How to pick a Painter

Well its almost the end of ridin' season. So now the time to start thinkin
about givin' the old scoot a fresh look. Those cool new handlebars, a
fifteen over springer ( that's a front end not a late night talk show) and
oh yeah Paint! How am I gona find someone to straighten and paint that new
sheetmetal? Do I mould the frame or powdercoat? Do I have to buy a fender or
can I have one made? How much is all this gona cost me? It's enough to Drive
a guy nutz! Never fear ol' Wizards is here to give ya some friendly advice.
The first thing ya gota do is figure out what (way deep down in yer lil
heart) it is your looking for. Some questions you need to ask yourself are:
Do I want my sled to fit a certain era, say 40's-50's Bobber or a 1970's
Long chopper ( My favorite)? Is there a specific design that flips my
trigger like Flames or Pinstripes? Is there an effect or technique that wows
me? Maybe Candy's or Flake, how 'bout Marbleizer? Do I want any Fabrication
work done like a tail light frenched in or even a custom tank made? Will I
settle for less than my vision? Do I want a color or style just because
someone else says it's cool or do I really want it? And finally, what am I
gona do with the bike? Am I gona show it? Where? Do I care if it wins? Am I
gona ride the snot out of it or am I just gona sell it in spring so I can go
get the putt I really want?
Once you have answered those hard questions its time to look for a custom
shop to do your work. One of the best ways to get a paint job you like at a
show, a shop or a road house and have the person that painted that bike
paint yours. People love to talk about their bikes if you track down the
owner you can usually get a card or a phone number. Alot of good painters
also sign their work, Look close to get the name ( But Don't touch!) Most
bike shops have painters they recommend. The tech sheets in magazine
features usually give paint and painters info. And it don't hurt to check
out the web or the old fashioned yellow pages.
Once you've gotten a bunch of phone numbers and business cards it's time to
check out a few shops. Shop tours are fun and you'll be surprised at what
you might find at a custom shop. Meet the painters, get a fell for how they
do there work. Ask questions like what awards have they won? How long have
they been doing custom painting? What kind of materials do they use and why?
What are the shops polices regarding payments, guarantees etc. How does
there shop differ from others? Most custom shops have photographs of past
work. Check it out! You might see something like a technique or design you
didn't know you could get! If you like their particular style you may have
found a painter! Communication is crucial! Remember those questions I told
you to ask yourself? You need to relate those answers to your potential
painter. Don't forget painters are there to help you get what you want.
Painters are artists, they are also business people. Custom body shops work
on a cash flow and work flow. The best thing you can do for your paint job
is take the following (not so) subtle hints to heart- get it in writing.
That way the painter knows what is expected of them and you know what you
are gona get. Don't beat up the painter on price. This doesn't mean you
can't negotiate but the paint shop has to pay alot of things out of that fee
they charge like heat, lights, rent, materials and paint, safety equipment,
tools, toxic waste removal and permits... you get the picture. Don't change
your mind in the middle of the job. This causes confusion and aggravation,
backs up the work and usually raises the price, and pick it up when it is
done, shop space is at a premium. Always remember, you may pick two of the
following- A- Fast, B- Good, C- cheap.
Paint shops vary in style and quality. If your buddy has a friend who's
cousins neighbors brother paints bikes in his chicken coup, you still might
get the paint job you need from him. Or the twenty-seven story mega plex
show shop might be up you alley. Either way I hope these tips help. Now that
we are on the road to gettin your bike lookin better do you think we can do
something about that hair?

Watch out for Black Ice
Wiz
 

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