I was invited to join Frenchic Furniture Paint for its 2017 Press & Bloggers’ Showcase event in London and learn more about their products.
I’d already tried a mini project at home using Frenchic’s paint and, being impressed with what I saw, I was keen to learn more.
On arrival at the London event we were presented with a goodie bag and were told that we each had a wooden heart inside that we could choose to decorate how we liked.
What better way of getting acquainted with the company’s paint range than by trying it out…what a great idea!
Once inside I received a really warm welcome from the team, who explained how I could go round the different tables to experiment with the paint ranges. Now this was an event right up my street!
I don’t think I’ve seen so many wooden hearts in one room before; everywhere I looked people were painting, glazing or decoupaging (is that a word?) hearts.
A lot of attendees were opting to paint their hearts in pretty pastel shades which looked lovely, and some chose to try the crackle glaze look, which I think always looks really effective, especially when you use two bold contrasting colours.
However, as I’ve tried both these methods before, I thought I’d go for something a bit different – decoupage.
I’ve always admired this – but I’ve never had the confidence of giving it a go myself. But with an expert in front of me, I made sure to grill her for all the info!
I decided to keep my heart ‘au natural’; my lounge décor is dark wood and sage green – quite a masculine look and I wanted something that would reflect this.
So I chose a napkin with a stag on it and decided to leave my heart unpainted.
The Decoupage Deal
First things first, once you’ve chosen the print you’d like to use, you need to tear it out – as close to the image as possible.
I asked the expert why you couldn’t just cut round it and she told me that it leaves edges very obvious on application, but by tearing it, the edges are blended in much better. Makes sense.
I also learnt that napkins have three layers on them and that you’ve got to separate each of the layers until you are down to the last layer with the print on it.
The way you do this is by licking your fingers and then pressing the napkin in between your thumb and index finger. As you gently pull your fingers apart, the first layer of the napkin will come away.
I repeated this process until I was left with the last layer with my stag image on it.
The next step was to paint my heart surface to wet it (we used Frenchic’s ‘Frensheen’ Finishing Coat) and then gently place the image in the heart.
To press the image onto the heart, a great tip I was given was to use cling film, because if you use your fingers you run the risk of tearing the napkin.
Using the cling film, you gently press and smooth out the image from the centre working your way outwards.
And that’s pretty much it. The item should be touch dry in about 10 minutes, but you can speed up the process with a hairdryer.
Here’s my attempt!
Meeting the team
One of the other highlights of the event was meeting Frenchic’s brand ambassador, the one and only Max McMurdo!
I was really pleased to find out that he’s genuinely a really nice, down to earth guy, who was very happy to chat with me all things interiors.
And the other highlight (just as I was about to go up for a second round of sarnies), was meeting Pam – the founder of Frenchic.
Pam was lovely – again, really down to earth with a wonderful sense of humour.
As Pam was chatting away to me I was desperately trying to type up notes on my phone – that’s one time when I wish I’d had my dictaphone with me!
A few things that I learnt about Pam was that she only uses colours for Frenchic’s range that she herself likes (after doing her research on emerging colour trends).
And when it comes to choosing the names of the paints she just thinks up the first thing that comes into her head.
My personal favourite names of some of the paints include Sugar Puff (I wonder if she’s a fan – I am!), Wolf Whistle and Plum Pudding.
What’s In a Tin?
Along with the various accessories, waxes, varnishes and crackle paint, Frenchic has three main paint ranges:
- The Original Paint
- The Lazy Range
- Al Fresco Paint
The difference between the Original Paint and The Lazy Range is that wax has already been added to The Lazy Range, meaning it’s great for those who want the job done quickly; they simply paint and when it’s dry, gently rub the item to buff it – no prep or finish needed. Simples.
What I particularly love about Frenchic’s philosophy (having a young family and being health conscious) is that there are no hidden nasties.
Pam explained that she wanted to develop a paint range that ticked all the boxes – it doesn’t need stirring or shaking, you don’t need to add water and it doesn’t smell.
In fact, Frenchic Furniture Paint has gone through rigorous testing to be certified child safe; there are no VOC’s, toxins or solvents. And of course it gives superior coverage. Just check out my mini paint project on a storm lantern to see!
Frenchic Fast Forward
Another interesting fact that I discovered at the event is that there are currently 400 stockists in the UK.
In fact, having a good old nose around Frenchic’s website I noticed that the company really looks after the companies it teams up with, hosting events for suppliers who have the opportunity to network with each other and pick up new ideas.
It has also recently expanded to the USA –and currently has 25 stockists there already – all this for a company less than three years old!
On leaving the event, and armed with a fantastic goodie bag, I’m raring to get going with some paint projects.
I especially want to try the company’s new al fresco range, which sees the introduction of six new colours.
Now all I’ve got to do is wait for the sun to come out at the weekend and I’m ready to go!