Frequently Asked Questions and Tips

The FAQ and Tips section contains our most asked questions along with answers. You will also find some tips that will also help you decide on a painter or paint shop to choose to paint your bike. Have a question you don't see listed? Feel free to contact us.

Shopping Tips (10)

Valuable shopping tips you can use when comparing custom paint and body shops

  Think seriously before you decide to go with a local shop just to try to save a buck! Why? I see time and time again emails from people who thought they were saving a buck to get their job done locally, only to find out that...
#1) either the job doesn't get finished;
#2) the job was not completed to expectations (especially if you took some pics of our work in for them to try to copy); or
#3) the company went out of business. As a result, these people are stuck in a situation they didn't anticipate would happen and now they contact me requesting help in correcting the problems.
Please take a look at our website. I personally designed every page of this website. I didn't hire a web design company to do this site. Most competitors either do it themselves (and fail at either promoting or updating their site) or hire someone to 'spruce' up their company. Here is the approach when you hire a web design firm to do a website...I paint bikes, make me look good! Our work and website speaks for itself. Our website is updated frequently with new paint jobs and feedback from our customers who either send us photos of their bikes or testimonials. My staff and I take a lot of pride in our art and work very hard at providing a satisfactory experience for our customers. With the internet, contact with us is just a click away. During the paint process, you will receive a couple sets of photos (progress photos and final photos). Plus, we are available by email and phone.
As for the money savings, the average shipping costs for a 3-4 piece set runs an average of about $70-$100 each way (UPS ground) depending on the size of the tins. If you are willing to pay good, hard earned money on a paint job, why skimp now? If you are concerned with your tins being damaged in shipment, our shipping record is impeccable as far as shipping back your newly painted tins and we plan to keep it that way! Please don't let that be a factor that keeps you from doing business with us.
Please keep in mind that if you go with a local, unproven painter, you risk having to pay twice (or a lot more than what we quoted!) for a paint job if it doesn't turn out to be what you wanted. Why chance it? Go with the best! Still have doubts... be sure and visit our Testimonial Section

Thank you...
Scott Farrell
Attitude Custom Painting

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Be sure if you are looking at pics with fancy backgrounds with special effects lighting, to try to visualize the set/paint job in 'real world' conditions. After all, your bike will really spend most of it's time in the outdoors (and in your garage). So be sure and take WHERE the pictures were taken in consideration.

Also observe the backgrounds of the pictures taken out doors. Obviously if they take the pictures in their front yard or driveway, you are probably getting a 'side-jobber' special that was sprayed in their garage...or even outdoors!

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This sure holds true in motorcycle painting. If you include all the materials (paints, reducers, sandpaper, cleaning thinners), it averages out to about $150 for a single color or about about $250+ for a basic custom paint job, don't think that you will get a 'show quality' custom paint job for $600. There is alot of labor and steps into doing the job RIGHT! If the price is low, then obviously some of the steps were not taken in order to make the job right. Or, the materials chosen for the job were not the best available.
If you purchase a 'cheap' inexpensive paint job job, you're going to get a cheap job.
Corners, steps and quality of materials are cut!

Once you have it painted and find out it's not to your satisfaction, then it's too late!  I've heard this WAY too many times!

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Have you seen pics of their flames? Be sure and ask for some recent jobs that were done. Each painter has their own style of flames. Make sure it is their style you like.

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You never know who you will come across when dealing over the internet. If you're looking on eBay, be sure and check feedback along with possibly a 'company name' mentioned in the auction.  If you see photos listed of previous jobs and the paint jobs and paint schemes look like they are from the '90's, they probably are. Be sure and see some good recent work. The pics they show you should be in digital format (not scanned) and should be recent paint jobs.

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If the custom painter or shop happens to have a website, be sure and check the 'copyright' dates listed in at the lower portion of their website pages. If the date is outdated, then most likely their content and service is too.

I've come across nice looking custom painting websites only to see that the copyright dates would read 1,2, 3 or even more years out of date. This is an excellent tip I offer. I would suggest you use on ANY type of website you come across and consider doing a purchase.
I use this tip all the time no matter what I am purchasing.

As the 'internet' progresses, some sites, pages, business, become stagnant and and get left on the internet. These pages may look like legit pages and business, when in reality, they no longer exist as businesses.

BE CAREFUL!!!

Also, look for the websites that change their website copyright even before the year is here. Yes, I've seen it done. One of my competitors put 2009 5 months before it was even 2009.

Want to see how long a website has really been on the internet? Check out the Wayback Machine. This company claims it's website content has been copyright from 1999-2009.
Our Attitude Custom Painting website has been in business since April 2001
I'm sure if you check all our competitor website using the Wayback Machine, you will see that we were one of the first internet custom motorcycle paint shops with a true internet painting business.

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While browsing through our website, please notice all the “dates” listed on our site.  For instance, in the Samples of Work section, you will see the date the job was posted. You will also see the same in the Customer Rides section as these also have dates listed.   In addition, ALL of our testimonials are dated back to 2002.

Wonder why we do this? So you, the customer can see that our website is updated weekly (sometimes daily). Some other sites are outdated with old content, some don't even have ANY dates on them.
  And, if you don't check the site out often, you wouldn't  have any idea when the last time they added a job because dates are not provided. They just have the generic job listings, testimonials, customer rides pics with no dates. We at ACP feel that a website with dated content shows you how well a website is moving and can give you an important indication of how the business is doing.  Our website is continually ‘moving’ and we’re always adding new content.  This is a good thing to keep in mind while shopping for a custom painter to do your bike!

Also, be sure and read our  “Copyright Tips” located in the "Shopping Tips" section of the FAQ and Tips section
 

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that just because a local shop says they can match our paint jobs, they can. I have had numerous people call me telling me their stories of how they went ahead and had a set painted by a local shop, only to find out that the paint job they got wasn't even close to the picture of what it was supposed to be.
 
This is a perfect example of what can happen.
The customer finds a 'local painter' to do a copy of our 898 paint job. The painter "takes one look at it and says he can do it for $675". Below are pics of the job that the painter was supposed to do, and what the customer of his ended up getting.

samples.898.1
 
The paint job he received...

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Be sure this is done, this ensures you will not have any leaks and sealing them will help prevent rust.

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Taking a pic off an auction (or website) and take it to a local shop to see if they can do it is very risky. Most likely they're going to say they can match the colors or paint scheme just to get you in the door. Probably a good idea just to go ahead and get the job that you like painted by the company that did it originally! 

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General FAQ's (21)

 Go ahead and pack your set (see packing tips elsewhere in the FAQ's). Please include in the box, either a printout of the estimate including the job we are going to do for you, or a letter with a detailed description of your job.  Once we receive your parts, we will email you to let you know they have arrived.

In the meantime, if you plan on paying your $400 deposit by credit card (or $200 deposit if your job is under $600), you can go to our secure online form and submit billing and shipping information.

If you would like to snail mail a check for the deposit, this is also fine. Enclose this in one of the boxes (taped to a lid), or you can mail it separately.

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No, we will not guarantee a specific completion timeframe for an upcoming show. Too many factors come into play to guarantee a delivery date. 
Also, please do not ask us when you should set up an appointment with the person installing your new tins.

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No...The Double Dose is optional and is not included in the price we give you. Every job that goes out of our shop has a custom paint that that you cannot feel any graphic or flame edge. We wetsand and buff all jobs to ensure a quality "show" finish.  The Double Dose increases the thickness above the graphics and flames (the thicker the graphics/flames, the more we suggest it).  You can read more on the Double Dose here.

Also not included in the estimate we send you is the bar and shield, logos, emblems, decals, skulls, reapers, eagles or any other optional add-ons. Price given in our quote will be for the paint job and materials only...not any add-ons or unless noted in the quote.

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Well... I started an automotive site (e-Parts Source) back in about 1997. I also included a special "Flames" section within that site that had a "Flames How-To" section along with what I called the "Flames Board" which was a forum for visitors who wanted to do their own paint or Flame jobs.  They could come to the "Flames Board" and ask specific questions about flames and custom painting..

I also had some pictures of jobs I did throughout the years. Not many, but enough to show visitors what I have done and what I could do.

Then I started getting requests to do side jobs...At first I said no, because I was too busy with my real auto paint job, and had no way of doing any side jobs. Then I got the opportunity to do some side jobs at a dealership I worked at in Clearwater. Only then did I decide to add an "estimate form" in the Custom Flames section. More and more hits started coming to the site, so I thought it would be a wise decision to get the domain name of "customflamepainting.com".

Since then, I have revamped the site a few times to make sure that users have a better understanding of who we are and what we can do. My main domain now is attitudecustompainting.com

Some people ask why do I give all this info out on the Custom Flame Painting website, well the answer is simple...this is the way I started...sharing information to other painters and do-it-yourselfers, this is what got me going, and this is the way it will remain. The more you give on the internet...the more you get back!

In summary...this website led to our opportunity to own what is now known around the country (and world) as Attitude Custom Painting.

Not many business owners can say their website became before their business ;>)

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At this time, no... you can send your parts to us at anytime. It would help if you could at least email us, letting us know you are sending your set to be painted. Once we receive your set, we will email you and let you know we received them. As soon as we get them and have received your deposit, the custom paint process will begin. 

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Either way...
You can supply your set (either original or one you put together). If you own a 3 piece Harley Davidson, most likely we have a tank and fenders we can supply for your paint job. For H-D owners, we recommend purchasing our tins so that you can keep riding while we paint.  No downtime this way. Once you receive the custom set, you can either sell your set outright and most likely recoup most, if not all, of the costs of the set. 

If you are putting together a set and using aftermarket raw parts, we recommend that you fit them to your bike before shipping down. If you are using factory primed or painted parts, you shouldn't have any problem.

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No, your job will not be exactly the same. Different factors are taken in consideration when doing a flame layouts. Also, keep in mind, these are all hand laid out, so they will not be the same as a job you chose.
The job you chose may also appear shown on a different type bike than yours. Different size fenders, tanks, will also make the flame layout differ from the one you chose.

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If you have a Harley Davidson, we may have one of our pre-painted 'Signature Sets' available for you to buy for your bike. These sets are ready to ship!
Or, we can supply the set for your custom paint job. We have quite a few H-D tanks and fenders in stock.
We also have stretch tanks for Softails up to '84 and up (yes, we also carry 2000-2005 stretch tanks) that will fit your stock seat (and some aftermarket seats).

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When we give an 'estimated completion time', several factors are taken in consideration.

 

  • workload
  • difficulty of the paint job
  • number of parts that we need to paint

It also depends on what part of the year we will be painting your bike. November through May is our busy season.

Please see our current estimated completion time

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We can email you a few larger images, but your best bet would be to sign up for our GOLD membership.
This offers viewing of our larger Gallery images. PLUS you will see less ads on the website.

More infomation here

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Yes, you can choose any paint job you find in the Samples of Work (or the Signature Sets section), and we can apply this on your sheetmetal. Keep in mind, that your parts are a different shape than what is shown, so please do not expect the exact same flame layout. We will also get the colors as close as possible.

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We use only the finest paint products available. We use both PPG and also House of Kolor. Both are polyurethane basecoat/clearcoat systems.

We use House of Kolor for our tri-stage candy paint jobs.

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We suggest visiting your local "auto body shop supply store". There you will find various color chip books to look through. If you are interested in "candy" type colors, you may want to see if you can take a look at the "House of Kolor color chip chart". If you find a color you like, be sure and get the color codes of of the chart. Be sure and also Visit our "Samples of Work" section 

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We suggest that you sign up for our Auto-Notify feature. Anyone that is on the subscribers list that has the same model we added to the Signature Sets section will get notified by email.
This is a FREE service. You simply sign up and we'll do the rest.
NOTE: You will get an automated email when you sign-up that has a link that you will have to click just to confirm that you in fact did sign up.
You can also cancel this service at anytime.

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You will see links placed throughout our website. These are "Ads by Google".
The links will take you off the Attitude Custom Painting Website. If you would like to come back to the Attitude Custom Painting website, simply use your browser "Back" button.

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    Included in your job is what we call "Progress Report". A Progress Report is an e-mail that will include a set of photos of your parts during the process of your paint job. You will 1 set of photos along with an email letting you know how your job stands. You can expect this toward the very end of the job. Your job should be done soon after this. Then you will receive "final photos". This is when you will need to send out the final payment+shipping+insurance, or you can call us with your credit card information.

    Please note: If you are only having a flame job over your original paint, or you have a very small job for us, you will only get photos of the final product.

    We will send the Progress Reports at certain times chosen by Attitude Custom Painting. Usually, this is an important or major step in the progress of your job (usually toward the end).

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Yes, we can do bodywork. We can pretty much do anything you would like.
If you have an Harley-Davidson, you can check out this page for a list of some common modifications and bodywork we can do

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Ask up front for an estimated time. Generally, the winter months are the busy season for custom motorcycle paint jobs. If you hear of less than a 3 week completion time during these months, you have to wonder WHY they are not busy. If the completion time is 4-6 weeks, then of course, there must be a good reason why they are busy (good service, good reputation...). Kind of goes hand in hand here.
In the slower months, 2-3 weeks is the norm for a good reputable shop.

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Included with a full paint job are some pictures we take right after the job is completed and also when finished
If you are getting a 'spot job' we can email you some pictures once the job is completed.

If you would like additional pictures for your picture album, to learn the process, to show your wife, to keep your mind at ease, or any other reason, we can do so for an additonal cost. 
For $30, we will take pictures of 'some' of the steps involved. We will resize these and email them to you.
The $30 will be added to your bill.

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Because we take great care in packing your sheetmetal for the return trip back, it can take 2 hours or more to pack a job to help ensure that the fresh paint is protected from potential shipping damage as much as possible.  To help cover the costs of labor and materials involved in packing, we do charge a handling fee based on the following:
$15 – less than 3 pieces (minimum charge)
$30 – 3 – 5 pieces
$60 – more than 5 pieces

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In the close up photos you want to be able to see perfect reflections. This goes for all the graphic work and also the base paintwork. If you see distortion where outlines or edges are in the graphics, this tells you that the paint job is not "flat" and that you will probably be able to feel the paint lines. Also if the reflection is distorted on the base, this could be from orange peel in the paint. If the photos aren't taken close enough to even see this, be wary!
Anyone can make a bad paint job look good in pics!!!! If it looks bad in pictures, it's usually even worse in person.

Good close-up photos will also tell you how straight the parts are. Look at the reflections!!!! Be sure and see the pics below for 'reflection shots'. I downsized these just to give you an idea, but even in these pics, you can see a perfect reflection.
 
 
 
Want to see more 'reflection' pics?
 

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Payment FAQ's (7)

Yes we do.
There is 3% additional charge if you use Paypal.
4% charge for international Paypal payments.

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We accept all major credit cards.

We also accept Paypal ( acppaypal@attitudecustompainting.com

  

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All checks and Money orders are to be made out to:
"Attitude Custom Painting, Inc."

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We require that you pay $400 up front on jobs over $600 (personal check is fine). The balance, plus shipping & insurance to ship parts back to you, should be paid by credit card, with a certified check or a money order.
On jobs under $600, we require a $200 deposit up front.
If you plan on paying by credit card, please provide us your card information* a few days before we send the parts out so we can make sure the credit card transaction goes through.

If you plan on sending the $400 deposit by form of check, please tape the check in an envelope on one of the flaps of the shipping box. Or you can mail this separately from your shipping boxes.

*NOTE: Please do not send your credit card information through emails. We have an online "128 bit encrypted secure credit card form" in which you can submit your information.

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No! We do not require full amount up front. We require that you make a payment of $400 in the form of a major credit card. We will also accept the deposit in the form of a check (personal is fine). Money Order, Cashiers check, business check, are also acceptable. Final payment (plus shipping), must be make in the form of a debit/credit card, cashiers check or money order. 

If you are paying your remaining balance & shipping with a debit card, please be aware of the daily protected limit allowed on the card.  The balance/shipping could exceed that limit and delay shipment of your set back to you.

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Yes, there is a cancellation fee of 10%.
If you cancel within 1 (one) week of placing the order, there is no fee. 

Refunds will be returned by 'check', not via credit card.

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All checks and Money orders are to be made out to:
"Attitude Custom Painting, Inc."

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Shipping FAQ's (6)

Our shipping address is

Attitude Custom Painting
6565 44 St N.
Suite 1012
Pinellas Park, Fl.
33781

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We can use the shipping company of your choice. We prefer UPS though as they stop by here most everyday.

Of course if you are APO or FPO, then we will be using USPS

Shipping companies we have used
UPS
DHL
TNT
FedEx
USPS

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Be sure and use good sturdy boxes.
DO NOT pack the parts tight.
Use bubble wrap to wrap the parts. Then use 'peanuts' to fill the void around the parts. You want the parts to be sturdy within the box. So the parts do not move around within the box.
use packing tape to seal the box. Be sure and also use transparent packing tape over the shipping label.

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Shipping costs are not included in the paint cost.
This way, you can also choose which type of shipping you would like. Most choose 'ground', but you could go 2 or 3 day if you would like.

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Please mark the front of your front fender by placing a piece of tape on the underside with "front" on it. Some fenders are very hard to tell the front from the rear (of the front fender). If you are sending side covers, you might want to mark those as well (include left and right, also a top and bottom;>). Better safe than sorry!
Of course, in most cases, we can easily tell which is the front of the front fender.

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Shipping costs are not included in the paint cost. This way, you can also choose which type of shipping you would like. Most choose 'ground', but you could go 2 or 3 day if you would like.
Average cost to ship 3 parts UPS ground is approx $90-$140

The lower end would be a smaller fendered bike like a Sportster and the higher end would be a larger fendered bike like a Fatboy or Heritage.
Of course other variables come into play. Cost is assuming that you do not have a packing company pack the parts for you. 

Baggers will cost more - expect anywhere from $325-$450 each way.
Cost will vary. If you have larger aftermarket parts like stretched bags, a wrap front fender, stretched rear fender, expect the cost to be on the higher end.

Also cost depends on where you are shipping them from. We are in the Tampa, FL area, so if you are in CA of course, this would be on the higher end.

 

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Car and Truck Painting FAQ's (2)

All frequently asked questions about car and truck painting

Yes we do. We can do paint and bodywork on the older cars. You can see some of the cars and trucks we've done here.

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Yes we can. If it's minor, we will sandblast the rust. If it's major, we will need to cut out the area and weld in a patch.

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