We get so many questions about the Fabulous Frenchic Paint Products that we thought it may be useful to share Fifi’s expertise here for easy access. I have tried to transcribe Fifi’s answers but there may be some errors or omissions.
FIFI what’s the difference in the paints?
We’ve got four different ranges. We’ve got the Original range, which is a chalk paint which you use in the usual way as in you seal it either using a wax or using the Finishing Coat. That’s the one that most people have heard of.
We then have the Lazy range, which is fantastic if you don’t particularly like waxing, as we’ve got the wax already in it. So as you paint it on the piece of furniture, it is sealed and it comes out looking a bit like a mat, velvet and you can leave it like that, but if you want it to have a nice sheen on it, all you do is buff it and you can use one of these little washing up sponges, the white ones not the green ones, because they leave a green mark on the paint, but these white ones are great. The more you buff it the more it will activate the wax and give a lovely natural sheen. You can use exfoliating gloves, which is good exercise and gets rid of the bingo wings, that will also help to give up a nice shine and you can also use very fine sandpaper as well, which will help to activate the wax. Just by doing that already I can see how it’s activated that little bit, so these little sponges are great.
Do you need to sand it first?
No, no sanding required, all you need to do is wash with Sugar Soap. This will just remove any grease, that’s on the piece of furniture. If there is grease on the furniture, it won’t matter how many coats of chalk paint you use, it will just go straight through and you will have a grease mark through the paint. By washing it first you get rid of the grease and then you can apply the paint, usually two coats is required. If it’s a dark piece of furniture and you are using pale colours, you might need three, possibly four at times. No preparation in terms of sanding. And with regard to the other ranges of paint that we have. We do also have now the beautiful Wall paints, which is a chalk paint. It is absolutely dead, flat mat, but it’s fully scrubbable, don’t ask me how they do that, but it is. It goes on like a dream. We do matching Trim Paint as well which are beautiful, again, minimum preparation required, just making sure that it is all clean and grease free before you start and the paints match the wall paints, so that’s a beautiful range that’s just come in. And we have the AL FRESCO RANGE, which is also very popular at this time of the year for painting all your outside bits and pieces in the garden, fences, dog houses, stable doors, terracotta pots, plastic pots, seats, anything in the garden and actually people use it to paint their UPC front doors as well so it’s a super paint, needs practically no preparation, other than making sure the piece is completely clean, no cobwebs, no algae, a good old scrub and then apply the paint, it goes a jolly long way and it doesn’t need to be sealed afterwards. Additionally, if you had wanted to paint your kitchen or any units in the bathroom, that one is particularly good because it is very robust because it is designed to be used outside. That’s the Al Fresco range which come in tester pot sizes as well so you can check the colours, we have six currently and six about to be launched any day now. Hopefully by middle of next week we will have them.
Did I just ask you about the Crackle Glaze?
Crackle Glaze is fabulous if you are wanting to add some texture or some age. This is very easy to apply. Base coat is the colour that you paint on first and that’s the colour that will s how through. Then you apply your cost of Easy Crackle which is like clear varnish and when it is completely dry , you then put your top coat over and whatever the colour is underneath is the colour, is the colour that will show through in the cracks. Once you have done that you can then highlight those cracks by using one of the different waxes that we sell. Easy Crackle fabulous for texturing things and adding age.
What are the uses for the Finishing Coat.
Ah, Finishing Coat, if I could drink it I would, I reckon, it would make your hair curl, it’s fabulous stuff [We don’t recommend anyone to drink it]. It goes a long way. If you are using it to seal your Original Paint range, which might be something perhaps in a kitchen, if it was going to be getting a lot of use, maybe the table top, in your kitchen, this will protect it and make it, absolutely robust and water proof. Table legs and things like that get a lot of scuffs and this is very good for that. We also use it for any thing to do with Decoupage, I have a board here I did on a course a few days ago, these are napkins. I bought some beautiful napkins in Bath, these are 3 ply napkins, and by pealing them into three layers, you can then apply it to your piece of furniture and you would use the Finishing Coat as both the glue and the sealer afterwards. Sometimes when you are painting things you wil get bleed though, that’s when a stain from a previous paint finish or something like a dark mahogany has very old varnish will create a stain that comes through. It won’t matter how many times you paint over it, it will always come through, unless you seal it with something. The finishing coat is really good for that. If you apply two coats, leave it to dry in the night, then paint over the top of it, very, very rarely does it ever have a bleed through, so it’s a really great product.
WAX verses Finishing Coat?
I use wax most of the time, we have several different coloured waxes. Clear wax will seal things and let the colour shine through. We have a white wax, which gives a lovely sort of chalky finish. We have a defining wax, which is a grey wax, which will get caught in any bits of detailing on your piece of furniture and we have a Browny Wax, which will add age and make it look really antique. I would use the waxes for most of my things because I like working with the waxes. However, it is sealing kitchen units or if you want to make something water proof or extra robust then I would use the finishing coat, it will give you a slight sheen, not a high gloss. I would day that is you do three coats using one of these amazing kitchen sponges and it will be rock hard and completely water proof. No buffing up required with the finishing coat Obviously if you are using waxes, then you put them on, with the sponge or better still with one of the Frenchic waxing brushes. We have a large one and smaller one. I hold it like a fisty cuff action and you can really work in to all the corners of your piece of furniture. Once it’s dry, then buff it up using the sponge, to get a nice high sheen. It is a personal preference which finish you use, unless you need it to be water proof, unless you need it to be water proof, in which case I would say yes definitely use Finishing Coat, but otherwise, I tend to use the waxes because I just like doing the waxing.
CAN YOU MIX THE COLOURS?
Yes you can mix colours. It’s a good idea to use a measure so that you can recreate it. I tend to dip my finger into one colour, dip my finger into the other colour, blend them together and see if it is going to give me the sort of colour I like, then I build up the volume from that. Yes absolutely you can mix the colours, no problem at all. With regard to applying the paint, brushes wise, Frenchic do a fabulous range of brushes, they are domed on the top, they are very voluminous, so they hold a lot of paint and you can get them right up into the corners, they really do paint well and help to prevent brush marks. There’s a great little brush there 27mm, I use this one all the time, very useful for getting in and out of the nooks and crannies. We have flat brushes as well, small one and larger one than that, which is wonderful for doing decoupage or for applying your finishing coat, if you don’t want to use the sponge, so fabulous brushes, well worth the investment and you just wash them out under the tap. All the products are water soluble, so they can rinsed out under the taps.
Can you use Finishing Coat over the Lazy Range?
Yes you can, if I was painting my kitchen using the lazy range, I would then finish it with Finishing Coat, but without buffing it first. If you buff the lazy range it will activate the wax and then of course the varnish won’t sit easily on top of the wax. So if you decide that you really like one of the colours in the Lazy Range and you apply it to your kitchen work surfaces, then seal it using Finishing Coat, rather than buffing it to get a high shine.
You can you any brush?
You could use any brush, it’s like anything, if you intend to do something a lot and you want to do it to the best of your ability it’s always a good idea to have the right tools for the job, and these brushes are just absolutely fabulous. So yes if you are going to do it, invest in a brush, it will last you a very long time, just wash it out with warm, soapy water, under the tap, make sure it’s dry and it’ll keep you going for ages and ages.
How do we use Frensheen?
It is another use for the wonderful Finishing Coat. We sell these lovely little pots of a glittery sort of powder called Frensheen which you can use for highlighting things. You mix the powder and the finishing coat together, to the consistency of roughly double cream. You can mix it in a Tupperware container, it will keep for ages. If it gets dried out you just put in some more finishing coat. You can use it to highlight with a dry brush to pick out anything with lots of detail on it, to accentuate it.