Is Paint Flammable/Combustible? Exploring the Different Types of Paint

Bob Thomas


As a qualified painter and decorator, I've worked with various types of paint throughout my career.

One common question I come across is whether paint is flammable or combustible.

The answer depends on the type of paint and its ingredients. In this article, we will explore the different types of paint, their flammability, and safety precautions you should take when working with paint.

Quick Summary

Paint can be flammable or combustible depending on its type and ingredients: 1) Flammable paint types include lacquer, oil-based, and certain spray paints,  2) while water-based and latex paints are typically non-flammable. Always check the  3) paint label for safety information,  4) store paint properly, and follow  5) safety guidelines during use.

Paint Type And If It's Flammable/Compositable

Type of Paint

Water-Based Paints


Latex Paints


Oil-Based Paints




Spray Paint


Please note that this table is a simplified representation of the flammability of different paint types.

Always read the label on the specific paint product you are using for detailed safety information and flammability warnings.

Water-Based and Latex Paints: Generally Non-Flammable

Water-based and latex paints are the most commonly used types of paint for interior walls and ceilings.

These paints have a low risk of flammability due to their high water content and lack of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

However, it's essential to check the label for any specific safety information.

Oil-Based Paints: Flammable

Oil-based paints are made with a mixture of drying oils, solvents, and pigments.

These paints are known for their durability and rich, glossy finish.

However, the solvents used in oil-based paints can be flammable, making them a potential fire hazard.

Always handle and store oil-based paints with caution and follow the manufacturer's safety instructions.

Lacquer: Highly Flammable

Lacquer is a type of paint that dries quickly to create a hard, durable finish. It is commonly used on wood furniture and cabinetry.

Due to its high solvent content, lacquer is highly flammable and can be hazardous when not handled or stored correctly.

Be sure to use lacquer in well-ventilated areas, and keep it away from open flames and heat sources.

Spray Paint: Flammable and Combustible

Spray paint is a versatile option for various applications, from DIY projects to professional work.

The aerosol cans contain propellants, solvents, and pigments, which can be flammable or combustible.

It's essential to use spray paint in well-ventilated areas and avoid exposure to heat, sparks, or open flames.

Safety Tips for Handling Flammable Paints

  1. Read the label: Always check the paint label for flammability warnings and follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines.
  2. Proper storage: Store flammable paints in a cool, dry place away from heat sources or direct sunlight. Keep them in their original containers with tightly closed lids.
  3. Ventilation: When using flammable paints, ensure proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of fumes.
  4. No smoking: Do not smoke or use open flames near flammable paints.
  5. Dispose of waste materials properly: Dispose of paint-soaked rags, brushes, and other materials according to local regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Is acrylic paint flammable or combustible?

  A: Acrylic paint is water-based and generally considered non-flammable. However, always check the label for specific safety information on the product you are using.

Q. Are chalk and milk paints flammable or combustible?

  A: Chalk and milk paints are water-based and typically non-flammable.

As with any paint product, it's important to check the label for safety information and flammability warnings.

Q. Are paint thinners and solvents flammable or combustible?

  A: Yes, many paint thinners and solvents are flammable or combustible.

Be sure to use them in well-ventilated areas, away from open flames or sparks, and store them properly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Q. What precautions should I take when using flammable or combustible paints?

  A: When using flammable or combustible paints, ensure proper ventilation, avoid open flames or sparks, use appropriate protective equipment, and follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines.

Q. How should I dispose of flammable or combustible paint products?

  A: Flammable or combustible paint products should be disposed of in accordance with local regulations.

Contact your local hazardous waste facility or recycling center for information on proper disposal methods.

Q. Can I make non-flammable paint more flammable by adding certain additives?

  A: Adding certain additives or solvents to non-flammable paint may increase its flammability.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and never mix paints or additives without understanding the potential risks.

Q. How do I know if a specific paint product is flammable or combustible?

  A: Check the label or safety data sheet (SDS) for the specific paint product you are using.

It should provide information about the product's flammability and any safety precautions you need to take.

Q. Are there any regulations regarding the use of flammable or combustible paints?

  A: Regulations regarding the use, storage, and disposal of flammable or combustible paints may vary depending on your location.

Always adhere to local laws and guidelines to ensure safety and compliance.


Understanding the flammability of different types of paint is essential for ensuring the safety of your painting projects.

Always read the label, follow safety guidelines, and use proper storage and disposal methods when working with flammable or combustible paints.

With proper precautions, you can achieve a beautiful, lasting finish while minimizing potential hazards.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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