Is Paint Flammable?

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Some paints, including aerosol and oil-based paints, are flammable. Water-based paint, such as latex, acrylic or vinyl paint, and many artists’ paints are not flammable.

Aerosol paints use propellants, such as propane and butane gases, that are highly flammable. If the can is punctured or damaged and comes into contact with high heat or flame, the gases can ignite and cause an explosion or a fire. Oil-based paints and stains often contain flammable components, such as methanol, ketones and toluene.

Water-based paints are not flammable but may contain toxic materials. For example, they might contain metallic pigments, such as silver or mercury, that are considered hazardous waste. Some water-based paints also include small amounts of formaldehyde or ammonia.