We have noticed a surge in the number of people reaching out to ask if acrylic paint is flammable or not as well as a surge in the amount of misinformation that is being spread in response to the people asking these questions. Due to this, we have decided to publish our own article going over if acrylic paint is flammable in the hope of being able to help our readers better understand the topic and how they should be using their own paints.
Please keep in mind, the chances of having issues with fire with acrylic paint are minimal anyway so this article is more of an informational piece rather than serious fire safety information. Plenty of our readers will probably have other substances in their home that they use for their arts and crafts sessions anyway such as paint thinners that should always be sorted safely.
One of the main problems that we do see time and time again when it comes to people asking if a specific type of paint is flammable or not is that they don’t understand the difference between something being flammable and something being combustible. Once you understand the differences between the two then it is easier to understand how acrylic paint fits in between the two depending on the specific situation.
The Difference Between Flammable And Combustible!
A flammable liquid is a liquid that is able to burn or ignite and can do so at normal temperatures provided a flame is exposed to the liquid for a brief period of time. A combustible liquid is a liquid that does have the ability to burn but it usually needs to be at a much higher temperature or have a flame exposed to the liquid for an extended period of time to actually set on fire.
We often see people thinking that acrylic paint is not flammable due to it being a water based paint but this is not always the case but we will cover that in more detail in the next section of the article. That said, almost all acrylic paint formulas are combustible and with so many people confusing the differences between being flammable and being combustible, it can often lead to some confusion.
You also have to factor in the various acrylic paint formulas too as well as the different pigments used for different paints as some pigments and formulas are more responsive to fire than others. In addition to that, some more experiences artists add other substances to their acrylic paints to change the color, drying time, and texture for their art that can change how the paint will react.
Is Acrylic Paint Flammable?
Although most acrylic paint formulas are not flammable, some are due to specific ingredients in the paint formula or the specific pigment used to achieve the paints color being responsive to fire. Most people over look this due to acrylic paint being water based and presume that all acrylic paints are not flammable but this is a mistake and a small number are.
The flammable acrylic paint formulas tend to have solvents in them to change the drying time and texture of the paint. Due to this being a specialist use case for acrylic paints, it is usually not a problem for the entry level acrylic paint sets and only usually in the intermediate and professional level paints. If you do mix your own acrylic paints with solvents or any other flammable liquids then you also have to factor that in as the flammable properties of the liquid may transfer across depending on how much of it you mix with your acrylic paint.
When it comes to the pigment side of things, the earthy colors tend to be the ones with the more flammable pigments. In addition to the pigments being able to increase the flammable properties of acrylic paint, there is also resin and binder in some formulas that also have an effect on how your acrylic paint will react. Again, the entry level acrylic paint formulas tend not to have these issues so a large number of our readers will not have these problems.
Is Acrylic Paint Combustible?
Even though acrylic paint is water based, it is still combustible in most situations where the basic combustion principals apply but this tends not to be an issue. Just because acrylic paint is combustible does not mean that it will randomly set on fire and cause you problems. For the combustible properties of acrylic paint to activate, it will need to be exposed to a flame for an extended period of time for anything to actually happen.
Even in its wet state, acrylic paint can still be considered combustible in some situations due to the excess heat being able to rapidly evaporate the water and burn the actual paint. Again though, this is not a worry for the vast majority of people as you would need to be in a situation where your house is on fire for this to cause any problems for you.
One situation where this may be a problem for the average person is if they use acrylic paint for paint the fireplace in their home. Although it is more likely that the paint will just bubble, peel, and flake rather than actually set on fire, a small risk is present.
Is Acrylic Paint Flammable Or Combustible When Dry?
Some acrylic paint formulas can be both flammable and combustible when dry with almost all acrylic paint formulas being combustible in this state. In their dry form, more acrylic paints become flammable too due to the water that was previously in their formula having evaporated out leaving the pigment behind.
The vast majority of our readers will not have any reason to worry though as this tends not to present any risk when your acrylic paints are used for painting or other types of arts and crafts. There are many common household items that we use each day that tend to work in a similar way to acrylic paint where it’s combust ability and flammability increase once in a dry state but present no real risk.
We do see some people being overly cautions with acrylic paint once they find this out but there really is no need to worry. The majority of people will have highly flammable cleaning products under their sink in their home that they don’t give a second thought to and acrylic paint in all of its states is considerably less flammable than those products.
How Flammable Is Acrylic Paint?
Even in its flammable states, acrylic paint is not as flammable as many common household items such as various cleaning products. This is why it is not usually rational to worry about the flammable properties of your acrylic paints when stored correctly as very few of your acrylic paint formulas will actually be flammable in their wet state anyway.
As we have touched on earlier in the article, once dry your acrylic paint does tend to become more flammable with additional paint formulas tending to be more susceptible to fire due to the lack of water but this is still not as flammable as the cleaning products so many people have. Some of our readers may have oil paints and solvents to use as mediums in their arts and crafts collection and they are considerably more flammable than acrylic paints.
Some oil based spray paint formulas that are popular in some arts and crafts niches are even more flammable still when comparied to regular acrylic paint. This is why we see no real point in worrying about the flammable nature of acrylic paint in most cases provided that the paints are stored correctly.
How Can You Protect Acrylic Paint From Fire?
Although it is not really required, you are able to purchase fire proof storage units for your arts and crafts supplies to reduce the chances of you having problems with presenting a fire risk. The vast majority of us have absolutely no reason to do this though due to the risk of a fire being so small as well as the cost of these cabinets being expensive.
Most of us will be totally fine just leaving our acrylic paint supplies in a safe place will be more than enough for the majority of people. Be sure to do a quick risk assessment for the area that you plan to keep your arts and crafts supplies though and ensure that they are as far away from fire as possible.
Many people who are involved in the arts and crafts space will often have other solvents or oil paints in their collection in addition to their acrylic paints too. Although the main potential hazard in your arts and crafts selection may not be your acrylic paints, you should still be sure that you are keeping your supplies in a safe place when not in use.
That brings our article going over if acrylic paint is flammable or not to an end. As we have tried to explain throughout the whole article, there is no one single answer for everyone due to there being a number of very different acrylic paint formulas on the market. In our opinion, the majority of people will not usually be having problems with entry level acrylic paints due to having a paint, lower quality formula where as intermediate and professional level acrylic paints tend to have additives and pigments that can make them flammable, especially once dry.