English paint delivered to France

One of the biggest headaches facing those of us who are renovating or just decorating French property is finding decent quality paint that doesn’t cost a fortune. I’ll never forget the first time I used French paint. I started merrily slapping it on the freshly dry-lined bedroom walls. About two weeks later, I was on coat number four, it looked as though it still needed at least one more coat and I’d lost the will to live.

Then there was the time that the second tin (despite claiming to be the same make, colour and type as the first) proved to be entirely different and in fact, wasn’t so much cream coloured as salmon pink. That day caused a row that went down in family history and it took a long time for James to accept that it was not my fault…

I’m not alone either. Log onto any expat website and you’ll find posts about paint and where to source it. So I was over the moon when I found out that there is now a company specialising in delivering English paint to France http://www.englishpaintdeliveredtofrance.com/

Kate Topping and her sister Helen have been running a well established paint supplies shop in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire for the last eight years and they have now set up English Paint Delivered to France - a service delivering paint to customers in France quickly, safely and at a low price. They are also able to supply any other decorating materials (including wallpaper) you could possibly need. The shop stocks a huge range of paints and are specialist suppliers for Johnstone’s and Fired Earth. They have an advanced mixing system; this allows them to mix over 15,000 colours in store and colour match any other colour the customer might require. Plus, they also have a huge range of paint finishes to choose from for all kinds of different surfaces such as exterior, interior and woodwork.

Kate welcomes bulk orders from retailers and can offer trade prices to builders, architects and property developers and this is obviously well worth exploring if you are a painter and decorator or developer. She is also more than happy to cater for large scale projects such as hotel or B&B renovations, new builds or property refurbishments.

But what makes their service truly unique, is the attention to detail and the level of customer service that they provide to every client, whether large or small. Kate explains, “I like to spend one on one time with each and every customer, whether it’s face to face or down the phone. I treat our mail order customers just the same as those who come into the shop. This means I can help them select exactly what’s required. Every property is different and as I’m a bit of a DIY expert, I can make sure that whether you’re choosing a finish for a damp cellar or an old French barn, you get the right product for the job. By talking to them, I can also advise them on the cheapest delivery route. For example, we work with a partner delivery company, Sterling Shopping and if someone only wants a couple of tins, that might be their cheapest option. Equally if someone wants a lot of paint or can make a joint order with friends or neighbours, then I can get an entire pallet shipped to them for £126. As I offer such a personal service, I can even add other things onto the pallet to fill the space. For example, a recent order had loft insulation and plasterboard added to it. This saved the customer loads of money and they got to work with the materials they wanted to. Another lady ordered her light fittings from Laura Ashley and had them delivered to the shop. I then added them to the pallet and shipped them to her. Customer service is something that I am passionate about and I would go to the ends of the earth for my customers.”

When I lived in the UK I had a designer paint habit. There is no other way to put it. I loved the colours. I still do, but there is no way that these days, I could justify spending that much money on paint. So I was delighted to discover that Kate’s paint matching service means that Kate can create the same shades for almost half the price. Kate is a stockist for the Johnstone’s range of products. These are extremely high quality and (here’s the bit I like!) they are also available at very reasonable prices. Kate also stocks a selection of Liberon floor products - many of which are ideal for aged French farmhouse floors such as the stone cleaner or sealer as well as floor varnish.

Kate’s approach seems to have paid off as the business is thriving. She tells me that last month was their ‘busiest ever’ and I can only imagine that once word gets out, more and more of us will be using English Paint Delivered to France. And if you want to beat the rush, you can contact Kate here.


I've found V3 aquapaint very good for shutters in the languedoc mountains we have plenty of rain and teprature differences from -14 to +40! Finally always use an undercoat on wood or metal even on a sanded gloss surface not necessarily down to the wood it makes a huge difference with gloss, satin and eggshell Bon Chance!

That’s worth knowing Phil. We’re in the Lot so wet & windy from time to time & whatever the last owners painted the shutters with is in good condition.

Phil Harrison 10:14

Hi Phil

We used Sadolin Superdec for our shutters in 2010. They were previously painted so I sanded them down as best I could and then wire brushed out the grooves. Two coats of Sadolin in Sept 2010 and they are still looking nearly as good as when we did them. We are in Gironde so not as hot as Var or Provence but still gets pretty hot in the summer and they are closed against all the winter weather form November to May or June.

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Thanks Pete! I’m the decorator in our house so did a fair bit in the UK. Fond memories of painting 7 Wickes’ internal doors which took 7 coats of eggshell each. I could have been sick by the time I finished but they had a very intrusive greeny/grey undercoat!

Would love to but you are a tad far away... here is my advice... always use a brush, always do one more coat than is necessary, take at least as much time in preparation as in painting and don't rush it. For instance for the hall with a ceiling and two walls spend one day cleaning and preparing, one day for each wall , one day for the ceiling and one day for the wood and never work more than 4 hrs a day. So waht bif it takes two weeks to finish it will look lovely and good for 5-10 years. Take it slow is my advice

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That’s interesting Pete. Maybe it’s my less than professional standard that doesn’t help. I haven’t tried Dulux but I want white so will try it. Unless you fancy a job painting the hall?!

I use both in both countries and have found no difference at all the large tubs of matt whit emulsion are very goo value particularly at Mr Bric.. Actually I have not found any problems with french paint either I personally think it is a bit of an urban myth and I spend uo to 6 months a year doing decorating professionally.

Hi Pete,
I heard it was different to the UK one? Do you know if that’s true?
Many thanks,


Is this site still working? I’ve just discovered the joys of French paint!! Need something that doesn’t look & feel like old fashioned whitewash!

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To Nick, re carpet - try Jon the Carpet man - http://www.jon-thecarpetman.com/Pages/default.aspx

Can't recommend him enough. Has deliveries from UK weekly, I think - and prices are good. Used him twice.

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I'm recently using BlightyShop to deliver my English Food Parcels and am eagerly awaiting some Dulux (2 x 2.5 tins Emulsion for £25) which I have ordered from Wilco to be delivered to them.

And now to find some decent wool wall to wall carpet!

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I used this service, extremely helpful and good product, can only commend the service.

On a comment by John Scully referring to a particular product being too universal, i.e. for wood and metal combined, I would agree with this after 40 years of working on sea-going yachts. Dedicated paint finishes should be one or the other. Secondly, peeling paint is more often than not down to lack of or non appropriate preparation, lack of sealing or suitable undercoats, or excess humidity. In addition some products sold in the UK are not compatible through their chemical composition to those sold in France, where the content criteria can often be different, thus making a locally purchsed product more suitable for local applications, such as in a typical Med climate opposed to North Yorkshire or even Normandy. In a Tollens distributer in Antibes, you can have any colour you want, even if it isn't Tollens (I refer to the 15,000 colours) with their mixing machine and colour code cards, now operated by computer - this facility is also available at any large DIY store such as Casto, Bricomarché, Mr.Bricolage, Leroy Merlin et al! However, my point is that IMHO French paint is not of an inferior quality compared to UK paint products and my personal experience indicates a very comparable price range with the top end, long lasting applications. I'm fortunate to have locally in La Turbie, a company that acid baths wooden shutters down to bare wood, allowing one to start from scratch and/ or replace parts of the shutters that are rotten, rather than replace the whole thing - having gone through this process myself and with friends, it would not make sense, to then neglect the modern day sealer/paint applications that would allow another 25 year shutter life span with occasional maintenance?

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James, I just wonder is the paint they sell in France the same chemical make up as the paint they sell in the UK? Many products are distributed Europe wide under the same brand name but that doesn't mean the composition is the same for every market. For example, having extensively used Dulux interior paint before using it in France I was shocked at the poor durability of the French product. Same Brand, same name, same colours, different product.

Kate, Please don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking your product. I just believe that the cost of paint is secondary to the cost of labour and that one should use the best possible paint for the job, regardless of where it comes from. Based on my experience I now prefer UK interior paints and Tollens exterior. I'm no stranger to building and renovation so my comment was directed at Martin's shutters and not Aude shutters in general. It was just to wind him up for his GPS gibe, hence the smiley. I'm sure from a shutter perspective the Var weather isn't that much different that of the Aude.

Hi John.
On the link I put on my post, on that page is a technical data sheet. This explains more about the product for your reference.
It is a microporous, flexible, breathable product. As for my trade range of paints we offer, it is by far the best and long last product we do.
I have sold this (and other exterior products) to customers all over France and they been ecstatic with the results and very happy with the durability of the product.
As for these ‘peeling shutters’ you see when you drive through Aude. These could be 15 years old, also, you can have the best quality paint, French or English. But, if the decorator doesn’t do the correct preparation, the right undercoat, enough coats, treat any woodworm or damp in the wood - it doesn’t mean that the paint will solve that. So peeling paint doesn’t mean the paint is bad - it can be a number of things.
Do the Mediterranean spec paints come in a range of 15,000 colours?
We are only offering our own range of top quality store selling products to those in France who are seeking another alternative the the range already available in France. I have no doubt at all they the medeterranien paints are good quality, we are only catering for those, who have a different opinion, and we can’t change that!


Johnstone's distribute this product Europe wide.


Kate,The Johnstone product you highlight seems interesting apart from the fact that I don't like the idea of a paint being suitable for wood and metal. That's a bit to universal. Do the manufacturers recommend it for a Mediterranean climate?