Painting a tired-looking piece of vintage furniture can have a transformative effect, especially with some of the delicious colours - Caribbean blue, buttercup yellow and autumn red - from New Westminster-based FAT Paint.
FAT Paint is the brainchild of Victoria Lambert and her brother, Bradford. The pair started making chalk paint out of the kitchen and have now moved into a more than 3,000-square-foot retail store on Front Street.
They came up with their catchy name after a conversation about chalk paint, which creates an aged patina and texture on furniture and home accessories.
When Victoria initially told Bradford, a scenic artist in the film industry, about it, he didn't know what chalk paint was. But as she described it, he recognized it as "fat paint," a film industry term used to describe the thick emulsion.
March was a big month for the brother-sister team. They opened the store - a two-level showroom with exposed brick and large windows, and their paint is being featured in Canadian House & Home magazine.
"It's the premier Canadian interior magazine in the country," says Victoria, who was contacted by magazine editor Margot Austin.
Victoria blogs about interior design, and Austin happened to follow the blog.
"She said, 'Send us some (paint),' and I did, and it just kind of went from there," Victoria explains.
Making chalk paint is a relatively easy thing to do, Victoria says.
"The recipes can be found anywhere online. We've obviously tweaked ours. It's not a secret on how it's done. People do it in their own kitchen all of the time - take an existing latex paint and then add things to it in order to make it chalky," Victoria says.
Evidently not too many people are trying it themselves - the Lamberts have orders as far away as Texas.
With Fat Paint there is typically little preparation required on the piece. One coat is all that is needed for most projects, Victoria says.
"Most of the time, I don't (prime), I don't even test, I just paint," Victoria says. "It really does have phenomenal adhesion to most surfaces."
Once a piece is painted and dried, it can be "aged" with sanding at the corners and other parts where distressing usually occurs.
"The point of (FAT Paint) being soft is to sand it," Bradford explains, as he mixes a fresh batch of Bella Blue, a soothing gray-ish hue.
The production is done in the back room of the spacious store, which features the work of Robyn Murrell from Robyn's Vintage Nest. Murrell reclaims and restyles vintage furniture.
Victoria and Bradford also want to open up their roomy shop quarters and offer workshops.
They plan to rent out space for others who want to do their own creative projects upstairs in the mezzanine.
"Our plan is to really support and create community around creativity," Victoria says.
Taking in some of the FAT Paint's colours at the new store definitely gets the creative juicing flowing.
FAT Paint is located at 623 Front St. For more information, visit www.facebook. com/TheFATPaintCompany.