Maintenance Matters

October 2007 Issue

A Good Paint Job: How to Judge the Results

Any shop can produce a hundred footer, but itís the fine-point details that separate an exceptional paint job from an also ran. Hereís what to look for.

Any owner whoís recently suffered the experience can tell you that sending an airplane to the paint shop is a six-week, $12,000 crap shoot. Thatís if youíre lucky and the shop is on its game. Donít be surprised if the airplane is down for three months and you get it back only after paying an invoice 25 percent higher than you agreed to. The world thus fairly wonders if you can buy a decent paint job for under $20,000 and expect an on- time delivery. In our view, there are enough shops out there capable of delivering first-rate paint jobs, but this much should also be obvious: If you expect speck-free dripless perfection for $8000, the people who call you delusional are right. Even the very best paint jobs will have flaws. The secret to satisfaction is to understand whatís acceptable quality and whatís not. Youíll also need to have sufficient negotiating skills to arrive at a mutual understanding with the shop about what constitutes a complete and correct paint job.

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