Intumescent Paint for Wood

wooden foot bridge treated with intumescent paint for wood

Prevent fire with intumescent paint for wood

Intumescent paint for wood is one of the newer developments in the coating industry. It is a coating, especially developed for wood, that protects wooden structures from fire. Intumescent paints in general,  when exposed to extreme heat, will expand and form a foam which then solidifies, creating an insulating char layer which is also a very poor heat conductor. This solid foam layer protects the wood underneath in the event of fire.

The intumescent wood paint prolongs the burning process so that firefighters have enough time to get to the spot, and people win valuable minutes to evacuate. In some cases the intumescent paint also minimises property damage.

In this article you will read more about intumescent wood paints, related standards and regulations as well as the most efficient industrial applications. Check out all intumescent paint for wood here.

Intumescent paint for wood in construction and wood processing

Wood is a common construction material in buildings such as cottages and semidetached houses. However, it is barely ever used in high rise buildings due to the strict fire safety regulations that affect the construction of blocks of flats and other buildings higher than three storeys. Nevertheless, intumescent paints for wood make it possible to use wood in construction of high rise buildings. 

intumescent paint for timber

Fire to treated wood vs. bare wood (chipboard)

The intumescent products are suitable for softwoods, hardwoods, even chipboard and MDF, in both interior and exterior settings (there is also intumescent paint for non-wood surfaces, such as steel and concrete). The products for wood exist as clear and pigmented paints and lacquers as well as wood preservatives which soak into the wood.

In construction, the intumescent wood coatings are often applied on the wood already before it arrives at the buildsite. This is to make sure that as large area as possible is protected. However, it is also possible to apply the coating on existing painted and unpainted surfaces such as walls.

Intumescent paint for wood UK Standards

In the UK, the body that sets the Standards in industry and trade is called the British Standard Institute. Through rigorous testing, they establish the required performance and fire resistance of elements of a structure, including materials such as fireproof paints. These are known as the British Standards (BS), and include standards for intumescent coatings. BS 476 relates to fire tests, and divides intumescent coatings into two classes: 1, and 0.

Ability to resist fire

Man spraying intumescent paint on wood

Applying intumescent varnish on wood walls.

The fire prevention properties of paint and coatings are measured by dividing the products into those which can stop and prevent the spread of fire for 30 minutes and those for 60 minutes.

  • BS class 1
    Normally required for walls and ceilings, areas with moderate risk of fire. The paint must not allow the spread of flame to be greater than 165mm in 10 minutes.
  • BS class 0
    The requirements are for high risk areas, corridors, staircases and escape routes. They include class 1, but add an extra requirements known as the ‘Fire Propagation Index’ which measures how much the paint contributes to the fire. The coating must have a very low ability to catch fire and burn.

Find a certified applicator for intumescent paint for wood

Applying intumescent preservatives is often an industrial wood pretreatment process done prior to the wood arriving at the buildsite. However, if the used wood is not pretreated with intumescent products, it is a smart move to apply the coating once the structures stand.

Intumescent paint should always be applied by a certified applicator, to make sure you get the rightful guaranty for the product and the job done. This may come in handy especially with insurance policies or if you ever need to claim insurance.

Intumescent wood paint contractors throughout the UK

We have compiled a short list of contractors who apply intumescent products for wood throughout the UK. Keep in mind that these are by far not the only companies that carry out these jobs.

England Fire Lining Systems Ltd54 Hutton Close, Crowther Industrial Est , Washington , NE38 0AH
England, London areaSIV Fire Protection Ltd Waterfront Business Centre, 57A North Woolwich Road, London E16 2AA
England, London areaAdept Contracts LtdUnit C, Atcost Road, IG11 0EQ, Barking, Essex
ScotlandA1 Sprayers56-58 Jane Street, Edinburgh, EH6 5HG
Scotland Holemasters Scotland Ltd 114 Main Street, Chapelhall, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, ML6 8SB
WalesSharpfibreUnit D1, Britannia Centre for Business , Pengam, Blackwood, NP12 3SP
WalesTaylor Engineering UK LtdUnit 7 / 8, Curran Road,Cardiff, CF10 5NE

In case you wish to gain any additional information, detailed product and service prices, application possibilities or advice on certification and standards, our coating experts are happy to help you!

Intumescent paint for the wooden surfaces at home

Even though fire prevention coatings are often applied in buildings where they are required, it is also possible to apply such coatings at home, to improve the feeling for safety.

The following table gives an indication on the intumescent wood paint prices in the UK.

Bollom Intulac Ultra Varnish BasecoatAn intumescent varnish coating for interior wood surfaces. £187.60 5L
Bollom Intulac Ultra Topcoat A decorative varnish topcoat for interior wood. Applied with Bollom Intulac Ultra Basecoat for class 0 protection. £43.66 500ml
Thermoguard Fire Varnish Basecoat First coat of a 2 coat system for internal or external wood. £118.80 for 20m²
Thermoguard Fire Varnish Overcoat (Exterior)Final coat of a 2 coat system for external wood. £60.00 for 20m²
Thermoguard TimbercoatAn intumescent paint system for bare and painted wood and timber derivative surfaces.£90.00 5Kg
Envirograf Fire Door Paint A coating pack for upgrading wood doors to up to 30 minute fire resistance.£260.9920m² kit
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