Is paint flammable or combustible

If you want to burn a painting with a butane torch or create artwork in your oven, you may wonder, “Is paint flammable?” The result has fantastic effects. However, you must take measures while storing and using the type of paints to avoid any paint become flammable or combustible.

Some paints are flammable, while others are combustible. Your paint’s response is determined by its ingredients. Water-based paints, such as acrylic and latex, are not often flammable. When exposed to heat, oil-based paints and spray paints may catch fire.

Flammable vs Combustible: What’s the Difference?

Combustible is occasionally used interchangeably with flammable. However, there are some differences between them. A substance’s flammability and combustibility are determined by its properties and flashpoints.

Material vapours may ignite or catch fire on the liquid surface at temperatures as low as flashpoints. Depending on its flashpoint, many materials may be divided into many categories.


A flammable substance is defined as having a flashpoint temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit by the OSHA regulations the United States Department of Labor (F) set out. OSHA continues by saying:

  • Flammable liquids can catch fire and burn rapidly at standard operating temperatures. A low-temperature flame is all that is required to light them.
  • Combustible liquids may catch fire when temperatures rise over the normal working range. They often include paints and have a high flammability rating.

Vapour may ignite even when liquids don’t often do so. A liquid’s flashpoint determines the minimum temperature required for combustion in air. Therefore, flammable liquids are a significant source of fire hazards.

For example, when flammable liquid vapours burn quickly, vast amounts of heat and deadly black smoke result. Because they may burst at high temperatures, combustibles emit a vapour that can ignite the atmosphere and do much more damage.

As volatile and combustible as they may be, paint thinner, and other paints are among the most dangerous. Understanding the dangers and the proper way to operate with these substances is essential for your safety.

Is Paint Flammable?

Liquid paint is seldom flammable in practice. Paints and solvents may generate toxic or combustible vapours. Paint fumes may catch fire as the temperature rises or a neighbouring fire breaks out, which is very hazardous.

Combustible paints include aerosols and oil-based paints. Flammable ingredients are often found in oil-based paints, varnishes, and stains.

Acrylic, vinyl, and latex are water-based paints that will not burn. Painters often utilize water-based, non-flammable paints. Certain water-based acrylic paints come in flame-retardant patterns. The combustible nature of certain water-based paints is another matter.

The paint depends on its primary material if it is flammable or combustible. In terms of flammable paint, the most prevalent varieties are:

  • Aerosol paints need propellants like butane and propane.
  • Combustible chemicals such as toluene, methanol, and ketones may be present in oil-based paints.
  • Paints containing alcohol are called “alcohol-based.” Alcohol is a highly flammable and easily combustible liquid.

To get the greatest results, study the paint’s ingredients. Include a description of the product’s potential dangers, as well as an indication of whether it’s flammable or not.

Is Paint Combustible?

Some paints have the potential to catch fire. Spray paints and aerosols have a high flammability index. They catch fire as soon as they’re pierced or exposed to extreme temperatures. The danger of fire and explosion is increased with products that employ spray-on oil-based paint. 

is paint or combustible

Types Of Flammable Paints

An oil-, alcohol-or solvent-based paint is likely to be combustible if the paint includes these ingredients. Combustible paint is most often seen in the following forms:

Spray Paint

As a result of the gas fuels, it contains, spray paint is very flammable. This includes propane and butane, which may be explosive when mixed with paint. An explosion caused by vapours that have escaped from old, broken, or poorly sealed cans can be very hazardous. In addition, spray paints may occasionally flashback because of the high pressure in the container.

Heat is drawn back into a limited place by escaping gases that have ignited (almost like an invisible fuse string). During a grenade-like explosion, the liquid within the canister might become shrapnel.

Because of this, spray paint is not combustible once applied and hardened. It is safe to touch after it has dried since gas fuels are no longer present.

If you have spray paints around the house or at work, keep them away from heat and flames and apart from any flammable substances. You should also properly dispose of them if they are empty, broken, or obsolete.

Solvent Based Paint

Toxic fumes from solvent-based paint make it dangerous. Consequently, solvent-based paint should be kept in a cool, dry location away from other flammable things, and it should never be used in an area where heat or flames might be present. It is no longer flammable after drying since the solvents’ combustible qualities have been removed.

Oil Paint

Oil paints are very combustible if you look at how oil is utilized in heaters and fires. As the solvents evaporate and the paint dries, oil paint becomes non-flammable.

On the other hand, oil paintings will be reduced to ash in the case of a home fire due to the combustibility of dry oil paint. Keep your oil paints away from heat and fire, and always shut the tubes after use if you like an oil painting.

Oil-based Enamel Paint

The solvents in the oil and the oil-based makeup of certain enamel paints make them combustible. On the other hand, water-based enamel paints may be applied, stored, and produced with the same gloss level as oil-based paints.

Exterior House Paint

Paint for the outside of a home that is oil-based and so combustible is often used.

You should be cautious when storing large quantities of these paints at home or on a construction site since they might catch fire because they are oil-based.

Whenever feasible, utilize an outside paint business and ensure it is far from your property. It’s also a good idea to keep minors out of the paint shop and keep it out of direct sunlight and heat.

Oil-Based Epoxy Paint

The volatile solvents in oil-based epoxy paint make it a combustible product. In contrast, water-based epoxy paint is non-flammable and hence safer to use.

Take additional measures if you have a lot of oil-based paint in your house. For example, it often paints garage floors and other hard-to-paint surfaces. Curing epoxy paint reduces its flammability, although the resin itself remains flammable.

Types Of Non-Flammable Paint

For the most part, water-based paints don’t catch fire. To put it another way, water is a non-flammable liquid utilized to put out fires.

It is possible to utilize paint as a flame retardant if the water content is high enough. Certain water-based paintings may dry out and become combustible, as with any rule.


Your home will be protected from the spread of a blaze if you apply flame-resistant paint.

Examples of non-flammable paints include:

Acrylic Paint

It is safe to use and store water-based acrylic paint in your house since it does not burn. Acrylic paint, however, turns into plastic polymer when it cures.

Hang acrylic paintings away from open flames, and keep acrylic-painted decorations away from open flames. you can also use acrylics on plastic objects for beautification and painting purposes.

Watercolour Paints

Water colours are one of the most harmless types of paint, thanks to their high water content. They are equally safe in dried form and are ideal for children to ingest. They are undoubtedly allowed on aeroplanes since they are non-flammable and non-hazardous. difference between them and acrylics can be found on this post for better under standing to get desired painting results on different surfaces.

Emulsion Paint

Emulsion paint is now made with water-based latex. In other words, most emulsion paints are non-flammable and safe to use and store in your house.

Emulsion paints with flame retardant properties are widely available, making them an excellent choice for interior designers.

Latex Paint

Water-based latex paints are non-combustible. As it dries, latex paint has a rubbery feel but is not flammable.

Glass Paint

Water-based glass paint is non-flammable. Even after drying, it is non-flammable and safe to use. know more about how to paint glass windows easily here for stunning results from the paint job.

Chalk Paint

This type of paint is non-flammable since it is water-based. Fire retardant paint is widely considered to stop and delay flame spread. 

Fabric Paint

Fabric paint is non-flammable since it is water-based. It’s safe to have about the house because it’s non-toxic and odourless.

Wall Paint

Water-based latex paints are the house’s most common type of wall paint. Because they don’t include easily combustible solvents, water-based paints aren’t flammable.

Hazards of Flammable or Combustible Paints

Paint thinners should be handled and stored safely to prevent fires and explosions. After usage, flammable and combustible paints pose a risk. If you don’t properly dispose of the paint, you might put yourself and others at risk.

The health risks of working with flammable or combustible compounds go beyond the damage caused by fire or explosions. For example, if you inhale the vapours, you may experience the following: 

  • Disease and Illness
  • Brain damage

Before using or storing paint in your house, follow all the instructions on the container, including the safety warnings. Poisoning, chemical burns, and flames can all be avoided this way.

Safety Tips for Working with Paint and Paint Thinner

If you use a potentially toxic or flammable paint thinner, you should always take measures. The materials must be used, stored, and disposed of correctly. Precautions must be taken while using paint and paint thinner.

combustible painting

Use only in mixture with paint.

If paint thinner is mixed with anything other than paint, a potentially lethal reaction might result. Adding a thickener to an oil-based paint is a very typical practice. Don’t combine colours that aren’t exactly alike. If you’re not sure, ask the paint maker.

Make Use of Safety Equipment

When working with paint and thinners, use safety equipment. Wear safety equipment like gloves, goggles, and a respirator or mask. Protect your work area with a tarp or newspaper.

Make Ventilation

When dealing with significant volumes of dangerous vapours, always work in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator. Avoid crowded places. Thinners’ harmful vapours can cause headaches, vertigo, nausea, and breathing difficulties.

If you must work indoors, open a window or door. A carport is an excellent way to shelter your project from the weather. If required, include a fan.

Never place it near flammable items.

Accidents occur. Keep any combustible materials in a safe place. If your storage is insufficient, you risk starting a fire and causing damage to the structure. Thinners and spray paints are incredibly combustible and might result in a catastrophic explosion.

Don’t use it to clean.

Even though certain thinners are meant for cleaning walls, counters, and floors, never use paints or thinners to clean your workstation. The combustible items might readily catch fire and explode.

Avoid Consuming Neighboring Foods

Some paints and thinners create fumes and vapour’s that can harm humans. Avoid dining near your job since the food may absorb these toxins and cause long-term damage.

Cleanse Thoroughly After Use

Wear gloves and wash your hands often, especially before eating. Clean thoroughly with soap and water after using the paints and thinners. Organize your work environment. Inspect the containers for spills as well.

person cleaning windows for paint
image courtesy: Mart; source:

Storage Techniques

Keep paints in a safe place. Place flammable or combustible materials safely away from flames, sparks, or a fire source. Make sure that it is out of reach of minors.

If you are unsure whether your paint is flammable, store it carefully just in case. Some companies also provide safety storage cabinets for storing flammable or combustible goods in bulk.


Understanding how to store, use, and dispose of paints is critical for safety reasons. Flammable and combustible things provide a fire risk and can result in severe physical damage. Always practice safety by inspecting the components of your paints and keeping them safely away from children.


  • Can paint cause a fire?

Most paints lose their combustibility after drying because the combustible gases reduce and dissipate. However, many paints can become flammable after drying and thus catch fire if exposed to high heat.

  • Is it safe to leave paint in a hot garage?

Paint should never be kept in a garage. When the paint is subjected to high temperatures, its consistency changes and loses value. Long-term paint storage will turn it into hazardous waste that must be disposed of properly. know more about proper disposal of acrylics in this guide for reduced environmental impact and harm to human life.

  • Is it possible for the paint can explode?

Any paint compound poses a significant risk of fire or explosion. Paint should always be stored in a well-ventilated, dry area away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

  • Is it permissible to leave paint in the car?

When the paint is cold, it thickens; when heated, it thins. Before utilizing paint stored in a hot or cold (seasonally) automotive trunk, the temperature must be returned to 70°F-77°F (20-25°C). Because of its thick application, challenging paint has poor flow qualities and tends to droop.

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