Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

November, 2002

Nonflammable Paint, Intumescent Paint

Q. I need information on "anti-inflamable" paint to be used on wood.

A. Most paints are flammable if they are exposed to a flame. However, there are some paints that are specifically used to retard the spread of fires. These are known as "intumescent" paints and they are predominantly used on building projects or in mines, etc. Is this the type of paint you are referring to? I'm not aware of general purpose paints that do not support a flame at all.

Generally, intumescent paints are not designed to be decorative, but they might be available in various colors. Also, they are generally not used as exterior coatings, because when they frequently come into contact with rain the chemicals that make them "intumescent" leach out. Eventually, the paints no longer serve the purpose for which they were intended.

Therefore, you probably want to use a straight forward latex formulated for either interior or exterior exposure.

Please check out the information I've given you before you select a paint, because I'm still not entirely sure what you intend the paint to be used for.

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