Is Spray Paint Flammable? (Explained)

Paint is a veritable material used to create art and, generally, constructive jobs. Therefore, it is often used and then allowed to lie around the garage, backyard, or office. However, many people have failed to realize what this attractive material is capable of causing, leading to the question: Is spray paint flammable?

Yes, spray paint is a combustible liquid! Spray paint comprises various chemical elements, but the most common ones include ethyl acetate and benzene, and they are both flammable chemical substances.

Spray paint also emits fumes that are also combustible, as its aerosol container is pressurized with a propellant, which may catch fire when close to fire or heat.

What Do the OSHA & NFPA Use to Measure Flammable Materials?

According to OSHA, the flammability of any material depends on its flash point and boiling point.

So, these agencies use the liquid’s flashpoint and boiling point to divide chemicals into flammable and combustible liquids. Going by the above, can we say paint thinner is flammable? Read down to find out.

Is Spray Paint Flammable?

Is Spray Paint Flammable

Professional painters already have a better answer to this question than inexperienced ones. Unfortunately, several people use spray cans without seeing the dangers they pose in some situations.

Like many other paints, spray paint can be highly flammable and combustible. Once it develops leakages, it may cause flash fires.

Even during painting routines, once you allow your paint to come in contact with flames of any kind, it can ignite a fire in flashes. Likewise, when you store vast amounts of it, it can result in a severe fire disaster. 

Again, paints are very dense liquids; hence, failure to store them properly may lead to leakages owing to high internal pressures. Therefore, they should be stored in flammable cabinets, as it will enhance the safety of handlers and facilities that use much paint.

How Long Is Spray Paint Flammable?

As much as it is dried, spray paint cannot catch fire. The time that sprays paint will take to dry is dependent on the weather, humidity levels, and airflow. However, it doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes to 3 hours for spray paint to fully dry. 

Meanwhile, when you spray paint onto a still-wet layer of similar color, it will probably take up to three to eight hours for the paint color to fully dry. It would be best to give the paint a lot of time to dry out in a colder atmosphere.

The humid or damp areas need even more drying time. In addition, spray paint can catch fire in an aerosol state. 

In other words, the paint has not yet dried and still has propellant contents in the form of butane, propane, or compressed air.

Therefore, it will remain flammable in the aerosol state until the propellants disappear, leaving paint usually around 30 minutes after spraying. But, immediately after the paint has dried, it stops being flammable and will not combust until it reaches over 200 degrees Celsius.

Can Water-Based Paints Catch Fire?

We all know that water-based paints are currently the most commonly used paints, especially in homes and offices. It is very safe and can dry up quickly, hence making it easy to use. But are they flammable?

Technically, most water-based spray paints cannot catch fire easily, even though there are few exceptions.

If you want to be sure about its hazardous nature, we would advise you to always go through the inscriptions on the spray paint, as that is where it is clearly stated whether it is flammable or not.

Also, don’t forget paints that emit steam at temperatures lower than 93 degrees Celsius will be considered combustible.

Can Oil-Based Paints Catch Fire?

Since oil paints consist of flammable oil substances, they should be able to catch fire, especially in their liquid state. This should probably be the primary reason why most painters avoid oil-based paints.

In addition, several cities and states worldwide created stringent regulations regarding oil-based paints to curtail their use for the public’s safety and surroundings.

Before water-based paints came into existence, oil-based paints were the predominant paints worldwide. You can still find some ancient structures that were not repainted, still coated with oil-based paint.

What Spray Paint Is Not Flammable?

Quite simply, water-based spray paints are not flammable. It can dry in two hours and is mainly applied on indoor surfaces such as drywall, plaster, and wood. But, others, like oil-based spray paints, can catch fire if you use them on rough surfaces.

Water-based varieties can hardly catch fire because of their low toxic levels, and you are free to use them indoors. On the other hand, oil-based paints feature chemical properties that can be harmful to health when inhaled or ingested; hence, they make more sense outdoors.

If your painting is on a rough surface such as wood or metal, you can go for oil-based paint, as it will not peel or chip. But for indoor paintings, go for water-based paints as long as you are doing it on a smooth surface.

Can Acrylic Spray Paint Catch fire?

Most acrylic spray paints are water-based. But the best way to determine its flammability status is by reading the inscriptions on the can before you go on with your painting activities.

If you want to know if acrylic spray paint is flammable is to have in mind that most paints that are in a liquid state will not catch fire.

Whenever a paint is still wet and fresh, it usually has a vast volume of solvent or water that prevents it from catching flames. But, if you leave it in an open space for a long time, its solvent will eventually disappear, leaving behind a volatile layer.

In this situation, the paint can catch fire. For more information, you can check the paint’s list of ingredients to see if there’s solvent or combustible liquid. If it has, then it can be flammable.

Related Posts: