Fat Paint Company a big success

A version of the following story was originally published in Invest New West, a magazine about the city’s economic development.

The FAT Paint Company is a New Westminster success story.

It started on a kitchen counter when Victoria Lambert and her brother, Bradford, were refinishing some furniture pieces.

Bradford worked in the film industry and he was familiar with a technique of mixing paint and chalk used by set decorators to give wood a weathered, authentic look. The chalk paint, known in the biz as “fat paint,” was versatile, easy to work with, dried quickly.
The refinished furniture pieces were a hit. The siblings decided to can their paint, and share their technique.

Today the Lamberts and their staff develop, mix, can and market their FAT Paint from a 3,065-square-foot production facility in a converted auto repair garage at the foot of 11th Street. More than 100 retailers across North America, from St. John’s, Newfoundland to San Antonio, Texas to Fort Nelson, British Columbia, sold 357,359 cans of their paint last year.

FAT Paint is available in nine provinces and 14 states, with plans to expand overseas in 2017.

But much of the work to make FAT Paint is still done by hand.

Until a recent move to automate the mixing process, the chalk and paint were combined in an old, repurposed industrial bread mixer.

Pouring the paint into 1-litre cans, sealing the lids and affixing the brand’s distinctive black and white labels gets the human touch.

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