It is vital that a show car's paint is clean. Judges are looking for swirls, streaks, dirt, dust, fingerprints or anything that impedes the finish of the vehicle. All paint jobs should be properly detailed. All painted areas should be equally detailed, including the engine bay, door jams, trunk jams, the underside of bumpers, side skirts, and all other areas. It is vital that your paint matches and that it doesn’t look blotchy. Judges can pick up right away if a front bumper is a different color then a fender. If you go all out and perform a color change, make sure that all your panels match. Another important factor that is often over looked is orange peel. Builders will go through all the trouble to do a complete color change, but they start out strong and finish weak. Judges will be looking for imperfections like tape lines, over spray and fish eyes. Make sure that the paint shop wet sands and buffs properly. The finishing touches make or break the finished product, and the way your paint job appears is huge from a judge’s perspective.
If your car remains the stock color but you decide to paint your body kit the critiquing team will make sure that the entire kit is painted and that certain areas aren’t over looked, example being the underside of the front bumper. If you decided to do a complete color change, complete being the operative word, judges will make sure that your door jams, engine compartment, under the hood, behind the door panels, moldings, and trunk section are all painted the new color. The judges are not just looking for cool new colors or schemes, but they are also concentrating on the execution and completeness of the paint job.
A paint scheme is all about being original and setting your car apart from the competition. A judge wants to see creativity and diversity. If you decided to repaint your ride, make sure that you get your bang for your buck. You may consider a paint color or scheme that may make you stand out a bit. Whether you are into solid colors, two-tone or even three tone paint jobs, make sure that your car fits your personal taste. Besides different schemes you also may choose a not so common paint finish. You can do candy paint, you can add flake or metallic to your custom color, you can even decide to go with a dull flat color; there no rules here anything goes. Judges are also looking for little details to your paint scheme that will set you apart, such as custom pin stripping, gold leaf, or silver leaf. Incorporating these into your paint scheme can add detail if done correctly. If you decided to go this route it is very important to remember to bring your strips and leafs into your door jams and other area’s where needed. If you just pin strip the exterior and not the jams, it will appear as though you only did half the job. make sure you finish the job you started to the fullest.
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Mike Heim's 67 Chevrolet Camaro - built by Quality Custom Rides. Photo by John Machaqueiro