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Customer painter Aaron Wachholz, owner of X-treme Paint Auto Body & Marine in Wyoming, MN, began his career nearly a quarter century ago when he was in the Navy, painting and repairing the landing and captain boats aboard the ship. After his stint in the Navy, he worked at two body shops and eventually started doing his own custom work as well as custom painting new conversion vans that were sold on dealership lots.
Wachholz, 43, started X-treme Paint Auto Body & Marine 16 years ago and now has four employees. The services provided by his business include custom painted graphics, custom airbrushing and murals, auto body collision and frame repair, fiberglass and aluminum boat repair and custom motorcycle painting. The shop serves the North Twin City Metro area with quality collision repair and custom paint with award winning unique designs. Awards include: DuPont Top Gun: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003; Donnie Smith Custom Bike Show: Best Paint 2009, Best in Class 2009, Best in Class, 2006; as well as several local car and bike show custom paint awards.
Over the years, he estimates he’s custom painted over 5,000 cars, bikes and boats.
“I like playing with different colors, filling out different designs and using my creativity to create something new,” Wachholz said. “I love creating something new and different, utilizing unique colors and color combinations. I take a vehicle and I’ll design a paint job that flows with the natural body lines on the vehicle. I like to take the shape and put a paint job to it that enhances all of the natural shape and contours of the body.”
On the flip side, what he hates about custom painting is not always knowing for sure what exactly the customer has in mind, because some customers come in with a vague idea or concept that he brings to life. He has a fear of disappointing them, although that has never happened.
He said one of his strangest requests for custom painting was a Hummer H2 where the customer wanted a two-toned bright pink.
His most famous customer is Jesse Ventura, for whom he did custom paint on a favorite bike. Ventura is a former professional wrestler who utilized his skills learned in the ring to become Governor of Minnesota.
His favorite project was a donated custom paint job he did last year on a 2011 Harley Davidson Street Bob for ‘Tribute to the Troops.’ The custom paint utilized custom flakes and multiple candy colors. Raffle ticket sales were over $40,000 and proceeds were donated to educational accounts for children of fallen soldiers.
“The bike was phenomenal, especially in the sun. That was the coolest job I’ve ever done because it was the first time I ever did a custom paint that made a difference in the lives of people.” This year he’s working on a Harley Davidson street glide for the ‘Tribute to the Troops’ fundraiser and the bike will be unveiled in mid March.
As far as tips go, his paint is PPG Vibrance and he likes using stands made by Innovative Tools. He particularly likes the Octopus stand which allows him to easily paint weird, odd-shaped parts. “You can clamp it down at eye level and work all away around the object.” He also likes their hood and bumper stands which make it easy to paint a panel in the booth at the exact height and vertical angle he needs to do intricate hood artwork. Wachholz used Innovative Tool’s UltraRack Paint Stand to paint a custom hood for Innovative Tools and their SuperStand Bumper Stand for a custom painted bumper cover that the company displayed at SEMA.
X-treme Paint Auto Body
5204 260th Street, Wyoming, MN 55092