Tint master in any climate
After 30 years in the business, there is not much that Frederick Miller does not know about tinting. Whether it is small or big vehicles, tall commercial buildings, storefronts, swanky upscale clothing stores, homes or yachts, the owner of Tint-It Inc. has done them all.
Not only here in Barbados but in the wider Caribbean, New York and New Jersey (where he did a decorative tint on a house in the winter).
Speaking to BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY from his Well Gap, St Michael base, he recalled that his first job came after he tinted his own vehicle when he was a teenager.
“I used to drive to school when I was 16. I was always into vehicles from a young age. I had a vehicle to get tinted and I knew a guy who used to tint but he procrastinated a bit too much. I was always good at doing anything I wanted to do so I got another vehicle from my dad, went and got two boxes tint from Speedway, drove back to Charnocks, read the instructions and I tinted the vehicle,” he said with a chuckle.
That was 1984 and after completing that job he tinted five of his family’s vehicles word got around and the demand for his expertise grew, he started tinting vehicles on weekends. From there he moved to buildings and “whatever had to be tinted”.
The process is not as simple as some people might think. You have to know about temperatures, solar rays, UV, translight, the correct application process, visible light transmission, and that is not even all of it.
“Tinting is not just putting up a film on glass and that’s it. There’s a lot of technicality involved. If a person gets into tinting because they want to get into tinting they will not be able to do the work to the extent that I would do work because there’re always problems.
“It is a tropical country, there’s the sun in the sky all the time and therefore the problem that comes from that all the time is heat. There are a number of elements from the sun like solar rays direct sun heat, and usually when they hit a glass, the thickness that we would carry in a car and a window, the heat that gets in on the other side is about 40 per cent hotter than it would be because the glass magnifies the heat. You have to have instruments to measure that and we do so that customers get what they want. That is one aspect of it.
“Then you have ultraviolet. Sometimes you have upscale clients living in Sandy Lane and Prior Park and those areas, in pretty big houses that they work hard for and they might have some nice antique furniture or nice wooden floors and the sun will come through and damage them.
“Sometimes you have to go and tint those but you have to use the right tint, one that is translucent. When you look at it you can see through it day or night. The idea is not to give you privacy but to stop the solar rays. UV, glare, infra red which would damage the interior and everything in the building” the businessman explained.
He also said there were different degrees of tint for example five per cent, 10 per cent and 20 per cent. He was quick to explain that the bigger the number did not mean the darker the tint, in fact it the opposite applied.
“This refers directly to visible light transmission. Twenty per cent of the light from outside will penetrate the tint and 80 per cent will be kept out,” Miller added.
And yes, he knows the law as it relates to tinting of vehicles.
The entrepreneur said that he has been contracted to do a number of projects around Barbados after it was realized that tinting would actually make the buildings cooler. The Trident Building on the South Coast was done by his company.
For large building he might hire two to three additional people, including his son, but other times he might work alone. The length of time he spends on a job depends on the size, he noted, with some taking three hours from start to finish especially if he begins around 6 a.m.
Most vehicles take him 45 minutes.
One of the things he is known for is his decorative styles which are all free hand. So great was the interest in this skill that he was offered an opportunity to teach it in a European country, which he declined.
Miller said that ideally tint should be changed every four years, but his has lasted ten years. One piece of advice he has for those people who complain the tint is not lasting is simple: “Stop washing the car so often”. (Green Bananas Media)