KILLER Q&A: Do you require money down before you begin a paint job? If so, how much or what percentage?

Do you require money down before you begin a paint job? If so, how much or what percentage? – Amy Kesler

Down-payment policies vary, but the important thing is to have one in place and make it clear to your client from the get-go. “We require a 50% down payment before starting the project and then expect the rest to be paid upon completion,” says Ryan Loucks of The Art of Design in Elkhart, Indiana. T.A.O.D. specializes in huge projects with steep price tags, like power boats and RVs, so it’s essential for them to get some serious buy-in from every customer.

Others don’t ask for money down. “I only work on new helmets, so I see them kind of as collateral,” says Bartziokas. “Clients send me a helmet they bought, then they pay me in full once I tell them the paint job is finished. If I don’t get paid I can just sell the helmet. So I’m not too stressed about getting a down payment.”

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