Somebody's Gotta Do It: Window tinting

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - With East Texas temperatures hitting triple digits and energy costs going through the roof, you may be looking for some relief.  Have you considered window tinting?

No matter where you go outside these days, it seems the hot searing East Texas sun is casting its beam.  Mickey Starling has made it his career to deflect some of that heat.  How?  He's the owner of "Mickey's Tint Shop," putting a tint on almost anything.

"Basically, if it has a glass in it, we can tint it.  People just like the way it looks and then on homes and businesses, it really cuts down on the A-C bill and keeps drapes and paintings and flooring and stuff from fading, said Starling.

And, it's one of the most popular answers for motorists looking to dim the sunlight.

Starling spends plenty of time in his shop, however, his work also takes him to some most unlikely locations.  "Some of the commercial and residential jobs I do can be kind of tricky, due to the height of the windows.  I have to use scaffolding, or sometimes they're in tight corner or stuff like that, but as far as strange things I've done windows for deer stands and stuff like that or windows for china cabinets."  "We have different shades, different darkness of colors and then on homes, there's a little wider range of films we can use on the homes and businesses."

Window tinting has come a long way since the days of Starling having to hand cut everything.  Computer and electronic equipment now do most of that, however, the artistry and creativity side of the business are still a very big part of the business.  "First off, it takes a lot of patience to work with the films.  Just being able to work with your hands real well and it does take some artistic skills.  You've got to have a steady hand and really just a real clean environment when you're working with cars."

Starling says he enjoys the people he meets and the variety of work he gets to do.  He says no two days are the same.  But, of course the summertime heat can take its toll.  He keeps several gallon jugs of water around the shop to help him keep from dehydrating.  "Gets really hot in shop.  It's hard to have an A-C sometimes when you're pulling cars in and out all day and it would be pretty high on the electric bill when you're running a shop like this probably."

He says the window tinting business wasn't something he planned to make a career, "It just kind of ended up that way.  I started doing it when I was a kid when I was probably 15 years old tinting windows at the house, doing mine's and friends' cars and then it just proceeded from there started doing it as a job and really started loving it, kept doing it."

Starling says he has a son and daughter who help him out at the shop occasionally, but window tinting is not their passion.  He says for the most part, running his business is a one man show.  All things considered, Mickey's got it made in the shade--so to speak.

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