Automechanika and the paint championships

In June 2023 I attended The National Paint championships at Automechanika in Birmingham.

I was tasked with creating a design around the shows slogan “Mobility Royale“, the submitted design was chosen along with 20 other participants to make it through to the next round of judging, where we would received a car bonnet to put our submitted designs into actual paint work.

Being a custom painter known for working with peelable paints I decided early on that this design wouldn’t be created the traditional paint way, like all the other entrants, it would be created using peelable paints as a base and as a clear top coat.

The design I had created was based around what I considered to be the royalty of the car world – James Bond vehicles. I chose some of the fan favourites and also my own favourites from the movies.

I created some backgrounds and complimentary colours and fades with paint.  I wanted to push my skills so I used a mixture of paint styles and effects, I used base colours, metallics and candy colours. I also used some gold and silver leafing, along with my usual airbrushing skills to create this design over a peelable base and finished with peelable clearcoat. Here is a quick tiktok video of how I airbrushed the detail of the revolving numberplate on one of the bond cars.

When finished I sent pictures of my final design and from the initial 20 I was one of the painters chosen to be in the 7 finalist painters and to take my bonnet to the show to be put on display for final judging. It was very exciting to see my bonnet hanging there next to all the other painters amazing works, being displayed for all the visitors to see at The National Paint Championships and I was honoured just to make it this far through the competition.

I was also very pleased I would get the chance to show the visitors and judges and other painters what peelable paints and custom painting looked like, and that my paint techniques and choices of product were good enough to make it into a competition and get noticed along side all the traditional paints. For myself it was amazing to make it to the point where I had become a show finalist.

I was the only entrant who used a peelable paint and it was great to see my design didn’t look out of place amongst all the other finalists. The judges looked at all the bonnets in person and it was decided that overall mine was placed in 3rd place, which I was extremely proud and happy about.

As well as the national paint championships the Automechanika event itself was huge with so much going on, I was able to attend various talks, networking gatherings and demos, I learnt different paint techniques and ways to do things, I got to sample and test out some of the new technology that could improve the workshop and paint booth, and met some great suppliers and trade people.  Over the three days I learned so much, got to chat to so many inspirational people in the trade and even some celebrities.

One of the things I had decided to try learn more about at the show was how to improve my polishing and finishing, as coming from a painting background this is something I have had previously been figuring out myself and hadn’t quite perfected just yet. During the second day of the show I had got talking to the fantastic guys on the 3D car care stand who were demonstrating polishing techniques with their products and they offered to show me on my competition bonnet how to get a better, glass looking finish. I was really eager to learn, but also had plans to peel the bonnet at the show as I wanted to be able to show it was peelable paint, so discussing this with clarity coat (who’s peelable paint products I had used to paint my bonnet) they came up with a brilliant idea to have 3D go ahead and teach me the techniques, but without knowing it was peelable paint. They 100% thought it was normal paint and were treating it as such.

I learned so much from this it was great as it proved to me that the peelable paint product I use is able to be treated with the same sanding and polishing techniques I use for my traditional paint finishes. It also means all the customers favorite cleaning and polishing products can be used for upkeep of the custom designs , and they also have the option to take it to a professional detailer who may use similar machines polishers and pads to the video knowing it is an option for these types of paints. I thought I’d got the bonnet to look ok and quite shiny myself but to see the level of gloss they managed to bring out afterwards was amazing, I have gained some great knowledge of how to push my abilities in polishing an finishing now to achieve this finish making future peelable custom designs have an improved glossier, glass like, finish as I now know the best sanding and polishing route to get this finish on these paint products.

The best bit was the whole process was also caught on camera, paint peeling and their reactions.

I’d like to thank the guys from 3D car care for teaching me some great techniques I can take forward from this, and also being such good sports, even after we tricked them by not telling them it was peelable paints or that we planned to peel it and I would also like to thank the guys from Clarity Coat for the making the idea come to life and also filming and uploading the youtube video.

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