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.