Episode 100- UK v France renovation materials costs comparison#1

OK , I can’t speak for other countries but I can certainly give a bit of guidance on what to buy in France  and what you might want to bring over from the UK for your renovation/restoration project.

Let’s start by debunking a persistent myth; that French paint is poorer quality and there is less in every tin.  This may have been true years ago but I can safely say the contemporary French paint ranges are fine. You can buy brands such as Dulux in most “retail park” type DIY superstores but it is more expensive here in France.DSC02761

What is a problem is finding specialist period or heritage shades outside the major cities. These haven’t quite hit La France Profonde yet. If you want these, bring them with you

We have experimented extensively, to the point that we can construct impromptu coffee tables, but to save you the trouble and expense of this we present our best find- a trade white “1er” emulsion  with great  coverage at a tiny price (under 15 euros for 10 litres) from Mr.Bricolage chain

1er paintGlimpsed here –right- this is a great base to add colouriser liquid pigments also available at most DIY stores in France.

Be brave (I am) and I have mixed up some great shades; just keep a jar for touch ups! http://www.mr-bricolage.fr/

Quality  wood & metal paint is easily available, reasonably priced and in some great colours. Some products are specifically made to resist strong sun fade and damage, a big problem in the South here, such as “lasure” which sinks into the wood for a tough matte finish and out-performs varnish in my opinion

Wood treatments and finishes are competitively and comparatively priced and you will find virtually everything you might want, even specialist antiquing and limewaxing products such as the excellent French brand Liberon.




About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Episode 100- UK v France renovation materials costs comparison#1

  1. Osyth says:

    M. Bric is my saviour – thank you for this useful guide … I’ve tucked it away for reference when the time comes 🙂


  2. PS Bizzyella-Farrow & Ball ( historic.heritage colours paint & wallpaper) now have a few outlets in your area. They have a couple of triffic pinks…


  3. bizzyella says:

    You mix your own colors. You’re a braver woman than I, for sure. M. Bricolage is the best, though, one of the few places in France where I walk out feeling that I got reasonable value for money. So let’s see some of those colors. So far I’m wussing out, going for grays.


    • I object to the crazy prices for specialist paint and heritage colours, plus I can never get the shade that exists only in my head; hence mixing it up. We rate M.Bricolage too, had great chrome shower fitting for peanuts in sale.
      You are not a wuss, we are having lots of greige too, makes the few coloured walls more impactful.
      I still see one of your lovely rooms in palest period pink!


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