So, there is a running joke since we started renovating our 11-bedder manoir in the Charente, France. Even our local antiques dealer is in on it. Basically if it’s not nailed down, I’ll paint it. Namely with Fusion mineral paint.
My unlikely obsession with this niche Canadian paint brand came about thanks to a 10€ buggy. I know right? Total steal. I saw it advertised on a local Facebook selling site and snapped it up. So off I toddled with my trusty sat nav into deepest darkest Charente in search of Sue and her bargain buggy. Not only did I get a fab 3-wheeler, it turns out Sue is the French retailer for both Annie Sloan chalk paint from the UK and Fusion mineral paint in her converted stable block near Poitiers. And so the obsession was born.
I had dabbled with chalk paint in the UK, but I find it hard to apply, the waxing is laborious and we’re not really going for that ‘shabby chic’ look that chalk paint is so good for.
Enter stage left, Fusion. I was immediately drawn to their sludgy earthy tones and, I’ll be honest, by the fact that it paints onto pretty much any surface without need for primer, or top coat. It’s a one-stop shop. Varnished wood, metal, even fabric. It’s quite a thin consistency but covers a-mazingly and is ‘self levelling’, which in reality means if you’re a slap-dash painter like me you can slosh it on (it doesn’t drag like chalk paint), and voila – no brush marks. Drips can be a problem but you really need less paint on your brush than you think. They sell special brushes designed to be used with their paints, which I thought was a load of rubbish to begin with but after roadtesting them they really do help minimise paint wastage and get a better finish.
Here’s a couple of junk-shop pieces that I’ve painted in their ‘Sterling’ grey (my favourite hue):
The formula is perfect for a family home as it is zero VOC (they even do a special nursery range which is beautiful). It ‘cures’ in daylight leaving a rock-hard, chip (aka child) resistant, washable finish. What’s not to love?!
We haven’t just used it for renovating furniture, we’ve done a lot of our woodwork in it too as it’s so hard-wearing. I love the original door furniture next to ‘Bedford’:
I will keep you posted over the summer months as I will be back in France smothering any solid surface in more beautiful hues – the house has its own instagram page: @laretraite_fr if you want to see more shots of how it’s coming along.