Can You Bring Acrylic Paint on A Plane? [FAQs & Tips]

Sometimes, situation requires that you bring your art materials with you on a plane. But to avoid unnecessary disappointment at the airport, it’s better that you know whether bringing acrylic paint on a plane is allowed or not.

So, can you bring acrylic paint on a plane?

Yes, you can bring acrylic paint on a plane, it’s allowed. Acrylic paints are water-based and not oil-based, so they aren’t inflammable.

This means that acrylic paints are completely safe to fly with. As much as you can board a plane with acrylic paints, there are some conditions that you must obey.

can i bring acrylic paint on a plane

The acrylic paints must be properly packed

To be able to fly with your acrylic paints, you must follow instructions and proper precautions. Otherwise, you stand the chance of running into problems with the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) at the airport. TSA is responsible for air travel safety.

To ensure the safety of every passenger on board, the TSA has a set of guidelines addressing what goods passengers can bring on board a plane.

The guideline outrightly prohibits flammables, which means flammable paints aren’t allowed. While acrylic paints aren’t flammable, TSA guidelines require that your acrylic paints are well-packed in clear, plastic Ziplock bags.

If you don’t pack them properly, you may not be able to fly with your paints. Also, the guideline allows you to either pack your acrylic paints in your carry-on baggage or check-in baggage.

The acrylic paints must be packed in an acceptable size

Being non-flammable and well-packed is not enough, the acrylic paints must be contained in the required size before they can fly. There are some specific regulations governing flying with liquid paints.

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If you wish to carry your acrylic paints in carry-on bags, the acceptable maximum volume for each acrylic paint is 100ml. Any quantity higher than this must be packed in the check-in luggage. Though you can bring as much as you like as long as you don’t exceed the weight limit.

No acrylic paints in spray cans

While acrylic paints are not flammable, an aerosol is flammable. Therefore, acrylic paints in spray cans are prohibited and you can’t fly with them.

As long as you follow these conditions, you won’t encounter any issues bringing your acrylic paints on a plane.

I’ll advise that you should be careful of any solvents with you because solvents are flammable and may be prohibited.

Can You Take Watercolor on A Plane?

Just as acrylic paints are allowed on planes, watercolors are also allowed on planes because they are water-based and non-flammable. This means that you can also take watercolor on a plane – both liquid and dry watercolor.

Nevertheless, the way you pack your watercolor matters a lot. Liquid watercolors are prone to leak and this can soil other bags.

Therefore, you must ensure that the lids are tightly covered and the paint containers are wrapped up in Ziplock bags.

This way, you can prevent the liquid watercolor from spilling and staining other materials. If possible, pack your watercolors separately from other bags.

Though you can pack watercolor either in your check-in travel luggage or carry-on bags, you can only carry liquid watercolor of no more than 100ml in carry-on baggage.

Anything more than this goes inside your check-in bag. For dry watercolors, there is no risk of leakages, which makes it safer. Hence, you can carry any size of dry water you want in either your carry-on bags or check-in bags without restrictions as long as you don’t exceed the weight limit.

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How to Pack Painting Supplies for Flight?

When traveling on a plane with your paint supplies, you need to be careful, follow all the necessary instructions, and take proper precautions.

This step-by-step guide will help to make the whole process of packing your painting supplies for flight easier.

  • Get a separate suitcase or travel bag where you will pack all your painting supplies. This will make it easier to access the supplies since they’re already separated from the rest of your luggage.
  • Reduce all your painting supplies down to the most essential.
  • Leave all items in their original containers as unidentifiable products might be confiscated. Also, leave the labels on your paints and painting supplies. This is a good way for security agents to easily identify your items.
  • Avoid taking any flammable painting supplies, such as solvents, thinners, oil paints, spray paints, and so on.  They are prohibited and you may not be able to fly with them.
  • Keep all liquid paints and liquid-based painting supplies (non-flammable) in a separate plastic Ziplock bag to prevent stains in case of leakages due to pressure changes in the airplane.
  • Take note of all the list of your painting supplies. This will help you to keep track of them
  • Pack your brushes, scissors, and palette knives in the same bag as other painting supplies. Otherwise, they may be considered weapons by the TSA. Same way, pencils, markers, pens, and pencil sharpeners should also be neatly packaged in a plastic case.
  • If you’re traveling with a finished painting, ensure that they are completely dry.  If the painting is small enough, you can take it with you in your carry-on travel bag. If you’re packing it in your check-in travel bag, make sure you cushion them with soft clothes/towels to protect them from breaking.
  • Pack your paintbrushes in their holder and fold them up. Due to their fragility, paintbrushes can be damaged during travel. In the absence of a paintbrush holder, get a piece of cardboard.
  • Lay the brushes on the cardboard’s surface and fold the cardboard around the paintbrushes covering up all parts of the brush. Wrap the cardboard up in a plastic bag. For some airlines that don’t permit taking aboard, wrap your brushes with a cloth bag.
  • Keep all your painting supplies on top of your luggage to avoid unnecessary checks.
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Packing your painting supplies for air travel can be quite challenging, especially if you have a lot of them.

This guide will help make the process easier and less stressful.

Just remember to only bring the essentials, keep all liquids in Ziplock bags, and keep track of all your items. Most importantly, check with the airline to see what their restrictions are before flying.

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