When it comes to high-end paints and wallpapers, Farrow and Ball is a name that always seems to come up.
They’re well established in the UK and are now starting to make serious waves in Europe and the US too.
But is all the hype really justified? Are their products really worth your hard-earned cash?
Well, I personally think that Farrow and Ball paint is totally worth it, especially if you want to go for neutral colors to get an exact color match without any alterations and the colors that cannot be replicated.
In this article, I am going to take an in-depth look at Farrow and Ball, some of the pros and cons of using their paint products, and what they can do for your home.
By the end, you should have a good idea as to whether or not their products are worth the investment.
Farrow and Ball
Farrow and Ball company was founded over 70 years ago, in 1946, by John Farrow and Richard Ball.
They started out selling paints that were made from leftovers at an oil refinery, which they managed to get hold of at a discount.
While their products may have been much cheaper back then, the quality was still high – something that has remained a constant throughout the years.
Nowadays, Farrow and Ball are known for their high-quality paints and wallpapers, which are available in a wide range of colors.
They also sell a small selection of furniture and home accessories too. But for this article, I will be focusing on their paints.
Farrow and Ball Paints
Farrow and Ball’s main selling point has always been their paints. They offer both interior and exterior paints in an impressive range of colors.
But what sets their paints apart from the competition?
Farrow and Ball’s paints are made from high-quality ingredients, which they source from all over the world. This includes things like pigments, resins, and fillers.
They also use a unique manufacturing process, which they say creates a very ‘nuanced’ finish.
This means that their paints have a slightly different appearance in different lighting conditions, which can add depth and character to your walls.
Farrow and Ball paints are also very ‘buildable,’ which means that you can apply multiple coats to create a richer, more opulent finish.
This is something that is particularly popular with their darker colors.
The final result is a paint that has excellent coverage, a beautiful finish, and is very durable too.
Of course, all of this comes at a price.
Farrow and Ball Paint Prices
When buying Farrow and Ball paint, you can expect to pay a price of around $100 to $110 per gallon in the US, which is two to three times more than other regular paint brands.
A 2.5L tin of Farrow and Ball emulsion paint in the UK and Europe will set you back around £46 to £70, which is significantly more than you would pay for a comparable product from a mainstream brand.
Farrow and Ball’s paint prices are generally on the higher side of the spectrum because of the high-quality ingredients used in the manufacturing process of their paints that have fewer binding agents, less water, and more real pigments.
They also make their colors from natural earth components, meaning there are fewer synthetic colors added.
Another reason why they are expensive is due to their ‘buildable’ paints.
This means that you will generally need fewer coats of Farrow and Ball paint to achieve the desired finish, which ultimately saves you money in the long run.
But is it worth it to buy expensive paints like these? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using Farrow and Ball paints.
What’s so Good About Farrow and Ball Paint?
There are many pros to using Farrow and Ball paints, which is why they have become so popular in recent years.
Some of these include:
1- Excellent Quality
As I mentioned earlier, their main selling point is the high quality of their products.
This is something that has been consistent throughout the years and is reflected in their customer satisfaction ratings.
Lesser quality paint will start to peel and flake within a year or two, but with Farrow and Ball, you can expect your paint job to last for ten years or more.
2- Exact Color Match When You Buy Online
One of the concerns people often have when buying paint online is that they won’t be able to get an exact color match.
This is because paint can look different in real life than it does on a computer screen.
However, Farrow and Ball have a very accurate color matching system, so you can be confident that the paint you receive will be the same color as what you saw online.
3- Cover Walls Well with a Great Chalky Finish
Farrow and Ball’s paints have excellent coverage, meaning that you will need fewer coats to achieve the desired matte and chalky finish.
This is particularly true of their darker colors, which can be quite difficult to get even coverage with.
4- You can ‘Build’ the Paint to Create a Richer Look
As I mentioned before, one of the unique things about Farrow and Ball paints is that you can apply multiple coats to create a richer, more opulent finish.
This is something that is particularly popular with their darker colors.
5- They are Expensive but Eco-Friendly
Farrow and Ball is a very environmentally conscious company, and they make their paints without any synthetic colors or chemicals.
They also use responsibly sourced ingredients, and they have a ‘no waste’ policy when it comes to manufacturing their products.
6- They have an Excellent Range of Colors
Farrow and Ball currently offer more than 130 different colors, which is perfect if you are looking for something specific.
So if you’re looking for an impressive range of colors, then Farrow and Ball is definitely the way to go.
They also have a ‘Color of the Month, which is a great way to experiment with new shades.
7- You can Buy Small Tester Pots before Committing to a Whole Tin
Last but not least, Farrow and Ball offer small tester pots of their paints so that you can try them out before committing to buying a whole tin.
This is useful if you’re unsure about a color or want to see how the paint will look in your home before making a purchase.
Keep in mind that not all brands offer this service for delivering paint samples, so it’s definitely a perk that Farrow and Ball offer.
What are the Problems With Farrow and Ball Paints?
Although there are not many complaints about the colors or coverage of the paint, there are certain issues that I personally faced when I used their Ready Mixed Emulsion Estate Paint a few months back.
You should know about these disadvantages before making your final buying decision.
1- Requires up to 3 Coats for Good Finish
As I already mentioned, the paint from Farrow and Ball gives good coverage with at least two coats.
However, if you want an even more consistent finish, you will need to apply three coats of paint.
Most decorators and painters do not like Farrow and Ball because they believe that the paint they offer is too thin, which is why it might take up to 3 coats to get a good and rich finish on the walls.
This can be quite time-consuming for many, and it definitely adds to the project’s overall cost.
2- Prone to Chipping and Flaking
Although their darker colors offer great coverage, the paints they offer are also more prone to chipping and flaking, especially if you have not applied 2-3 coats over your walls.
Plus, you might have to touch up the emulsion paint more often if you choose one of their darker colors.
3- Limited Color Options Compared to others
While Farrow and Ball’s color palette is extensive, it is still limited when compared to other brands like Dulux, Sherwin-Williams, and Benjamin Moore.
This might be an issue for you if you’re looking for something specific that they don’t offer.
Particularly, their color range for white paints is very limited when compared to other brands.
4- The Samples are not Free of Cost
If you’re a fan of Farrow and Ball paints, then you might have noticed that they offer small tester pots of their paints.
While this is great for testing the paint before committing to a whole tin, the samples are not free of cost.
They will charge you a nominal price for each 100ml sample pot, which might add up if you’re testing multiple colors.
My Favorite Farrow and Ball Paint Colors – You Will Love Them
One of the things that Farrow and Ball are most popular for is their large range of beautiful matte colors.
Farrow and Ball blue and gray paint colors they offer are especially my top favorites.
You can use these classic colors to create stunning effects in any room of your home or even on the exterior walls of your home.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, then here are my top favorite Farrow and Ball paint colors that you will absolutely love to try…
Lichen by Farrow & Ball is one of my favorite colors of all time. It’s a unique color that can be best described as a mix of blue and green.
I have used this color in my home office, and it looks absolutely stunning. It has a very calming and serene effect which is perfect for a workspace.
2- Hague Blue
If you love dark, bold, and deeper tones, this is a color you can try for coating your walls, trims, and ceilings.
This shade can create a perfect warm glow in your room that will make it look very inviting.
3- Dead Salmon
Now, this Farrow & Ball shade comes with a fantastic name that perfectly describes its color. It’s a very beautiful light pink color with a touch of salmon in it.
4- Shaded White
I believe that Shaded White by Farrow & Ball is a very saturated color and it’s more like an off-white.
So, if you really like color with a stronger tone (and yet lighter in the shade), maybe for your walls in a small room, this can be a great option for you.
5- Oval Room Blue
This is a color that creates a perfect decorating balance. If you’re looking for classic blue paint color, this one can be a great pick for you.
I would suggest trying this versatile Farrow & Ball color in different types of spaces, for example, living room, bathroom, kitchen, or office, where you want to get a desirable fresh, clean, and inspiring feel.
6- Stiffkey Blue
This blue is gorgeously beautiful and comes with some exciting airy vibes. It also has some rich, saturated pigments that offer a shade more calmness.
You can use this color with a combination of lots of pretty shades like red, green, yellow, etc., to add more personality to it.
7- Strong White
I think this is one of the most beautiful and probably the most versatile colors by Farrow & Ball. You can use it in any room and for any purpose.
This shade of white particularly looks great with aged wood furniture and modern materials like stainless steel and glass.
Besides the above, a few other hues that can help create a dramatic mood in any room are:
- Parma Grey No. 27
- Hague Blue No. 30
- Railings No. 31
- Lulworth Blue No. 89
- Studio Green 93
- Skylight No. 205
- De Nimes No. 229
- Pavilion Blue No. 252
- St Giles Blue No. 280
- Inchyra Blue No. 289
With so many options to choose from, it can be quite difficult to decide which color is the best for your home.
But if you take into account the overall mood and feel of the room that you want to create, then it will be much easier for you to zero in on the perfect shade.
Take into account the materials like stone, wood, and metals that will be used in the space, as well as the amount of natural light that comes in.
All these factors will help you decide which color from the Farrow and Ball paints will work best for your home.
Can you return unused Farrow and Ball paint?
If you’d like a refund on your unopened paint or core range wallpaper, you can return it to Farrow and Ball within 28 days of delivery.
However, based on their policies, opened can of paint or mixed paint cannot be returned to the store.
They will offer a full refund of your order, excluding any delivery charges. You can check here to know more about their return policy and to fill out the return form.
How good is Farrow and Ball’s wallpaper collection?
The Farrow and Ball wallpaper range are one of the most gorgeous collections I have seen in a while.
They offer a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures to choose from.
The best part is that they have something for everyone, and you can even try the samples before you buy them.
Plus, their wallpaper can also be used in bathrooms as they are all made with specialist bathroom-proof vinyl.
Whether you’re looking for something classic or something more modern, you will definitely find it in their collection.
What is the best alternative to Farrow and Ball brand?
If you’re looking for an alternative to Farrow and Ball, then I would say Sherwin-Williams is a great option.
They offer a wide range of colors, and their paints are known to be of high quality.
Another great alternative is Benjamin Moore, which also offers a wide selection of colors, and their paints are known to be durable and long-lasting.
The Bottom Line
Are farrow and Ball worth the extra money?
From what I have found from my personal experiences and Farrow and Ball paint reviews online, the price of Farrow and Ball Paint is comparatively on the higher side.
But they are worth your investment because the brand has improved significantly over the years.
This also means that when you are buying Farrow and Ball paint products, you are paying for better quality ingredients and a product that will last longer and give you a better finish.
So, if you’re looking for good-quality paint that will last for years to come without needing touch-ups, then Farrow and Ball are definitely worth the extra money.
But, if you’re on a tight budget or are looking for a paint that is readily available, then you might want to look at other brands like Dulux, Behr, or Sherwin-Williams.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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