a flashpoint is, so for paint to be flammable, it has to have a low flashpoint. This means it can burn at a normal working temperature. For example, some flammable materials are paper, grass, gas, rubber, and some paints.

What Does Combustible Mean?

Any combustible materials will have a high flashpoint. This means that the object or item will burn at above normal working temperature and will take effort to ignite. For example, a few combustible materials include coal, aluminum, and some paints.

Take note: When a match burns, the temperature is between 1100 to 1450 degrees Fahrenheit (593.3 to 787.8 degrees Celsius).

What Types of Paint Are Flammable?

Paint is made from different ingredients, and some use solvents to dissolve these ingredients. Solvent- and oil-based paints give texture and color, but they are flammable paints. Flammable paints include alkyd, lacquer, and enamel paints that are solvent- or oil-based.

Other paints are water-based and are generally not flammable. There are two types of water-based paints, which are latex and acrylic paints. Both of these are regarded as non-flammable.Bear in mind, however, that both oil- and water-based paints may contain certain pigments that can be hazardous.

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Let us now consider a few paints and find out which ones are flammable, and which are not.

Is Water-Based Paint Flammable?

Is water based paint flammable? This a common question. Water-based paints can also represent latex paints and are quite popular. These are used in homes, offices, on-site construction sites, or just on your favorite hobby or artwork.

Water-based paints are environmentally friendly (they produce fewer fumes), they dry quickly, and will retain their colors over time. So, is water based paint flammable? The most important characteristic of water-based paints is that the binder in the formula is water, which makes them water-based and, as such, non-flammable.

However, they may contain some toxic substances such as metallic pigments like mercury or silver, which are considered hazardous. Some water-based paints also contain small quantities of ammonia or formaldehyde.

Is Oil Paint Flammable?

Painters use oil-based paints because they give you an extremely durable and hard surface that can resist scratching, stains, as well as rust over long periods. Remember, oil-based paints emit strong fumes that require you to wear protective equipment, and you will need to work in a well-ventilated space. They also take a much longer time to dry and are a lot harder to clean up afterward.

So, is oil paint flammable? Oil-based paints contain oil, pigment, resin, and a binder, which is a solvent similar to a paint thinner. This makes oil-based paints flammable. However, when the solvent evaporates, the paint film is non-flammable.

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Is Acrylic Paint Flammable?

Acrylic paints are easy to use and are extremely durable, making them perfect for use around the home, on your vehicle, or used for hobby projects that you love to do. But is acrylic paint flammable? All paints are made up of a pigment, binder, extender, solvent, and some other additives. With acrylic paint, the binder is an acrylic resin or acrylic polymer emulsion, and the solvent is water, which makes it a water-based paint. This makes it non-flammable in its liquid state.

When acrylic paint dries properly, the water evaporates, and it changes its characteristics. When dry, it forms a plastic polymer that can burn at an extremely high temperature and is considered combustible. Once dry, acrylic paint will burn at around 560 degrees Fahrenheit (293.3 degrees Celsius), which is the temperature at which acrylic resin burns.

Is Latex Paint Flammable?

The term latex paint is very misleading, as there is no rubber or latex in its formulation. However, it is an extremely popular paint due to its smooth and durable finish, both on indoor and outdoor applications. The latex paint can also be cleaned easily.

We need to ask ourselves the same question again: Is latex paint flammable? The ingredients for acrylic paint are the same as for acrylic latex paint, except for the binder and pigments. The binder used in acrylic latex paint is a synthetic latex and the pigment is Titanium Dioxide. The solvent is water, which makes it a water-based paint and, as such, non-flammable in both its liquid and dry states.

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Is Acrylic Enamel Paint Flammable?

Acrylic enamel paint is used mainly in the automotive industry. When it dries, it forms a glossy and smooth finish that is durable and able to resist weathering. Acrylic enamel will dry to the touch within one hour, but may take weeks to completely cure. Once again, we ask the same question – is acrylic enamel paint flammable? Water-based acrylic enamel is not flammable, but once dried it has a Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS) flammability rating of 1 with a flashpoint of 210 degrees Fahrenheit (98.9 degrees Celsius).

Is Spray Paint Flammable?

Why do people choose to spray paint instead of using the ordinary paintbrush or roller? Spray paint or aerosol paint, as it is also called, is much easier to use, is a lot cheaper, dries much faster, and adheres better to most surfaces. Spray paint also covers more surface area.

So, is spray paint flammable? Spray paint is oil-based and contains gas propellants like butane and propane, which means that it is flammable while being sprayed. The paint is pressurized in the can and when released, is flammable and highly toxic. However, after it has dried on the surface it becomes non-flammable.

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Is Paint Thinner Flammable?

Paint thinners have many uses, although it is primarily used to thin your paint, dissolve the paint, or clean your equipment. This is one product we all have in our homes and we use it not only for painting purposes but for many other uses as well. Seeing that it is used and stored in our homes, we need to ask the same question: Is paint thinner flammable?

Paint thinner contains a combination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have low combustibility and also low flammability. Paint thinner also contains petroleum, which makes it combustible instead of flammable. This means that if the paint thinner comes into contact with a small spark, it will not explode or catch fire. However, it will burn if it comes into contact with a flame that has a very high temperature.

So, we can conclude that paint thinner is not flammable, but it is combustible. And is paint thinner flammable when it dries? Paint thinner dries very slowly, and if there is a large concentration of thinners in a small area, it can spontaneously combust. For example, rags soaked in thinners and placed in a bucket without any precautions may catch alight.

Is Chalk Paint Flammable?

Let us first discuss what chalk paint is. Chalk paint is best used as decorative paint and will give you chalky, matte results. This is ideal for any furniture item, as it gives the furniture piece a vintage look that can easily be distressed. Chalk paint is the answer if you want to add character to your furniture, and it can be used for chairs, tables, or even for the bathroom cabinet. Chalk paint can also be used on wood, stone, marble, or brick.

Chalk paint has only three ingredients, including baking soda, unsanded grout, and plaster of paris. Is chalk paint flammable? Chalk paint is water-based and is, therefore, non-flammable when in its liquid state. It is also non-flammable when it is dry. However, it is not classified as a fire-retardant, although this paint can be used close to a fireplace or where there is a high temperature.

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All of this information may be a little confusing and daunting. So, to make it a lot easier and simpler, we have designed a flammability comparison table for paints. A quick reference to answer the question of is paint flammable.

Type of PaintFlammable When Wet

Flammable When Dry

Oil-Based Paints
Water-based Paints
Spray Paints
Acrylic Enamel Paints
Acrylic PaintsNot flammable but combustible
Acrylic Latex Paints
Liqitex Acrylic PaintNot flammable but combustible
Chalk Paints
Paint ThinnersNot flammable but combustibleNot flammable but combustible

Safety Tips for Paint

It is of vital importance that when working with paint, you observe some safety precautions. This will make your painting exercise safer and a lot more enjoyable. Let us consider just a few of these for your peace of mind.

  • When buying your paint, ensure that check the label, as it will always give you the classification of the paint. There will be a warning if the paint is flammable.
  • When painting, make sure that you work in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling any toxic fumes.
  • After painting clean the area properly, making sure that all soiled rags are disposed of correctly.
  • Never store paint near any heat source, but only in a cool, dry place.
  • Keep kids and pets away from your painting area.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Paint Flammable?

Broadly speaking, water-based paints are considered non-flammable and oil-based paints are considered to be flammable.

Is Dried Acrylic Paint Flammable?

Yes, at a high temperature acrylic paint is flammable. It may also combust if placed near an open flame or a fireplace.

Is Paint Combustible?

Most water-based paints are combustible when dry. However, thinners are also combustible. This means the flashpoint is higher and requires more heat to ignite.

Can Acrylic Paint Be Put in the Oven?

Yes, acrylic paint can be placed in the oven, and it will come out with a wonderful finish. However, the temperature needs to be more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.6 degrees Celsius).

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