Fire Retardant Paint Canada

Protect your building with fire retardant paint

There are approximately 20,000 structural fires every year in Canada, with 12,000 of those being residential fires. According to the Canadian National Fire Incident Database, this results in hundreds of deaths a year, and 80% of these deaths occurred in residential fires where there were no safety systems in place. Providing adequate fire protection for a building, whether residential or commercial, is part of the National Fire Code of Canada requirements. As well as active fire protection, there are a range of passive fire protection measures that you can use for your building. Fire retardant paint is a passive fire protection measure for wood, MDF, plaster, and other combustible materials.

In this article we look at fire retardant paint, how it works, and how you can use it to improve the fire safety of your building. We also list suppliers and products available in Canada. Head to the guide or continue scrolling for a list of products available in Canada.

Insl-X Fire retardant paint
INSL-X Fire Retardant Paint

INSL-X Fire Retardant Paint – For commercial and residential use

INSL-X Fire Retardant is in fact an intumescent fire retardant designed for interior ceilings, walls, and trim. It provides a high hiding flat finish in a vinyl acrylic resin. It applies like a regular paint and is designed to be decorative so you can use it in your interiors as a final coat.

When tested in accordance with ASTM E-84 it achieves a Class ‘A’ Flame Spread Rating.

Master Flame Fire Retardant – 1 gallon
Master Flame Fire Retardant – 5 gallon

Master Flame Fire Retardant – For absorbent materials

Master Flame’s Fire Retardant is designed for absorbent materials like curtains, decorations, wood, furnishing, carpeting, motor home decorations, clothing, and other textiles and organic materials. It needs to be able to soak into the material in order to provide flame protection.

It has a simple spray application and is Class ‘A’ rated according to ASTM E-84 testing.

Hy-Tech Flame Resist

Hy-Tech Flame Resist – For all types of wood

Like the Master Flame products, Hy-Tech Flame Resist is a clear liquid that is absorbed by a material in order to imbue it with flame resistance. In particular it is recommended for wooden material including pine, spruce, hardwood, plywood, and wood sheathing that has not been previously stained, sealed, or finished. It can also be applied to fabric, paper, and theatrical sets.

Flame Resist is spray applied, odourless, water soluble, and has a ‘A’ flame spread rating.

fire retardant coating

How to use the 2 types of fire rated paint

Fire resistant coatings are those passive fire protection measures that are coating-based. They resist the damage and danger of fire by controlling the effect it has on a substrate. They come in two types: intumescent and fire retardant paint.

  1. Intumescent paint – This fire rated paint expands in the presence of fire, swelling to up to 50 times its original thickness and forming a foam-like char which is very slow burning. The layer of char insulates the substrate from the brunt of the heat and can protect it from the fire for up to 2 hours. Intumescent paints are more commonly used for steel, but can be applied to wood as well.
  2. Fire retardant paint – Fire retardant paint protects a substrate by releasing a flame-damping gas in the presence of heat. This gas prevents the flame from spreading across a surface and ensures that it cannot “contribute” to the fire. This also prevents the substrate from reaching ignition temperatures for crucial extra time while firefighters work to get it under control or while people evacuate.

Double up the fire protection with a Duplex System

An intumescent and a fire retardant paint can be used together to form the strongest coating-based fire protection. In this duplex system the fire retardant paint is applied as a top coat over the intumescent coating. If there is a fire, the flame-damping effect of the fire retardant paint protects the intumescent layer from reaching the critical temperature and expanding, adding to the overall amount of protection time and assisting firefighters and evacuation.

Fire retardant coating for wood

Fire retardant coating for wood prevents the spread of flame and staves off ignition.

Difference between an uncoated and a coated substrate.

Wood is an amazing construction material but it is also very combustible. The fire-happy nature of wood is combated through a number of means, including impregnating the bare construction material and timber with fire retardant chemicals. Fire retardant coatings are often used in combination with impregnation to provide the strongest protective system. Intumescent products for wood are available, but they are less aesthetically pleasing than fire retardant coatings.

Fire retardant paint for wood can be applied  in interior and exterior settings, over already painted surfaces, and are suitable for doors, cladding, floors, walls, and ceilings. These coatings can look like a clear varnish and are also available in a range of colours. It is important to not it does not prevent the wood from burning completely – if the fire is not brought under the flame-damping gas will be exhausted and the wood will catch fire eventually. It is this extra time that saves lives.

Fire rated paint regulations and standards in Canada

The system used by fire retardant paint suppliers and manufacturers in Canada describes these coatings a being part of Class A, Class B etc. The classes indicate a degree of flame spread, with A being the best and smallest amount of flame spread, and E being the worst. Most reputable fire retardant paint specialists will use only Class A rated products. These classes are not only applied to coatings but also to other combustible materials.

  • Class A – flame spread rating 0 – 25, excellent fire resistance
  • Class B – flame spread rating 26 – 75, moderate fire resistance
  • Class C – flame spread rating  76 – 200, light fire resistance
  • Class D – flame spread rating 201 – 500, no fire resistance
  • Class E – flame spread rating 500+, no fire resistance

Where to find products and specialists in fire retardant paint Canada

There are fire retardant paint specialists working in every province of Canada, each complying with the specific fire safety regulations of the province in which they operate. Some of the companies specialising in the application of fire retardant paint include Great Northern Insulation, InnovProtect, and AD Fire Protection Systems. If you are looking for fire retardant paint products, we have included a list below.

For industrial fire resistant paint requirements, we also have pages detailing where to find intumescent services in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa.

If you would like more information or have a project that requires fire retardant paint, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. Simply use the button below the article and we will connect you with the coating solution for your needs.

Fire retardant paint productDescription
‘Cold Fire’ Fire BlockA coating to retard fire in all class A materials
Flame Control Interior Fire Retardant Paint No. 30-30Class A, semi-gloss, solvent-based top coat for interior paint No. 10-10A
No-Burn Wood GardA fire retardant paint for application during construction


Find intumescent coating and fire retardant paint specialists

The effect of heat on an intumescent coating