What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
We are founders of the International Bathtub Refinisher's Associations or the IBRA (www.theibra.com) and also co-founded the PBRA (www.refinishersonline.com) the first association of Bathtub Refinishers.
We have members throughout the US, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. We keep ahead on the latest developments in coatings and techniques and hold Refinisher's Conventions. Education is paramount, you have to always be on top of new developments.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
Prices are posted online for everyone to see. You can find them @ http://www.globalrefinishing.com/SERVICES.html
We don't work by the hour, we quote you a price by the job with no hidden fees, you know upfront how much it will cost before we start.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Do your homework and check references, the bbb licensing and insurance. There are unfortunately too many low ballers and unlicensed unscrupulous people giving the whole trade a bad name.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
The answer quite frankly is no. I've been in this business over 20 years and have never seen one that lasted a year.
The "Do It Yourself " kits sold on the Internet, local hardware stores, or your favorite Home improvement stores are not designed to stand the test of time nor do they have the chemical resistance a professional refinishing company can offer you.
Most products available to the general public, through hardware stores, and on the Internet, fail within the first year.
The problems with DIY kits are many but we'll concentrate on the most important ones which cause most failures.
We have spoken to hundreds of consumers who have used various Do-It Yourself refinishing products over the past 10 years and not one was happy with the results they achieved.
The complaints were centered around poor appearance and product peeling, sometimes as soon as one week from the application.
The problem is with the bonding process. Proper bonding of these products, to a porcelain sink or bathtub, requires a professional strength bonding or whetting agents, plus proper surface preparation.
They are usually only available to Professional Refinishers.
Some may include what they call bonding agents, but these bonders and delaminating paste are hazardous chemicals. This is why most companies do not include them in the box.
If they do offer a bonding agent they are usually just acetone or alcohol.
( Not a real silane based adhesion promoter)
Also there is no one single product that can be used on all surfaces.
Refinishing requires many products.
Some companies may ask you to wipe your fixture with liquid muriatic acid, alcohol, or TSP (trisodium phosphate).
None of these products will help properly bond their coating to your fixture.
Keep in mind muriatic acid is very hazardous, this is a chemical used in swimming pools to balance PH levels. Bonding agents are rare too. They must be formulated correctly as there are literally thousands of different silane bonding agents each designed for each coating or process. They are not interchangeable.
You must also be able to perform flawless body work and chip repair for the surface to be smooth as glass. As for appearance, well, just think about this:
How much experience do you have refinishing sinks and bathtubs?
Refinishing is an art into itself, and requires years of experience to perfect.
You cannot expect to just brush on one of these products and have your sink, or bathtub looking new again.
To be smooth as glass the tub must be sprayed.
How much experience do you have spraying?
I have 20 Years experience and it requires all my concentration on every job and the best equipment possible to get professional results.
Think about it. Why would we after 20 Years spend money on Professional Spray Equipment if I could get away with brushing it on with a $2 brush or spraying it on from Spray Paint Can?
When the product does fail, and it will, I do not expect a refund from the company you purchased it from. They will say that you did not properly follow the application directions.
But even if you get a refund you still have to contend with a tub that requires stripping.
Stripping a bathtub is a dangerous chore. You must use an aircraft stripper or a car stripper which contains fumes which can burn and unfortunately even kill you if you don't have adequate ventilation and breathing protection.
This is why most refinishers charge $100 to $200 to strip an improperly refinished bathtub. Even at $200 to strip a bathtub most refinishers dread this chore and some will not even take the risk.
Do yourself a favor, and don't waste your time, not to mention your money on these products.
I ask all my customers to consider the following. IF you are already saving thousands by having a professional refinishing job, why cheat yourself by brushing on some cheap yellowing epoxy?
USE A PROFESSIONAL. EVEN IF IT IS NOT US!
BATHTUB REFINISHING IS NOT A D-I-Y PROJECT.