Celebrating a Wonderful Year with Wanda

Wanda with Holiday PresentsHi Everyone,

It’s hard to believe that 2011 has flown by so fast and nearly at its close; what a wonderful, whirlwind year it was! Here are some of the highlights:

As you know, we introduced our new Wanda Waterbase basecoat system into the Canadian collision repair market in January, with a formal unveiling at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Ontario in February. The waterborne system was met with great enthusiasm and to date we have several Canadian distributors working with us to install Wanda Waterbase into small-to-medium-sized body shops throughout the region.

The Canadian launch definitely provided a great spring board for much more excitement to come. The Wanda team hit the road again in March to expand brand awareness about our VOC-compliant products at AASP/NJ’s Northeast Automotive Services Show in Secaucus, NJ. Next, we headed to St. Charles, IL to participate in the Bodyshop Business Conference and Expo in May, followed by another trek to Toronto in June to attend the CCFBG 9th Annual F-body spring event. In July, the Wanda brand was proud to host the 10th Annual Summit Motorpark’s “Blue Suede Cruise” car show in Norwalk, OH, where I got to preside as Grand Marshall over the “Neon Parade of Lights” and other weekend show events. Then in August, the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Michigan invited me to participate in their annual charity golf tournament event. Finally, the Wanda team headed to Las Vegas, NV in November to attend the exciting SEMA Show. I hosted a press conference at SEMA announcing the successful launch of our Wanda Waterbase products into the US collision repair market.

We displayed a stunning Lingenfelter Performance Engineering Supercharged Camaro painted in Wanda Black with Fire Red Stripes under Stealth Clear. It was named one of Motor Trend magazine’s “Top 6 Chevy’s” at the SEMA Show for its “stand-out paint job” and called one of the show’s best executions of matte paint schemes. Whew, that’s a lot of shows!

But that’s not all—Wanda distributors across the US scheduled a record 22 “Evening with Wanda” events, where I emceed the fun-filled, educational evenings that put a spotlight on the many features and benefits of using Wanda brand products. The Wanda team met hundreds of body shop owners and painters at these events and helped them learn how Wanda’s simplicity, color and value proposition offers exceptional ease-of-use, color match accuracy and a “right-the-first-time” finish—all at affordable pricing. Check out some of the great photos we captured at the events.www.wandarefinish.photogallery.

Whether it was welcoming 52 new distributors to the Wand team, expanding distribution into new regions across the US, or meeting lots of new Wanda fans and collision repair professionals during our yearlong shows and events, one thing is for sure—we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your ongoing, enthusiastic support of Wanda brand products and for making this our best year ever!

The Wanda team and I would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends, and a healthy and prosperous New Year!

And while you’re busy celebrating the holidays, we’ll be busy cooking up lots more great new events and activities for 2012, so be sure to get updates on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about Wanda Waterbase and all of the Wanda brand products, visit www.wandarefinish.com.

Until next time!


Wanda Steps into the Spotlight at SEMA 2011

Wanda SEMA Show 2011 Blog PhotoHi Everyone,

The Wanda team just returned from the SEMA 2011 show in Las Vegas and the week-long event was a huge success. More than 170,000 car enthusiasts and automotive professionals attended the show to check out new product offerings for 2012 and the excitement over Wanda brand products was no exception. Be sure to visit our photo gallery to see some great pictures of the show at http://wandarefinish.us/news-events/wanda-photo-gallery/.

The Wanda brand was definitely in the spotlight as I hosted a press conference in the Wanda Refinish booth to announce the US launch of the new Wanda Waterbase basecoat system. I introduced the brand’s business manager, Mark Rapson, who spoke about Wanda’s simplicity, color and value proposition and how Wanda Waterbase is making it easier than ever for small-to-medium body shops to become VOC-compliant. I also interviewed Ken Lingenfelter, owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (LPE), who explained why he chose the Wanda brand to achieve the Performance Yellow Pearl with Titanium accents on his Signature Series Camaro, and the matte-Black with Fire Red Stripes under Stealth clear on his Supercharged Camaro concept car―both on display in the Wanda Refinish booth. Media and show attendees alike really enjoyed the press conference (see clips from the press conference here) and many collision repair professionals stayed afterward to learn more about the many segment-leading benefits of using Wanda brand products.

But the media attention didn’t stop there―the black Supercharged Camaro captured so much attention for its “sinister” looking, silky-smooth Wanda finish, that Motor Trend magazine gave it their “Top 6 Chevy’s at SEMA” designation. That story can be seen at http://wot.motortrend.com/2011-sema-sonic-and-camaro-overload-%e2%80%93-our-top-6-chevys-of-the-show-132371.html.

Needless to say, Wanda played a starring role at SEMA and we’re grateful for all of the positive feedback we’ve received. I want to extend a big “thank you” to all of you for helping make the 2011 launch of Wanda Waterbase a great success!

For more information about Wanda Waterbase and all of the Wanda brand products, visit www.wandarefinish.com. Updates on upcoming Wanda events and activities can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time!


Wanda to Showcase New Waterbase Basecoat System at SEMA 2011

Wanda Girl52- with products-SEMA logo
Hi Everyone,

It won’t be long until it’s time to head west toward the dazzling sights of the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. We hope you’ll make plans to attend, because the whole Wanda team is gearing up for a show that promises to be bigger and better than ever!

You may have heard the buzz at last year’s SEMA show about our new Wanda Waterbase basecoat system scheduled for release in 2011. Well, that buzz literally thrust us into the fast lane with the official launch of Wanda Waterbase products in Canada and the US! We’ve got some great success stories to share with you about how the Wanda Waterbase system’s simplicity, color and value proposition is fueling huge performance “wins” in the field.

This year, the Wanda Refinish booth will be located in the “Racing & Performance” area of the Las Vegas Convention Center, where we’ll be showcasing performance vehicles painted with awesome Wanda performance coatings.

I’ll be writing soon to let you know about some of the fun activities we’ve got planned for our booth visitors – so stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out www.wandarefinish.com, for more information about my Wanda Waterbase system. You can also get updates on upcoming Wanda events and activities on Facebook and Twitter!

Until next time!



Wanda Blue Suede Cruise Event a Runaway Success

BSC Article Photo (2)

Hi Everyone,

Whew! What a great weekend we had at the 10th Annual Blue Suede Cruise event in Norwalk, Ohio. Car-loving fans were on hand to enjoy the weekend events sponsored by none other than AkzoNobel’s Wanda brand and PBE Jobbers Warehouse!

I was honored to preside as Grand Marshall over the event and wave the checkered flag during the “Wanda Challenge Run” down the Summit Motorsports Park race track and delighted to present specially designed trophies to the winner and runner-up.  There was also “Wanda’s Coloring Land,” where kids of all ages were invited to submit their best car picture to win special prizes.

But the fun didn’t stop there. Event-goers enjoyed the car care and repair clinics sponsored by Wanda and Presta Products, and then feasted on my hand-crafted Wanda burgers served up at the Wanda Diner while enjoying a crowd-pleasing 1950’s Rock-n-Roll concert and fireworks.  Oh, and I can’t forget how much attention my gorgeous Lingenfelter LTA concept car received with its custom Wanda colors and finishes―and the thousands of other beautifully painted Hot Rods, Customs, Classics, Muscle Cars and Trick Trucks.

Best of all, I had a great time and the pleasure of meeting so many great folks during the weekend who enjoyed learning about the features and benefits of using Wanda refinish products.

Check out the fun photos taken during Blue Suede Cruise posted in the photo gallery at www.wandarefinish.com. And be sure to get updates on upcoming Wanda events and activities on Facebook and Twitter!

Until next time!


Wanda Gears Up to “Doo Wop” at 10th Annual Blue Suede Cruise Event

Hello Wanda Fans,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July celebration!

The fireworks are far from over yet, because I’m headed to theSummit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, July22-24, where cool car displays, dragracing, live music and entertainment, fireworks and more, will come together atthe exciting 10th Annual Blue Suede Cruise Car Show.

We are proud to be the title sponsor for the retro 1950’sthemed event, which is co-sponsored and presented by Wanda distributor, PBEJobber Warehouse. In case you didn’t know, the annual Summit Motorsports ParkCar Showwww.summitmotorsportspark.com/BSCis the most popular car show event in the Midwest,drawing nearly 10,000 car enthusiasts each year.

Wanda’s Blue Suede Cruise will feature thousands ofbeautifully painted cars built in 1972 or earlier, in all makes and models…HotRods…Customs…Classics…Muscle Cars and Trick Trucks. Show attendees will bethrilled to experience the “Funs Runs” down the Summit Motorsports Parkquarter-mile drag strip, and a special Saturday night “All-Car Cruise” aroundthe property. Even my Lingenfelter LTA concept car that’s painted in customWanda colors and finishes will be on display. And that’s just the beginning!

I will be presiding as the Grand Marshall of the “NeonParade of Lights” event. You’ll see tons of Wanda themes everywhere―the WandaDiner, where folks can buy a yummy, hand-crafted Wanda burger; the “Evening with Wanda” gatherings, where the benefits of each of my product lines will beintroduced in an upbeat and interactive format; and the car clinics that will featurevaluable tips on car care and repair.

Wanda’s Blue Suede Cruise is definitely more than just a carshow – it offers something for everyone including a swap meet, special prizedrawings, food, music and vendor exhibits.  As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about thisincredible opportunity to meet so many new people. I sure hope to see YOUthere!

For updates on the many Wanda events taking place during theBlue Suede Cruise weekend, just go towanda.wpengine.com/news-events/blue-suede-cruise.I’ll be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Until next time!


Live “Wanda” Brand Representative Interacts with Fans on Facebook and Twitter!

Wanda with WB Paint Can Photo SM 5.2011 (1)Hi Everyone,

We’ve been busier than ever since we announced the launch of the new Wanda Waterbase basecoat system! Enthusiasm is building as requests from painters, body shops and car enthusiasts keep streaming in for more information about the Low VOC waterborne products. As a result, I’ve decided that the fastest way to keep you up-to-date is to answer your questions through live interaction on Twitter and Facebook.

Whether it’s information you need about individual Wanda Waterbase or Wanda traditional solvent-based products, tips for best performance results, how to use our ColorPro system for unbelievable color accuracy, or when I’ll be appearing at a Wanda training session near you―simply post a note to my Facebook Wall, or send me a Tweet.

I’ll also be in touch soon to announce some exciting summer events and activities we have planned. So if you haven’t already, be sure to get connected on my Wanda Facebook and Twitter accounts today!

And remember – you can always find great information about the Wanda brand products atwww.wandarefinish.com! Be sure to check out my new live-animation video on the Wanda homepage.

Until next time,




Distributor Spotlights – Ron Fleenor, Fleaz Color Faktory

Ron Fleenor - Fleaz Color FaktoryFrom professional cartoonist in his teens, to renowned 30-year custom airbrush artist and global trainer, Ron Fleenor has always taken his “coloring” very seriously. That’s why he now carries AkzoNobel’s Wanda brand as the preferred line of car refinish products for his growing paint supply store, Fleaz Color Faktory, in Rock Hill, SC.

“I first learned about Wanda from a successful friend and jobber in California who was convinced I would love the products for my freelance custom paint business,” said Fleenor. “He was right. I was very impressed with the product line’s ease-of-use and excellent coverage. But what really blew me away was the depth and versatility of the color match and color tools that Wanda Refinish offers. I’ve never seen anything else that comes close to it.”

Soon after moving to Rock Hill, Fleenor found that he didn’t have ready access to paint supplies and had to travel to another county to get themthat’s when he decided to open his own store. Since bringing Wanda Refinish to Fleaz Color Faktory in 2010, his word-of-mouth business has sky-rocketed, serving a healthy mix of area body shops and do-it-yourself customers. Ron is now teaching airbrush and pin-striping classes at his store on a weekly basis to enthusiastic customers who sometimes drive more than four hours just to attend.

Fleenor adds, “There’s not too many paint store owners who have the in-field painting experience that I do. Whether my customers have questions about tinting, blending or color matching, I’m confident that my knowledge backed by Wanda’s quality performance and pricing, will meet their needs.”

To speak with Ron Fleenor about his experiences in the industry or with Wanda brand products, call 803-325-8679, or email him at fleazcolorfaktory@bellsouth.net.


Distributor Spotlights – Jim Fotopoulos, Champion Auto Body Products

Following recent government regulations implemented by Environment Canada, Jim Fotopoulos, owner of Champion Auto Body Products Ltd. in Mississauga and Scarborough,was anxious to investigate for himself how AkzoNobel’s new Low VOC Wanda Waterbase basecoat system might support his body shop customers in theirefforts to “go green.”

“I previously owned and operated three body shops, so I knowfirsthand what painters are looking for when it comes to using waterborneproducts,” said Fotopoulos. “One of their biggest concerns is over whetherthey’ll need to invest in specialized equipment. Some of the older shops justdon’t have the finances, or the infrastructure, to add new equipment. Theirsecond concern is whether the application of the system will be too complicated or labor intensive to use. And third, the products need to dry fast and provide good coverage.”

As one of the largest distributors of automotive products in the Toronto region for 25years, Fotopoulos is very familiar with a number of waterborne refinish systems offered by the industry’s leading paint manufacturers. In January 2011,Fotopoulos and some of his technical staff took the Wanda Waterbase system to25 of his customer’s body shops to conduct independent trials. The results provided a welcome surprise — and a big thumbs up.

“Shop-after-shop, we saw how easy Wanda Waterbase was to apply.The coverage, even on the tough colors like red, was fantastic. But our biggestsurprise was how quickly the system dries. The clear coat was dry in 30minutes, in comparison to a popular competitive product that usually takesclose to an hour or more! Another nice feature is that there are only three productsneeded to do the job, which will help shops save at least 30 percent in productcosts, while getting great performance at the same time. There is no questionthat the Wanda Waterbase basecoat system provides great color and great value,with the greatest ease-of-use I’ve seen.”

is the first Canadian distributor to carry the Wanda Waterbase basecoat system. To speak with Jim Fotopoulos about his experiences with the Low VOC waterborne system, call 905-238-7300, or email him at info@championcda.com.

Wanda Waterbase Celebrates Debut at the Canadian International AutoShow!!

LTA paint by Wanda (2)Hey everyone, the New Year has kicked off with a flurry of exciting activity and my team is busy gearing up for the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, February 18-27, to celebrate the availability of our new Wanda Waterbase basecoat system in Canada! These fantastic products were specially developed for collision repair professionals looking for an easy-to-use, low VOC system with great color at a value-based price point. We’ll have the new line on display in our exhibit booth #F800-1K, so if you’re in the area, please come by and check them out.

Of course, the celebration wouldn’t be complete without showing off the stunning Lingenfelter LTA concept car painted with custom Wanda colors. Built by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, the car will be a featured attraction in the show’s tribute to the Chevrolet Camaro located in the GM F-body exhibit – you won’t want to miss it!

And don’t forget I’ll be there to meet and greet everyone, sign autographs, and ‘smile for the camera,’ so stop by to say hello. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news and updates on our upcoming activities.

Until next time,


AkzoNobel’s Wanda Waterbase Makes Compliance Easy in Canada!

Wanda_WB Can_new croppedAs environmental regulations have continued to tighten and expand over the last several years, collision repair professionals across North America have had to make some pretty big adjustments to their product inventories, application techniques and even equipment acquisitions, in order to stay compliant and competitive.

Trouble is, not all of these changes have produced the same level of performance that solvent-based refinish systems can. That’s why when new regulations were recently implemented by Environment Canada, the collision repair industry welcomed AkzoNobel’s new low VOC Wanda Waterbase basecoat system into the Canadian market.

The reason is simple. The Wanda Waterbase system of low VOC primer, clearcoat and waterborne basecoat, is specifically designed to help make “going green” easy. The system’s ease-of-use is accomplished through a simplified approach to mixing ratios, segment-leading comprehensive color documentation and color matching tools that virtually eliminate the complexities associated with many compliant systems and ensures that body shops can achieve complianceand quality performance with unbelievable simplicity and value.

wanda-waterbase-system (2)Painters are giving high marks to the versatility of the products and their ability to be used for everything from small repairs to total re-sprays. Take, for example, the Wanda low VOC Primer / Sealer. As a primer it offers great color holdout, filling and sanding properties, and very good adhesion to substrates. But it also doubles as a wet-on-wet non-sanding sealer, producing a uniform surface for topcoat. The Wanda Waterbase Basecoat is super-easy to apply and provides fantastic blendability and coverage, accurate color match, and a consistently smooth, uniform finish. Finally, the fast-drying Wanda low VOC Clear delivers excellent appearance, durability and gloss retention.  Best of all, the system’s ease-of-use and fewer components mean body shops can achieve consistent results while saving on inventory costs.

Wanda Waterbase is the newest addition to AkzoNobel’s fast-growing Wanda car refinish brand of quality performance, color-accurate, solvent-based products. It’s exactly what you would expect from the industry’s leader in top quality finishes. For more information about the Wanda Waterbase basecoat system and how you can achieve compliance the easy way, visit our Wanda Waterbase System product page. Be sure to check out our latest activities on Facebook and Twitter!

Until next time,