There are many regulations regarding the mixing of paint, its storage, and its transference from one container to another. Since most paints and finishing materials are highly combustible, they can easily ignite. That’s why, it’s important for codes and guidelines to be met. One regulation requires that storage and mixing of paint be done in an industrial mixing room or a spray booth.

When it comes to the storage of paint in a facility, there are guidelines regarding the maximum amount; this falls under the MAQ, or Maximum Allowable Quantity limit for hazardous materials allowed in an area without additional protection. The MAQ, which can be found in the International Fire Code, is dependent on the class of liquid and its container.

Certain conditions and risk mitigating efforts can allow for an increase in the MAQ of a facility. For instance, if there is a sprinkler system in the building, the MAQ can be increased by 100%. If the hazardous material is stored in an exhausted area, such as a paint room, the MAQ can be increased by 200%. This reflects a significant advantage when dealing with large jobs that require a large amount of flammable materials.

Another guideline to take into account is the location of the mix room. If it is within six feet of a spray booth, the combined amount of paint that can be stored in both cannot exceed 120 gallons, even if the mix room is very large. If the mix room is further than six feet away, the amount of material cannot exceed two gallons per square foot. Therefore, more material can be stored in a large mix room when it is separate from a spray booth.

For example, a mix room that is 150 square feet (largest possible size according to code) can store up to 300 gallons of flammable liquids, unless it is within six feet of a spray booth. Then as mentioned above, the combined amount cannot exceed 120 gallons. If a facility has multiple mix rooms, 300 gallons of materials is the maximum allowable quantity in areas that do not qualify as control areas – meaning, areas that are constructed with fire rated walls and doors.

Codes and regulations are important in minimizing risks and keeping your employees safe. But following requirements for the storing, dispensing, and mixing combustible materials, such as paint, can be confusing. Consulting with experts in the types of enclosures that can help you meet regulations makes the process a whole lot clearer and easier.

Our years of experience can assist in understanding and navigating the complex codes regarding paint and finishing materials storage and handling. Contact us to learn more.