Over the years of business we have encountered this time and time again and felt that it is a necessary topic to cover for all of you hobbyist and businesses alike. Knowing the limits of your coatings is crucial in your business. It is never bad to tell someone that the coating you offer is not the best for their application versus telling them it is and not living up to their expectation. Firearms for instance is something we coat daily in our shop and we see several other companies coating them frequently. Over the years we have come to educate our customers on what coating is the best for their needs.
Though hydrographics is a big part of our business, we for instance, do not recommend that our customers hydro dip a pistol. You ask why? Simply because the Hydro dip is a thicker coating and is not ideal for low tolerance areas. So yes, you can coat the entire pistol, the frame and the slide. But what you will encounter is when you or a gunsmith go to reassemble the pistol or even the customer, they will either have to spend a lot of time masking off areas so that the gun will fit together properly or you spend a lot of time removing the coating you just applied to get the firearm to have proper fitment and functionality. Then at this point the coating has the risk of chipping and peeling. Reassembling a gun that has been fully dipped takes quite a bit longer simply due to fitment issues that you will encounter. Even if you were to tape off all of the areas prior to prepping and dipping you would still have a lot of time invested in masking those areas off. If you did not charge accordingly, the job might not have been as profitable as you once thought.
It basically breaks down to knowing what is going to be the best coating to give the customer the best results for their application. Customers think they always know what they want until you explain the options and educate them on the process and durability so they can decide what fits their needs the best. As a business we have made the decision to not offer any pistols to be hydro dipped because of this simple reason. In return we offer our customers with another coating that is ideal for this situation and offers them great durability, protection, and does not encounter all of the fitment issues associated with the hydrographics. Sometimes you might not always have another coating option to offer your customer but in our experience, by giving them a coating on an item that is not going to be able to offer them the durability, longevity and non-fitment issues they need could be more detrimental to your business in the long run. Your name in your business is the one thing that you will always have as long as you are good at what you do, honest to your customers and treat them right. Customers prefer to be told the correct answer and honesty versus what they want to hear. For your business in the custom coatings world, it is no different. Customers may know what they want but not what they need. Make sure to educate each and every customer that comes in your door to make sure you pick the correct coating to fit all their needs, even if you may have to turn down the job all together.