Volume 15, Issue 4 - July/August 2011


Hands-On Tinter
Michael Phifer, Avenue Auto Glass

Michael Phifer stumbled upon his career path by accident in 1985. He was getting his windshield replaced at Avenue Auto Glass in Temple, Texas when the owner asked him if he knew how to tint windows.

“When the old guy that owned the place asked me if I knew how to tint windows my famous last words were, ‘can’t be that hard,’” says Phifer.

Phifer’s initial reason for learning how to film was to make some good money.

“The reason I took the job was because minimum wage was around $2.86 at the time and they were paying $3.50 to start. I thought I was rich,” says Phifer.

Twenty-six years later Phifer is still tinting and continues to impress both customers and others within the industry.

Mark Wallach, owner of Ameritint in Arlington, Texas, describes Phifer as meticulous and claims he has never heard a bad review of Phifer tinting abilities. The two film installers refer residential or automotive work to each other and have known each other for 20 years.

“He is without a doubt the best automotive film installer I have ever known. I could tint my own cars, but I take them to him instead,” says Wallach. “He can tint a car in 20 minutes and it can be a completely perfect.”

Phifer takes pride in his skill and that he doesn’t need to rely on machines to get the job done.
“No one knows how to hand cut anymore. They rely on the machine which makes you nothing more than a monkey hanging film,” says Phifer. “There aren’t many great installers left out there. My definition of great is when you have nothing come back ever.”

Phifer does still dream big for his business and dream projects though.

“Someday it would be nice to see my shops name on the hood of a Nascar,” comments Phifer.

One of Phifer's favorite and most unique projects was installing film on a boat. He hand cut a tropical fish tank design for the boat's front windshield.

When Phifer isn’t busy hand-cutting film you can find him spending time with friends and family or playing in the occasional golf

Do you know someone who is a star among window film tinters? Then we want to hear from you with your nominations for “Film Stars.” Email your nominations to Katie Hodge at khodge@glass.com.

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