Can Latex Paint Catch Fire?

As a safety rule, you need to be conscious of fire hazards within your environment to maintain standard safety and preventive measures. So if you are wondering if those cans of latex paints stored in your workhouse can catch fire, here is your answer;

No. The flammability of paints depends solely on the type of solvents used to mix the constituents that give their properties such as color and texture. Latex paints are water-based with a high flash point (over 200o F or 93o C).

Flashpoint is the temperature liquids that give off an ignitable vapor that can combust into flames. The lower the flashpoint, the easier it is to ignite.

Can Latex Paint Catch Fire Indoors?

By general standards, only liquids with flashpoints less than 100 o F (38o C) are regarded as flammable. So, it’s very unlikely that latex paints burst into flames under room temperature which puts the risks for fire and explosions to a minimal point.

Oil paints use solvents obtained from petroleum solutions which are highly flammable when exposed to high temperatures. The pressurized gas trapped by non-water-based paints can also trigger flame. Nonetheless, latex paint uses water as a solvent thereby making it a safer alternative.

However, latex paint still has some addictive that will burn if fire from external sources gets close to it. So, don’t throw caution to the wind, store the cans of paint properly and seal already opened cans of latex paint as tight as possible after use. Keep them away from heat sources and weather elements to prolong longevity.

Is Interior Latex Paint Flammable?

Latex paint is good for general interior painting projects. It is used in painting interiors such as walls and ceilings. So a safety curious individual may wonder if latex paint is flammable.

So, is interior latex paint flammable?

No. Latex paint is a water-based emulsion paint made up of resins, titanium dioxide, and limestone. The fact that it is water-based makes it non-flammable and unlikely to burn.

Only Solvent-based paints and coatings such as oil paints which make use of alcohol and other forms of hydrocarbons as a solvent, usually associated with flashpoints below 100°F (38°C) are considered flammable.

Flammability is the ability of a substance or chemical to burn, ignite or combust. The relative ease and degree of temperature at which these chemicals combust into flames are used to classify them into two groups namely highly flammable and nonflammable.

By industry standards, the general conclusion remains that liquids with flashpoints less than or equal to 100o F are to be considered flammable.

This excludes latex paint due to its water-based property and high flash point (200o F or 93o C). Thereby making it a safety-friendly paint type concerning flammability for your DIY interior painting projects.

The water-base property of latex paint also makes it flame retardant, that is surfaces or objects coated with latex paint will catch fire or burn at a higher temperature than normal.

Latex paints are preferred for interior use because it gives a perfect finish touch but most importantly because it is breathable as against oil and acrylic.

Related Read: Can Latex Paint Freeze?

Is Latex Paint Flammable or Combustible?

Is Latex Paint Flammable or Combustible?

Latex paint is neither flammable nor combustible.

Flammable chemicals are combustible substances that ignite at low temperatures that is, they catch fire easily if exposed to flames or temperature levels of about 100 o F (38o C).

Latex paint uses water as a solvent. It does not possess any flammable elements such as petroleum, methanol, or alcohol which makes it fireproof or at least set the possibility for a fire hazard with latex paint solely responsible very low.  Latex paint is also not combustible because it does not give off a vapor that can serve as fuel to ignite flames.

Latex paint is often employed for interior use because it doesn’t emit a strong odor that will be experienced from non-water-based paints, it also dries faster and retains color. This is due to the absence of heavy hydrocarbon solvents. These hydro-carbon-derived solvents are what make non-water base paints flammable.

A research publication that shows how different types of paint interact with a flammable component concluded that latex paint as a flame retardant hinders ignition in the flammable material which was wood in the case of the research.

So, you don’t have to worry about those cans of latex paint combusting into flames under regular room or moderately high temperatures. It remains safe practice to store cans of latex paints properly and away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Related Read: Does Latex Paint Expire?

At What Temperature Does Latex Paint Burn?

200o F or 93o C.

The above temperature refers to the flashpoint for latex paint, which by definition is the lowest temperature a substance combusts into flames.

Latex paint has a high flash point when compared against ambient room temperature which is around 68o F – 72o F. This reduces the possibility of explosion and fire outbreaks caused by latex paint to a negligible figure.

Latex paint has heat-resistant properties which make it suitable for painting kitchen walls, fireplace exteriors, and other places that may experience higher temperatures. Do not paint the interiors of your fireplace or chimneys with latex paints, it will burn off as the temperatures in such places exceeds its flashpoint.

Related Read: Is Polyurethane Flammable?

Can Latex Paint Spontaneously Combust?

No. Latex paint is a water-based emulsion paint which makes it neither combustible nor flammable.

Spontaneous combustion refers to an instance whereby a material ignites into flames as a result of a chemical reaction within its constituents. For combustion to occur three elements must be present; fuel, air, and heat source (igniting temperature).

By this requirement, latex paint is non-combustible as it does not possess any volatile solvent such as methanol, alcohol, or other petroleum-derived solutions that can be given off as fuel. Latex paint uses water as a solvent. Hence, it will require extremely impossible circumstances or outright sorcery for it to spontaneously combust.

This doesn’t negate safety practices and measures in handling the substance. It should be stored away from direct sunlight, heat source, and the uncanny hand of children.

Related Read: Can You Use Latex Paint on Metal?

Can Latex Paint Catch Fire When Dry?

No, it can’t.

Latex paint makes use of water as a solvent, unlike oil-based paint which uses hydrocarbon compounds. When mixed with water, latex paint will usually not burn as it isn’t combustible.

When it dries after application, it leaves behind a rubbery textured finishing which isn’t flammable at all since it does not use any flammable solvent thereby eliminating combustion.

However, you should note that acrylic latex paint which is derived by adding acrylic to your latex paint to improve some properties can catch fire at 560o F. When it dries, the water solvent has evaporated, leaving behind a firm polymer that can catch fire.

Related Read: How To Apply Latex Paint With a Roller?

How Heat Resistant Is Acrylic Latex Paint?

So, you’ve added acrylic to your latex paint for increased durability, improved adhesive qualities, and resistance.

Acrylic latex paint is an excellent choice when painting surfaces that will be constantly battered by weather elements; it has superior weather-resistant capabilities to plain latex paints.

Ordinary acrylic paints are known to have a high heat resistance of over 160 o C. A combination of acrylic and latex paints takes that heat resistance to higher levels about 560o F making it a heat-safe paint.

There is a class of paint developed to withstand high temperatures, flames, and weather elements that would otherwise damage other types of paints making them suitable for certain applications.

Acrylic latex paints fall under such category. Acrylic latex paint will not get damaged, peel off or burn at temperatures as high as 600O C. This is why it is preferred when coating kitchen utensils, grills, and stoves.

Acrylic latex paints are water-based paints and are not flammable or combustible. They are also one of the most environmentally friendly paints due to their water-based primer.

Related Read: How Do You Dispose of Latex Paint?


Latex paint has the advantage of being non-flammable unlike oil paints which are highly flammable due to their hydro-carbon derived solvents. These solvents are harmful to both the health of the painter when inhaled and the environment.

Latex paint can be disposed of or recycled through regular channels without any consequences. Special handling conditions are needed to dispose of oil and other non-water-based paints because of the solvent used in them.

Though latex paint has less volatile organic compounds, the fumes and gases it gives off are not to be inhaled. Substances such as ethylene glycol are present in latex paint which can cause minor to major health complications to the body of the painter when inhaled.

There are safety procedures to be strictly enforced when applying paint to preserve the health of the painter. Such as proper ventilation and the use of protective equipment by the painter.

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