Is Acrylic Paint Flammable? [All You Need to Know]

Acrylic paint is one of the most used paints for versatile projects because of its outstanding qualities. This paint is water-based and ideal for different environments. You can use acrylic paint for your DIY projects, car, interior, and exterior projects.

When using this paint, you can normally think and ask yourself – is acrylic paint flammable?

Acrylic paint is mostly water-based. It is not flammable when wet. It can be flammable when dry. And some solvents or thinners can make acrylic paint flammable.

is acrylic paint flammable
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Varnish and polyurethane are oil-based and are flammable. However, in this guide, we’ll especially explain all relevant things about flammability and acrylic paint. Let’s read until you get the right answer.

Next: Learn Hydro Dipping with Acrylic Paint

What Does Flammable Mean?

Flammable and combustible are two different things. Before knowing what flammable means, we should know about flash points.

The flash point is the minimum temperature when a material ignites if that is exposed to any of the ignition sources. This temperature can make the difference between flammable and combustible. The flammable materials come with a lower flash point and it’s lower than 100°F.

Remember that acrylic acid has a flashpoint of 124°F. Its autoignition point is 820°F. Acrylic acid helps acrylic paint to give it a liquid form.

To sum up the discussion, flammable elements can ignite at regular working temperatures. They have a very lower flash point. Some examples of flammable materials are grass, paper, rubber, etc.

What Does Combustible Mean?

The combustible material has a higher flash point. This flash point is generally above 100°F. It means combustible materials do not burn at regular working temperatures. To burn them, you’ll need higher than regular temperatures. Some combustible items are paints, coal, and aluminum.

What Are the Characteristics of Acrylic Paint?

Water-based paints have some unique features than oil-based paints. Acrylic paint is water-based and it comes with the following features.

  • Acrylic paint provides water soluble color when it is wet.
  • The painted surface remains free of chips and cracks. When it’s dry, it’s permanent and offers flexible colors.
  • This paint is softer when the weather is warm and it’s not enough flexible when the weather is cold.
  •  It dries with natural air. Thinner paint films within 10 to 20 minutes and thicker paint films within 1 to 72 hours.
  • It comes with little odor. It’s not flammable and it’s also non-toxic. To maintain its quality, use it with non-toxic and nonflammable mediums.
  • Avoid mixing it with oils and turpentine. Mixing it with acrylic mediums gives better results.
  • The paint is easy to clean. Only soap and water can do the cleaning job properly.

Is Acrylic Paint Flammable?

First of all, check how acrylic paint is made. There are two main types of paints; oil-based and water-based. Oil-based paints are generally flammable. On the other hand, water-based paints are not flammable.

Acrylic paint is water-based and that’s why this paint is not flammable and combustible. However, some relevant situations and elements can make acrylic flammable.

Spray paints are flammable in aerosol type. All other oil-based paints are also highly flammable and combustible. So, you should take extra care when using them.

You can use acrylic paint for different projects in different weather conditions. This paint can be exposed to flames and heat to create versatile effects. You will be always safe if you use this paint in its normal wet form.

Is Acrylic Paint Combustible?

Acrylic and latex paints are water-based. Therefore, they’re not flammable. As combustible materials have higher flash points than flammable materials, acrylic paints are not combustible too. Due to thinner and solvents, these paints can be flammable. However, oil-based and spray paints can be flammable and combustible with higher temperatures.

Can Acrylic Paint Catch Fire?

It’s really great to use water-based paints. They’re safe to use. When they’re in liquid form, they will not catch fire. As acrylic paint is made of a water-based formula, it can’t catch fire.

Solvent-based paints are generally flammable and can easily catch fire. Some of the paints that can catch fire are alkyd, enamel, and lacquer paints.

Is Acrylic Paint Okay with Heat?

Nothing is okay with infinite heat. But to a certain level, you can heat acrylic paint. For some particular projects, people need to increase the heat to a specific level. After completing the project, they make sure the paint is dried using a heat gun or blow dryer. However, you should do it in a well-ventilated area.

Dry paint can be heated but you should be more careful about wet paint. It’s not a good idea to heat the paint over 90°F if the paint is wet.

In most cases, increasing the heat of acrylic paint to an extreme level is not recommended. This paint can release chemical elements while increasing heat. If your workplace doesn’t have enough ventilation system, this can be very dangerous for your health. The fast-drying technique can accelerate the chemical omit process. Make sure the blow dryer is set on lower heat, which will prevent the paint to become too hot.

Note that dried acrylic paint can easily withstand temperatures maximum of 300°F. The paint will not melt below this level of temperature. Acrylic paint has stronger heat tolerance but above 300°F, this paint can be melted. However, acrylic latex paint can withstand a bit higher temperature like 320°F.

Can I Put Acrylic Paint in the Oven?

After painting something, you may want to heat cure and in that case, you’re confused about putting acrylic paint in the oven.

Don’t worry; you can put acrylic paint in the oven. But you can do this only for two items; glass and ceramic. These items are oven safe and will not emit any toxic elements like plastic. It’s always recommended to check paint’s specifications and that item’s specifications that you’re going to heat cure in the oven after painting.

Not that baking acrylic paint will reduce the time to complete a painting job. You can apply this method to ceramic mugs and plates. A normal oven can do the job. You can use a toaster oven for curing. However, make sure you’re not taking an oven that is mostly used for preparing food. Take an oven that is previously used for the painting project and will be used for the same type of other projects.

After painting your ceramic mug, let it dry properly. Put the mug in the oven and preheat the oven for 300°F. When you notice the beeps of preheating timer, bake the paint for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven. Wait an hour and finally, bring out the painted mug from the oven.

What Happens if Acrylic Paint Gets Hot?

Keep in mind that 90°F is something that’s very important for acrylic paint. Never think of heating the damp acrylic paint above 90°F. The extreme temperature or the temperature above 90°F will create so many problems in your painting project.

When the paint is wet, the excessive temperature will cause the paint to blister, crack, and bubble. If you have already done some painting projects, possibly you noticed that heat seriously affects the adhesion process of paint. To prevent peeling off of the paint, you should avoid the fast-drying method.

When drying quickly, this paint can also omit chemical fumes. So, to keep the environment safe and prevent health issues, you shouldn’t increase the temperature above 90°F until the paint is dry.

See what happen if you apply heat on acrylic paint:

Is Acrylic Latex Paint Flammable?

We have already known that acrylic paint is water-based. Acrylic latex paint is also made in the same way. As this paint is water-based, it’s not flammable. Sometimes it may contain flammable solvents and in that case, acrylic latex paint can catch fire. It can be flammable when it’s in polymer form (hard).

Remember that acrylic latex paint contains water-soluble base and acrylic resin. It’s ideal for using for interior and exterior.

Is Acrylic Lacquer Flammable?

Acrylic lacquer paint comes with some advantages but this paint is flammable and toxic. It dries quickly and lasts longer. For these qualities, it has many uses. However, you have to be always careful about its flammability.

This paint offers high gloss finish. You will find this paint using on wood furniture and automotive finishes.

Is Acrylic Paint Flammable when Dry?

In general, acrylic paints are not flammable. But after drying, they become a new substance which can be flammable. The new substance is actually plastic polymer. If we say more accurately, the substance is polymer hydrocarbon that can catch fire if exposed to oxygen or air above its flash point.

Keep in mind that acrylic paint can lose its actual color and beauty when exposed to hot air or temperature for a longer time. If you try to dry the paint too quickly or slowly, you will need to be careful in both cases.

To avoid cracks or non-uniform colors, make sure to dry the paint in a medium speed.

Final Thoughts

There are different types of paints; some of them are flammable and some of them are nonflammable. Water-based paints like acrylic paints are nonflammable. But in different conditions, acrylic paints can also be flammable. We have discussed most of the things connected to flammability of acrylic paints in this guide. Keep this guide in your mind and acrylic paint’s flammability will not be an issue while using it.

About the Author

Ivan McCloud