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A fresh lick of paint for Shabby Chic entrepreneur

Byadmin

Jan 23, 2015 #Northumberland

everlong warkworthA Northumberland shabby chic specialist has launched her own brand of paint for professional and amateur furniture up-cyclers.

Sarah Weightman, who runs her shop, Everlong in Amble, worked with a North East paint manufacturer to create the new paint – a non-toxic and durable coating specially formulated for the furniture market.

She said: “I have my own business taking commissions to up-cycle furniture for clients and I’d used various different brands of paint, some of which were good and some which weren’t so good.

“But all of them had some flaws, and I realised I could do better. It’s taken more than a year to get the exact formula right and Everlong has been through a thorough series of tests to ensure it’s up to the job. It’s been left in the sunshine and even dried with hairdryers to see how it fared, and painted on to wood, metal and plastic.”

The new Everlong, Superior Finish Paint, which is child-safe, contains no toxins and complies with the EN71 safety standard, was created entirely in the North East. It is available in 23 colours, many of which have regional references in their names including Amble Sea, a dark blue, Castle Keep, a warm grey named after Warkworth Castle, and Duchess, a vibrant pink named in honour of the Duchess of Northumberland.

Everything is produced locally from the paint to the labels and uniquely, unlike other brands; it needs no wax to seal it, something which people find a real chore to do.

Sarah had been a keen creator of shabby chic furniture for a number of years when she decided to give up her job in newspaper advertising to concentrate on her gift shop and up-cycling business full time in August 2013.

In addition to taking commissions, she also runs free workshops for people keen to prepare and paint their own furniture. Sarah firmly believes that people shouldn’t have to have money to learn a new skill and as a result her free workshops have opened up the world of furniture painting to a whole host of new customers.

As a busy mum of four children aged between five and 20, she arranges the classes to fit around the school run and fit in with other parents’ hectic lifestyles. People from as far afield as Edinburgh and York have travelled to Amble for the sessions.

She said: “Although the shabby chic concept has really take off and is now incredibly fashionable, it was something I originally got into because money was tight after I moved house.

“I began painting second hand furniture for our new home and people complimented it and asked me to do the same for them. It got to the stage where my reputation and hobby-job outgrew my day job and I made the choice to become a full time up-cycler.

“Renovating furniture is a great option to save money and create a classy look at the same time, plus it’s an environmentally-friendly and unique way to furnish your home.”

Sarah has renovated furniture for a number of local hotels and the Black Swan pub in Alnwick, which her fiancé Michael runs, as well as taking on individually commissioned items.

Sarah’s new paint is rapidly gaining suppliers all over the UK and in Holland and the USA. Locally, she has outlets in Heaton, Alnwick and Belford as well as her own shop in Amble. Each stockist is based at least five miles apart to ensure exclusivity for their area and they must be willing to carry out free workshops too in line with Sarah’s social ethos.

“ It’s been a really hard slog getting the brand to where it is now. As well as carrying out every aspect of the design, formulation and launch of the brand myself over many painstaking months, I’ve had to manage the shop and the day-to-day tasks of a busy home. It’s been well worth it though and I’m looking forward to taking it even further.

For more details about Everlong Superior Finish Paint, see website www.everlongpaint.com Potential stockists can also register interest there.

By admin