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Fire retardant paint and intumescent coatings

Can anyone apply fire retardant paints and intumescent coatings? Or do you need a specialist applicator?

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Intumescent paints
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You don’t always need an expert for certain painting applications. Before you hire a professional, why not consider doing the work yourself? You can save money and feel proud in your work! Of course, in some situations, it is better to seek professional help so always weigh up both options before you start a job.

Fire Retardant Paint Applications for Timber

By applying a fire retardant paint or a fire retardant treatment for timber you can reduce the chances of ignition.

If you’re looking for a simple upgrade, it is possible to upgrade your interiors without the need for professional help. On interior timber structures, you can find easy to use, water-based fire protection coatings.

Fireproof internal wooden structures and frames

To get a smooth finish like the professionals, a simple step can make all the difference. Stir the paint well before use, prepare your surface well and don’t try and put too much on in one coat.

Airless sprayers are often used by professional and are excellent for applying an even, smooth layer of fire retardant paint to the surface. But, the spray machines can be an expensive option you don’t already have the equipment and are really only necessary for large areas. If you can’t gain access to an airless sprayer, you can still achieve a great finish with a brush or roller. Just remember not to load up too much paint on your brush or roller. If you’re not confident in your technique, you may need to seek professional advice.

Environmental conditions are also important during application and curing. You should ensure the temperature (including the surface you’re painting) are equal to or ideally above the manufacturer’s minimum recommendations to guarantee best results. Some fire retardant paints may need longer than you think to fully cure, so ensure you have considered your timings.

With these tips, you can easily achieve the level of fire protection you require in no time. Once finished, think about applying a topcoat, some products may allow you to use your own paints to finish the job while others may require you to use a specific product.

Of course always follow the supplier and manufacturer instructions carefully, to make sure you’re painted surface meets classification standard. Also be sure to consult your relevant authority where necessary.

Intumescent Coating Applications for Steel

For your interior steel structures, use a white thin film intumescent coating. Remember to prepare the surface by cleaning thoroughly, then apply a suitable steel primer. Before you start with the intumescent paint, ensure the surface is dry.

Brosteel Ultra 60 Intumescent Paint For Steel

Some intumescent paints may need to be mechanically stirred before use as they can be too thick to mix thoroughly by hand. To apply the paint, once again an airless sprayer will achieve high-quality results, but brush or roller application is ideal for smaller projects.

Applying an intumescent paint to steel may involve more complicated tests and measures in order to be sure that it is compliant with regulations and effective in a fire. If you’re not sure how to perform checks such as measuring the wet film thickness, you should seek a professional to undertake the job.

Related Posts: Find out more about when to use spray paint tools or a roller when using different types of paints.


  1. I wish I’d read this before starting: We now have a vertical girder with intumescent paint that looks like a deliberate ‘attempt’ at creating a tree-trunk look! We obviously loaded up the paint brush way too much. Can anything be done to remedy the situation? Is it worth sanding and starting again? Or perhaps to simply sanding the huge blobs and painting over them? Many thanks in advance for your advice.

    • Hi Susan,

      We couldn’t recommend that you overcoat the existing intumescent with anything other than the same product as all intumescent paints will have their own loadings. The existing paint would have needed to be applied at a particular thickness to achieve the required level of fire protection but I assume you wouldn’t have this information to hand.

      If you are after a better aesthetical finish, the only thing we could really recommend would be to remove the existing intumescent paint and apply another system. This would have to be applied in multiple thinner coats to achieve a better finish or over applied so it can be rubbed back slightly to give a smoother finish.

      If you need any further help then please contact our technical team on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or send a message to [email protected].

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