Is Acrylic Paint Flammable?

Is Acrylic Paint Flammable? 

Acrylic paints are ideal for different projects since they are highly versatile and sturdy enough for most environments. This type of paint is excellent for the interior or exterior of the home, automobile, or projects by hobbyists.  

Here comes the question: is acrylic paint flammable? Acrylic paint is water-based paint. This type of paint is not flammable when it is wet. However, the paint can be flammable when dry. Acrylic paint is flammable, especially if mixed with solvents or thinners that are not compatible with it.

Oil-based paints like varnish and polyurethane are flammable. Additionally, oil-based paints contain dangerous pigments that could be harmful if not well disposed of. 

Due to the versatility of acrylic paint, they are perfect for projects that need heat exposure for making good-looking strokes and effects for the painting. But does this mean that acrylic paints are non-flammable when dry? Read on for more information.      

What Is Acrylic Paint Made Of? 

Water-based acrylic paint comprises pigment particles dissolved in water known as acrylic polymer emulsion. There are three major components used in making acrylic paints – pigment, binder, and vehicle. These components need some explaining, so you understand their various works. 

  • Pigment – These are powdered solids that give paints their colour. They are crushed to small particle sizes and don’t dissolve. Pigments can either be synthetic, natural, organic, or inorganic. They have little or no relation to the surface where the paint is being applied. 
  • Binder – The binder is the substance that makes the pigment stay in place after the paint has dried. Acrylic polymer is the binder for acrylic paints. It forms a film after the evaporation of the water. 
  • Vehicle – Obviously, this is not about a car. The “vehicle” here means a part of the paint conveying both the pigment and binder. The vehicle for water-based acrylic paint is water, and when the water combines with the binder, a polymer emulsion is created. The paint gets dry when the water leaves through absorption or evaporation, forming a stable and transparent polymer film filled with trapped coloured particles of pigment.            

Is Acrylic Paint Flammable

Water-based acrylic paints, also known as latex acrylic paints, are non-flammable when in their liquid state. They are safer when compared to solvent-based acrylic paints like enamels or lacquers because of their water composition. This makes them have a lower risk in terms of fire hazards. However, water-based acrylic paints have the chance of combustion. 

Water-based acrylic paints are made of a water-soluble base with a mixture of acrylic resin. Latex, from which water-based acrylic paints are made, is also rubber-based. Latex has been in use for a long time and can be easily cleaned up after painting. Water-based acrylic paints don’t dry out or damage surfaces even when spilt accidentally on any surface. This is not the same with oil-based paints.           

What Are The Difference Between Combustibility And Flammability 

Many people misconstrue combustibility with flammability. They are not the same. The two are listed in different categories with different characteristics too. These materials are separated based on their flashpoints. 

The flashpoint of flammable materials is below 37.8 degrees Celsius, while for combustible materials, the flashpoint is above 37.8 degrees Celsius but less than 93.3 degrees Celsius. The temperature, also known as flashpoint, differentiates flammables from combustibles.

All in all, it means some paints are combustible but not flammable. 

The differences between flammable and combustible

–       Flammable

  • Low flashlight 
  • The burning is at an average working temperature 
  • Paper, gas, grass, and rubber are typical examples 

–       Combustible

  • High flashpoint 
  • The burning is at above average working temperature 
  • Paints, coats, and aluminium are typical examples

Is Acrylic Paint Flammable When Dry? 

Acrylic paint is flammable after drying. The actual substance turns into a solid plastic polymer when the paint dries. It is this substance that is seen as being flammable. More precisely, acrylics that have become dry are polymer hydrocarbons. They burn when exposed to air beyond their ignition temperature.

Additionally, acrylic paints can get ruined when exposed to high temperatures for a long time. This can make the binders in the pigment flow and cause all kinds of problems, including creating non-uniformed colour and cracks on the painting after waiting for a long time for the paint to dry.

So, the summary is that acrylic paints are flammable when they dry but non-flammable when still in their liquid form.       

Does Acrylic Melt In Heat? 

Yes, acrylic paints melt in the heat. While acrylic paints are known to get soft at high temperatures, they won’t melt until they reach 160 degrees Celsius. But, acrylic paints won’t melt under normal household usage. 

Characteristics of acrylic paints 

  • Versatile and less toxic – Acrylic paints are highly versatile and suitable for different projects. They are water-soluble when wet. They dry into a flexible surface since they are polymer plastics. 
  • Dry quicker – What makes acrylic paints stand out from the rest is drying fast. With no long drying time, a lot can be achieved in less time. 
  • Large variety – Acrylic paints can be found in jars, tubes, and small ink bottles. You can also find them in thick solutions like oil-based paints. If you buy the paint in a jar or tube, make sure it is adequately sealed. 
  • You can thin them – Water can be added to thin acrylic paints. Always make sure that you add the right amount of water to it. If you want fluid paint, use liquid acrylic in ink. 
  • They can be used like oil-based paints – Acrylic paints can be used in many ways, just like oil-based paints. Though acrylic paints have bright colours, they are available in other options, as you find in oil-based paints too.         


If you want paint that dries quickly, acrylic paints are your best bet. They are the least toxic and highly versatile since they are ideal for different interior and exterior painting projects.  

It is interesting to note that acrylic paints are not flammable when wet but are flammable when dry if you use thinners that are not recommended. Ensure that you don’t expose water-based acrylic paints to high temperatures since the paint can melt when the temperature reaches 160 degrees Celsius.   

Meta Description

Is acrylic paint flammable? The answer is yes. The paint is flammable after drying. The good thing is that the paint is versatile and not flammable when wet.

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