PMQ Corner #04

Paint Sweet Paint

513 Paint Shop

Written by Linus
Translated by Derek Leung
Photos by 513 Paint Shop

The story of 513 Paint Shop starts from a child's wooden stool.

Two years ago, Elsa, a French painter who lives in Hong Kong, wanted to send her niece a refurbished wooden stool as a birthday gift. She then found it surprising that there wasn’t any completely safe and environmentally friendly paint at all in the entire Hong Kong?

The word "safe" means VOC-free, i.e. free from volatile organic compounds, which belong to volatile toxic compounds including formaldehyde, xylene and benzene. Their irritating nature can not only lead to the symptoms like eye irritation, dizziness and headache to humans, but can also increase the chances of outbreak of asthma. Worse still, the central nervous system can be affected and both the liver and kidneys can be damaged.

The story of 513 Paint Shop starts from a child's wooden stool.

Eventually, with the help of her interior design friend Eunice, Elsa placed an order for a VOC-free paint with a green paint producer from Sweden. All these efforts were made simply because of a stool!

The story doesn’t end: Elsa and Eunice were inspired by this annoying task and therefore decided to bring in this Nordic paint and to set up a brand. They finally opened a paint-selling shop which had never been found in Hong Kong before, which resembled a fully-decorated boutique grocery popular in France, with an indescribable flair of gentleness and sweetness.

But the real eye candy lies in the numerous jam-jars of non-toxic paint in 30 different colours including red, yellow, grey, green and purple. The names are even more appealing: elephant, silversky, banana split, wild silk and lagoon etc., all of which deliver a sense of fun through wild guesses.

Can you guess the name of these yellow non-toxic paint?

At first glance, I thought it was a lovely grocery in a street in France.

Of course, you can’t help but ask: what can a jar of paint of down to 100ml do? Certainly, it is not enough for painting a whole wall but is just fit for refurbishing a certain corner of your home or completing some easy woodwork on your own. The key is that a whole can of paint will not be wasted when you are indecisive of colours. Indeed, a variety of large cans of paint are available for those who need to paint substantially.

Similar to those designer paint shops which are gaining popularity in Europe, this paint shop run by girls sells everything clean and bright and is by no means comparable with the traditional hardware stores where you can also buy paint. The only commonplace may be the interpersonal touch since Elsa and Eunice would love to act as professional advisers and welcome guests to ask about the most suitable colours and tools for different uses. Hence, painting will no longer be a tough chore, but on the contrary a pleasant creative experience.

Different colours of paint on a white cloth. What a clear expression! It's your turn to refurbish the small door knob now.

Various tools including a small brush are available.
A jam-jar package of paint. An exceptional touch of sweetness!

A small jar of paint now becomes a catalyst for all to become their own home designers or painting virtuosos.

Address: 513 Paint Shop, S513, 5/F, Staunton, PMQ

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