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Water-based paints used in automotive paint spray booths are prone to ignition and combustion might occur for these types of paints when finely dispersed in electrostatic spraying. An experimental study accompanied by equilibrium calculations of adiabatic stoichiometric flame temperature (Tad ) has been conducted to investigate the burning behavior of water-based spray paints. Several spray fire tests have been carried out and the heat release rates of the flames have been measured. To compare the paints burning behavior, acetone has been added at various concentrations for the spray fire tests. The results have been compared against computed Tad values for the paint-acetone mixtures. Elemental compositions of the paints and their heats of combustion have been measured to compute Tad . A critical temperature (Tad,cr ) at which combustion will not sustain itself is proposed to characterize the water-based paints. Completeness of combustion (? comb ) of paint-acetone mixture spray fires has also been used to evaluate the burning behavior of the paints. Based on the critical temperature and completeness of combustion, two regimes of combustion have been identified.