We have put together a small guide to help you find a custom painter. Even if you don't
choose us, you will be armed with a little information and some knowledge of what to
look for when choosing a painter to do your project. Here are a few questions to ask
yourself before beginning.
Will all my work be done at this location?
Many times shops take in paint work, and as soon as you leave, send it down the street to someone else. You should choose a shop that
does their work in-house. Being able to talk to the artist directly will eliminate any confusion about the artwork. You should also ask who is
responsible for the warranty if the work is done somewhere else?
You will also want a painter who will allow you to "visit" your project, or at least keep you updated if you are from out of town. Checking the
progress also insures the project is being done, and done correctly. We have heard countless stories of "it took him months to do
this".....and the "this" was usually not what they asked for.
If they are sending the work out, what assurances do you have its being done legally? What happens if this illegal shop gets shut down
while your parts are there? Who provides the warranty?
Is the shop legal and licensed?
The first thing to look for is a business license. Unfortunately, a legal business will have to charge more.....there are taxes, waste disposal,
insurance, etc, etc., that back-yarders and hobbyists don't pay. If the work is being done at a body shop where the hobbyist works by day,
will that shop owner be responsible for any warranty should there be a problem? By dealing with a legal business, you have more options to
reconcile a problem should there be one.
Environmental issues come into play as well. A legal business has certain laws and procedures to follow when it comes to hazardous waste.
There is a cost associated with these federal and state regulations that the back yarders don't follow. To us, if you support one of these
illegal businesses, you are just as much part of the environmental problem as the one causing it. Having proper ventilation and exhaust is
also an issue with the EPA, legitimate shops must adhere to strict clean air standards. If your painter is not in a certified spray booth, you
can bet he isn't adhering to these regulations.
Does the painter have an address on his/her business card? If the painter doesn't want you to know their physical address, there must be
a reason......illegal business? no license? poor quality materials? easier to "fly by night"? whatever the reason, a "real business" will have
their address on their business cards. Buyer Beware!
Does the painter have samples of their work?
Many painters will show you pictures of their previous jobs, this is good only to show the artistic abilities of the artist. What about all the
other work that goes into a paint job? The prep work is the hardest part of the entire job, and the most important. The prep makes
everything above it look good. Photographs don't show quality and durability very well.
A serious custom shop will have samples of their work that you can see, touch, and feel (we even have one you can smell) so you can tell
the quality of their work. Are all the paint lines buried in the clear coat so you can't feel them? Is the reflection crisp and clear......like
looking in a mirror? Does the finish feel smooth.....like glass?
Can the painter offer you references?
This part is almost unnecessary with all the technology of today. A good custom shop relies heavily on word-of-mouth advertising, and
unhappy customers now have the internet to bash bad-business on. Problem is, you only get one side of the story. You can google
someone and get a lot of information, but it still helps to talk to people directly who have done business with the painter before.
You should ask....Did you have a good experience? Were there problems? How were they handled? Did you get what you wanted and were
they helpful in figuring out what it was you wanted? Was the turn around time acceptable? Would you do business with them again?
How much do I have to spend?
This is the first thing you need to ask yourself. Shopping for a custom paint job is a much easier experience if you have a budget in mind.
Spending more does not guarantee better quality, spending less almost always means corners have been cut. Having a reasonable budget
and an idea, a good custom painter can usually accommodate you.
Does the painters style suit me and my needs?
Many painters have a certain style, this can usually be seen in flames, as everyone lays them out differently. Also airbrush styles can vary
greatly, everyone does skulls differently as well. Take time to study their style and make sure it suits what you want.
Does the painter have a website?
We use our website as a resume'. We feel it offers our customers a chance to view our past jobs in the comfort of their home or office
without the need to come to the shop to view pictures. It also helps ease the minds of our out of town customers, that we are a
professional and legal business doing high quality custom painting. The vast amount of pictures of jobs we have done will show you we
have been here for a while, and plan to stay for a very long time.
You get what you pay for!
Good painters don't come cheap and good paint jobs don't come cheap either. Take into consideration all the money you have invested
in your motorcycle....do you really want to get the cheapest painter you can find to put on the one custom touch everybody notices and
remembers later? Just because they work at a paint and body shop by day, does not mean they are good. Many things painters get away
with on cars are not acceptable on motorcycles.
Many painters try to "break in" to the custom paint market, and few succeed, mostly because they don't think about the amount of "real
time" that goes into a custom job, not to mention the material costs. Beware of these painters, I have seen these break in guys keep parts
for months because they realize there is no profit in the job. There is one excuse after the other, then finally the job is done and it looks
like total crap!
Jim Perry Customs is not a "me too" or a "trying to break into the business" shop. We are a tried and true custom shop! We have the
background and experience to do most anything you can think of, and we can show you actual samples of our work.