It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the National Painting and Decorating Show. I love the social aspect of it. It’s great running into Decorators I talk to on the decorating forums. It’s good to touch base with manufacturers too; you get a real sense of who the main players are in the industry, and you see new innovations before they hit the market.
I’ve just got back from the National Painting and Decorating Show 2023. Every year on the website you buy tickets from, you see the same thing in the build-up, “bigger and better than ever”. Well, I genuinely think it was this time around.
The quality and scale of some of the stands this year was magnificent. The likes of Coral, Axus Décor, ProDec, Hamilton, Dulux, Wagner, Crown and Ciret must spend an absolute fortune on the set-up. They’re showcasing their standing, like peacocks strutting around with their feathers on display. They show the best of what they do and you can’t help but be impressed.
It was great to see Caparol and The Two Fussy Blokes showcasing their wares. Every product laid meticulously on neat shelves so everyone can see. Oh, and Paint Tech had a top of the range VR headset. Put it on, and you could paint a virtual warehouse, or a medieval hall (not something I’ve ever done before.)
It wasn’t all flashy. There were also a lot of down-to-earth displays there like Lick, Polyvine, Bedec, Fiddes, Barretine, and Oxera. Manufacturers who just want to connect with Decorators and have a proper chat about what they make.
One massive difference this year was the amount of offers available. There were a lot of ‘show only deals’, which gave Decorators another reason to visit (not that you don’t get enough freebies).
There were a couple of new products that really stood out to me. The first is Hamilton, who have redeveloped their iconic Perfection (pure bristle) Paintbrush.
These have been a mainstay for use in oil-based paint for decades, so to learn that they’re now synthetic is going to take some old-school Decorators a bit of time to come to terms with. However, hog hair is becoming very expensive and apparently the quality is dropping. The Hamilton Perfection 2.0 feels better; it doesn’t need breaking in, and it keeps its shape well. I’m looking forward to seeing what tradesmen think of it.
The other product is Axus Décor Silk Touch Ultra. I got my hands on this brush a couple of weeks earlier and described it as a “game changer”. It has long soft bristles that hold their shape. The brush holds a huge amount of paint and is easy to manipulate. Honestly, it’s a masterpiece in emulsion.
Fleetwood Paint were there too, who are huge in Ireland, and are planning to break the market in England. Gyproc were showcasing their Dalapro Roll Nova, which looks quick and easy to apply. The free beer at the Decorating Centre Online stand went down well too 😉 There is a bar at the show, but it’s a bit pricey.
It’s safe to say that the National Painting and Decorating Show 2023 was a huge success. It’s the iconic event of the year, every year, and this time around it was particularly mind blowing. Well worth checking out the show in 2024.
National Painting and Decorating Show 2023 Round Up – by Mike Cupit