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Paint Life Grand 

When it was time for Will Watts to paint his house, his first choice was Ferrell Calhoun brand paint. He couldn't locate the paint in New Orleans, so the former contractor and Memphis, Tenn. native decided to start his own store. A year ago, he opened Nola Paint and Supplies (2900 Elysian Fields Ave., Suite C, 948-9620; www.nolapaintandsupplies.com) and stocked its shelves exclusively with Ferrell Calhoun paint.

  "I've used other paint, but this is the paint I've used the most of," Watts says. "This paint was built for the Southern climate. Developed in Tennessee, [the paint withstands] high humidity, high mildew and high moisture."

  Ferrell Calhoun, a family-run business founded in 1905 with locations throughout the South, puts more solids and less water in its paint, so the product spreads further and is more durable, Watts says. The paint also is affordable: a gallon of Ferrell Calhoun paint at Nola Paint typically costs $30.

  "If you paint an entire house and use up to 20 gallons, that's a lot of money you don't have to spend on paint," Watts says. "We don't see the point in overcharging people."

  Employee Steve Caldwell attributes the low cost and high quality of Ferrell Calhoun's paint to the company's focus on the product. "Because the owners are chemists, they're more concerned with the product first, and then the business," Caldwell says. "By maintaining a low overhead, a lot of costs don't get transferred to the customer."

  Products at Nola Paint include basic interior and exterior paints, industry paint and supplies like brushes, rollers and putty. The store also has more than 1,300 color choices, and Watts says if customers can't find the hue they want, they can bring a sample to the store and the staff will create paint in that color.

  "I can take any color from a surface or a magazine or a piece of fabric and make it for the customer," Caldwell says.

  More than willing to share their extensive knowledge of paint and technique, Watts and his staff want painting to be accessible to everyone from professionals to novice painters. Employees will deliver paints and supplies directly to the customer to make the job easier. "Painting a house shouldn't be that hard," Watts says. "We give you what you need."

  While Watts says he misses his contracting work, he's honored to be able to sell Ferrell Calhoun paint. "I'm hoping New Orleanians can enjoy having to paint their houses," Watts says. "I've had zero problems out of [Ferrell Calhoun] and I've used it my entire life. I wouldn't be down here if I didn't know how well it sells."

Nola Paint and Supplies carries Ferrell Calhoun brand paint, which is formulated to withstand Southern climates.

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