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I restore furniture and also make furniture when I have the money available. I have been restoring furniture for about 3 years now and have used various varnishes, polishes, cleaning products and paints on lots of different projects. Most recently I have been restoring a Victorian children's chair and mahogany coffee table. I was originally going to stain them and then re-polish the two pieces of furniture. But my partner suggested that they might look quite nice if they were painted. I generally don't like painted furniture. I prefer to see the wood waxed or polished. But as the chair and table are currently used by my partners 3 year daughter I thought she might like them painted.
So I looked online at various different paints and narrowed the choice down to two or three different makes. We chose to go with Farrow and Ball, partly because it was available in Homebase but mainly because it had really positive reviews, and has a reputable history behind it as well. I thought that some the paint names were a bit pretentious such as 'Elephants Breathe' but I was going to let that put me off.
My partner wanted something light and neutral and so we went with Farrow and Ball All White paint. We started out using the paint sparingly because it was quite expensive and didn't want to run out before we finished the furniture. But the paint was thicker than I was expecting and a little amount went a lot further than I was expecting. A second layer of paint was applied after it had dried and now the furniture looks extremely nice. The paint was easy to clean from the brushes as well which a bonus.
As I say the paint was not cheap but it was definitely worth paying a premium to get a good quality paint that looks great. I wish I had a little more money available so that I could try out more Farrow and Ball paints. Farrow and Ball make high quality products that I would highly recommend to anyone.
Bad formulationRusted inside of paint cans (only visible when finished with the paint)Staff Indifferent/Dismissive
I've been using Farrow & Ball for a few years because I liked their colour selection and I liked the overall look of the walls when they were done. Recently I was having all the bedrooms and the lounge painted. I bought it all from F&B in Tunbridge Wells. My decorator came and did the upstairs then got called away on another job. When he could come back to do the lounge, 7 weeks had elapsed and I had changed my mind about the paint. Basically its a very chalky finish, and we have an open fire. People often put a hand on the wall when they lean in to throw another log on, leaving handprints - so I decided it wasn't the right finish.
I went to the Tunbridge Wells branch and couldn't believe the poor customer service. I bought it 7 weeks ago and they only exchange up to 4 weeks. I asked if they could make an exception? Could I change it for another colour, or another finish that I might need to use at some point? No. Why not? I asked. "Its a legal thing" she said, rather vaguely She said the paint was made of natural products and can go off, and this may well have done. Nice, I thought.
Anyway - I called HQ and found them to be even more unhelpful. They said you usually only have TWO weeks to exchange a paint and no there was nothing they could do.
My decorator was horrified. He recommend I go to Johnstones instead. They did a perfect colour match, provided the paint in vinyl silk (no handprints there!), charge me 1/2 the price and carried it to the car :)
Farrow and Ball are a company based in Dorset who produce fine quality paints and wallpapers, both in traditional and modern styles and colours. I am going to review their paint product.
After endless shades of tester pots from a great variety of paint manufacturers, I discovered Farrow and Ball. The colour of the swatch in the leaflet was identical to the colour on the wall. I had now realised that if I wanted a sophisticated shade painted on my walls I would, with no doubt choose this company. The colour I desired was unknown to me, I knew I wanted green- maybe grey, but I didn't know the name of it or if it even existed.
Selecting several green/ grey shades from the Farrow and Ball range allowed me to decide on the perfect paint for my living room. The colours are tasteful and yet individual. My house is a Victorian terrace and I could have chosen a great number of the options available to me in the leaflet. However, I think that the selection would also be suitable in a more contemporary living space.
On application, over an undercoat of general white emulsion the result was flawless. It is recommended that 2 coats are applied to achieve an even result as with most paint manufacturers. It will certainly not take any more coats than this. If I was not a relentless perfectionist I would say that 1 coat would suffice if money or time were tight.
The finished article offers the combined WOW factor in correspondence with my fireplace and elaborate ceiling rose. Visitors ask what paint it is, who it is by, and the shade number/ name. If you are wondering it is French Grey/ 18.
Sourcing the Farrow and Ball collection may seem a little difficult if you don't have a Homebase or independent paint supplier nearby but you can search for suppliers online by entering your postcode and pressing search. The official website is www.farrow-ball.com and it is here that you can view their products and in fact purchase them to be delivered. I must mention price as you may soon realise that once you have fallen in love with the perfect hallway hue or bedroom blush you must then buy the right amount to adorn your walls with it. The typical number of coats is 2 and with a 5 litre tin you will cover 60m squared. This means that you will need approximately 5 litres of paint to cover an average sized living room with 2 coats. The paints, to my knowledge, come in 2.5 litre tins which cost around £26. And if you are as nifty at maths as I am, you will soon amount this to £52. This is high in price but believe me when I say, it is worth it.
All in all, a very high quality paint product with a refined palette to suit traditional and modern style.
I have recently taken up the part-time pursuit of refurbishing old tables in the shabby chic style. This necessitates the painting of the table frame and legs in a suitable and appealing colour. Typically, I use cream. On starting out I used Crown Period paints and found them to be entirely satisfactory. However, my Dearly Beloved who suffers delusions of poshness suggested I try Farrow and Ball. I am not a great fan of paying for the name, but in a moment of weakness in my local Homebase, I succumbed to wifely pressure and invested £13.99 in a 750ml tin of their "Tallow" estate eggshell.
Being something of a Doubting Thomas when it comes to high prices for so-called premium brands, I was ready to vote this a miss and revert to my previous favourite, but I gave it a go and tried it out.
Immediately on opening the tin, I could see that it was a thick and creamy consistency. It hadn't settled into a thick bottom layer and watery top layer and it needed little stirring. This was promising. I was also impressd with the lengthy and comprehensive details of each of the paints in the Farrow and Ball range on their colour card.
On the tin itself there was scant information and we are directed to their website for further details. The website is good but in my opinion you shouldn't have to visit a website to get the basic details you need. On the tin itself there is precious little information with much of the available space on the tin given over to translations into 13 other languages of the single paragraph in English. There is also a grid showing coverage for each variant of the Farrow and Ball paint range. They have obviously decided to use one common tin design for everyone everywhere. This will be good for their profits but is not necessarily in the best interests of the information hungry consumer.
That said, I will judge the paint on its merits. So, it looked good and had a good consistency...... I now applied a coat over a ready primed wooden surface (table legs) and was impressed with the coverage. After half a day I added a second coat and this was enough to give a good streak-free finish. I had to dab a bit more paint on the next day, but only because I had missed a bit here and there.
After a day's grumpiness at paying a high price, I have now been converted into a definite fan. As someone who actually enjoys painting (sad, I know) I found it gave very good coverage and in contrast to a previous reviewer thought the colour reproduction to be also good. Admittedly we have all fallen foul of the infernal colour card at some point.
Now I am a convert, I was somewhat disappointed to note on a subsequent visit for fresh supplies that the price of a standard 750ml tin at Homebase has increased to £15.49. Somebody is profiteering here - either retailer, manufacturer or both. Victims of their own marketing success, I guess.
I'm so disappionted, not to say angry, with Farrow and Ball paint. Having done my own decorating for more than 30 years I like to think I know what the pitfalls are. Wrong!!
I wanted to replicate (as far as reasonably possible), a National Trust eggshell paint,"Wheelbarrow",no longer manufactured, which was a gorgeous green/blue/grey colour. Using the free colour card I paid for one of the tester pots which looked the closest to the colour I wanted. It turned out to be nowhere near to the colour shown, much paler.
Undeterred, I bought another tester pot in a darker colour in what looked like the tones I wanted. Wrong!! That turned out to be turquoise - again, nothing close to the colour card.
Having spent about £7 on testers I decided that the first colour "would do" as I felt confident that the quality would outway the hassle of starting all over again or wasting more money on another tester. Wrong again!!
The quality of the eggshell is a million miles away from the National Trust paint; coverage very poor indeed, taking 3 coats. Thank goodness the area being painting was fairly small and the paint JUST lasted. The finish is very disappointing and time will tell how long it will last - I'm not expecting great things!
I do know that another company has taken over the NT paints but sadly, not the colour I want - in fact they do very few colours in their range in eggshell.
On the positive side, the staff in the Bath branch couldn't have been nicer or more helpful.
Decided to invest in Farrow & Ball paints for the painting of Entrance Hall and stairs of Guest House to create a WOW factor for our guests. What a bitter disappointment. The finishes which were advised by an Interior designer experienced in and only uses Farrow & Ball paints were completely wrong for our purposes. The Eggshell recommended for doors and skirting chipped and scratched within 3 days to such an extent the Tradesman painter came back to put on a 3rd coat. Again, a further 3 days later chips and scratches appeared with only the slightest of touch. The Estate Emulsion finish on the walls marks easily and cannot be wiped without causing a bigger mess. Within 2 months the whole job needs re-doing and the impression is one of absolute disgrace . As if that wasn't bad enough, Farrow & Ball were not interested in knowing or doing anything about this. However our local Dulux store has offered complimentary Dulux paint to redo the job as a goodwill gesture. Would never use or recommend. A NO STAR rating
Farrow & Ball paints have transformed the space in many of the properties I have worked on. As an eco decorator I specialise in the application of natural products which is definitely an art beyond the skills we were taught back at college, even on the City & Guilds course I did. If you have an older house with lime plastered walls, Farrow and Ball Estate Emulsion will make them positively exude class. If you want to save a little money then undercoat your walls/ceilings with a decent trade NON-vinyl matt, particularly if you have new or bare plaster. Also, application with a brush uses less paint and gives better coverage, two coats and it it will look superb. Labour intensive yes, but more than worth it. I have never had any problems with any of the range but this is probably because I avoid pitfalls through experience. Don't waste your paint or your time if unsure, speak to a Farrow & Ball adviser or an eco decorator to get the luxurious finish you deserve for choosing this fine paint!
I was looking for a deep matt red for one wall in by bedroom. F&B's Refectory Red Estate Emulsion seemed the perfect choice. It took 5 litres to do one average wall! (£50ish pounds) The finish was the exact opposite of what I wanted. It came out streaky, shiny with that tacky kitchen washable look. It never quite dried and and felt sticky. I complained to Farrow & Ball, but after their "own quality testing" proceeded to blame the application and preparation. In the reno of 4 houses, never had this problem. Tried to cover with a base then a neutral colour in a well known brand, the Red started to blister and peel! It took 2 days of sanding the whole wall to get the stuff off so we could go back to good old Dulux which never fails. Farrow & Ball didn't take any responsibilty at all. Shocking!
Farrow & Ball are the only company who still manufacture paints using original formulations, and the best part is they are still manufacturing them in England. If you are looking to paint your house on a budget, forget it! I'm not one to pay through the nose for anything just because it has a name, but with this paint you really do get what you pay for.
Four years ago I bought a Victorian Quarryman's cottage on the side of the Malvern Hills, and since then have been very slowly rennovating it and trying to put back some of the original charm and features. it's a bit opf an uphill struggle as it is on 4 stories (keeps me fit!) and is plastered in layer upon layer of woodchip, but slowly, I am getting there.
I have used Farrow and Ball paint throughout, and believe it truly can't be beaten. The finish you obtain is fantastic and the high levels of pigment in the paint means that it covers really well. Their depth is really amazing.
There are several finishes available; For interiors - Estate Emulsion, Modern Emulsion, Oil Eggshell, Water Based Eggshell, Floor Pain and Oil Full Gloss. For Exteriors - Exterior Masonry, Exterior Eggshell and Oil Full Gloss. There is also a Dead Flat Oil Paint.
It may all sound a bit complicated, but really it isn't! I have mostly used Estate Emulsion throughout my house which gives a lovely traditional matt finish. I have used the modern emulsion in the kitchen and bathroom as it resists moisture,, but still has a semi-matt finish. I have also used the Water based and oil based eggshell for painting woodwork. The finish with all the products I have used is exceptional.
Then there are the colours. I love this, the colours all have a history behind them, and a story to tell. If you go on the website (www.farrow-ball.com) it tells you the origin of each colour. For example "Calke Green" is a colour based directly on a cleaned version of the breakfast room at Calke Abbey. Fascinating stuff!
More than 90% of Farrow & Ball Paint is now Eco Friendly. They use natural ingredients wherever possible like linseed oil and china clay. The packaging is really traditional, a proper tin with a handle which, of course is fully recyclable steel.
You can expect to pay around £25.00 for a 2.5 litre tin of estate emulsion, but the coverage is fantastic, you will never need more than 2 coats and can get away with one in some cases. It goes a lot further than budget brands. I've tried others, but I always come back to Farrow & Ball. An investment.
Farrow and Ball was founded in the 1940s in Wimborne, Dorset, a privately owned company that produce high quality paint and wallpaper.
This company uses traditional formulations and the finest raw materials to make their paint.
In the 1950s The National Trust started to use Farrow and Ball paint, they admired the traditional formulations and the muted colours suited the Trusts restoration projects.
The wallpaper is also made traditionally and is manufactured using block printing.
The outside of my parents cottage needed repainting ( window frames and front door ) and after a visit to the Farrow and Ball showroom located on Walcott Street Bath, they were smitten.
A colour chart was going to cost them a whacking £15, so we decided to have a day trip to Bath and include the showroom visit to choose the paint while we were there.
I have to take my hat off to the staff who were more than helpful.They advised that the preparation was fundamental. The choice of undercoat was essential to achieve the best results.
They needed to buy 2.5 litres of exterior oil primer and undercoat at a cost of £36.
The colour charts are so tempting, but my parents decided on `Chinese Blue`a very attractive shade, maybe a little bit like the colour on Delft Pottery.
Again they needed a 2.5 litre tin of oil full gloss at a cost of £36.50. I was beginning to think it was a good job the cottage was small!
Because the paint is so highly pigmented the colours have great depth to them. The paint colour also changes according to its surroundings, so they strongly recommend using a sample pot first. A 100ml sample pot costs £3.25, so that plus another trip to the showroom in theory would have been another day out, but would in practise just added more to the cost.
For every paint finish and primer that is produced there is an advice sheet offering guidance on preparation, coverage and how to use.
If by any chance you have a large home and would like to use Farrow and Ball paints or wallpaper then its possible for a colour consultant to visit your home.
After the preparation was done at the cottage we applied the primer, this needed a day to dry thoroughly.
The next the `Chinese Blue` gloss went on, it loaded onto the paintbrush well and was sufficiently thick enough not to drip too much. The colour was refreshingly different and it had a good sheen. The paint had next to no odour.The overall finished effect was excellent.
Farrow and Ball paints are among some of the most environmentally friendly in the World. They still use natural ingredients such as Linseed Oil and China Clay and avoid very harmful formaldehyde's and ammonia.
The paint tins are easily recycled.
The cottage looked good, smart and rather posh!
The Farrow and Ball paint is certainly pricey, but the thought that has been put into making the paint makes up for that.
The amount of paint that was needed to repaint the cottage windows and front door was affordable, but if you do have a large house that might not be the case.
The price of the colour chart was a bit off putting! but it was a comprehensive chart. Apparently you can get a very basic colour chart free.
Farrow and Ball have a good website which is regularly updated with any new products, well worth taking a look at.
I have just received a delivery of Farrow and Ball paint and I am disappointed. I ordered Rectory Red which on the paint card looked a ruby red. I also ordered Bible Black which on the paint card looked a deep midnight blue. It was to go with white doors on a landing a red,white and blue colour scheme. In reality, Rectory Red is a vivid pink and Bible Black is purple. Not what I want at all and this isn't cheap paint! However, if I had visited the Farrow and Ball website, I would have had a much better idea of what I would be getting - pink and purple. On my monitor at least. the colours are almost the same as what was delivered. Also, the site gives a more detailed description of the paint colour when you click on the samples. So there you have it. Don't trust Farrow and Ball paint cards. They are way off what you will receive. My rating is for their paint cards. Nothing wrong with the paint if you're into Barbie colours.
I am a big fan of painting because of the wide range of things you can do with it without having to shell out too many of your hard earned pennies. I have tried more different brands of paint than I care to remember so I just had to tell you about one of my more recent discoveries - Farrow and Ball. I'm in the process of doing a bit of a makeover on my boyf's house as he was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with his nice, flat cream walls. (I can hear the envious sighs from here - the joy of new houses.) The previous occupants had some rather 'unusual' ideas when it comes to decorating and left behind a garish concotion of mismatched and inappropriate colours. Now each to their own and all that but navy blue over all four walls and the ceiling in one of the bedrooms doesn't really do it for me I'm afraid. So the first thing my boyf did on moving in was paint everything back to cream so that he could actually see what he had to play with. 18 months on he was about ready for a change and that's where I come in. The kitchen, utility and downstairs loo had all been covered in cheap looking pine panelling up to the height of the kitchen worktops. This wouldn't have been quite so bad but the kitchen units are limed oak. I really wanted to get rid of the panelling but having ripped it out of the loo and spent days filling in the holes and getting the walls ready to be painted we knew this really wasn't going to be an option in the kitchen unless we were prepared to replaster the whole room. I decided that the best thing to do would be to paint the panelling to stop it clashing with the units and try to disguise the poor quality of the panels. As it's a big kitchen and could take a bit of colour I decided on a deep red for the panelling and a warm cream for the walls and set off in search of the colours I could see in my head. As soon as I saw Eating Room Red in the Farrow and Ball range I knew
it was the perfect colour. It's a luxuriously deep red wine colour and totally different to anything I found by any other paint manufacturer. I'd never used Farrow and Ball paint before but I bought my tester pot and took it home to splash about. It seems a bit pricey at £3.00 but it does come in a nice mini paint tin rather than the nasty plastic efforts most manufacturers favour. When I opened the tin however I knew it was worth every penny. You just have to look at the paint to see that it's a fantastic quality product. The texture is so smooth and the consistency of the paint is more runny than jelly. (This is because it's not a non drip paint so you need to take care not to overload the brush.) When I brushed some on to the walls it went on so smoothly and evenly and didn't leave nasty brush marks behind. This was really good as obviously I would be painting the panelling with a brush rather than a roller. When the paint dried it had a lovely matt finish which I liked and the colour was even with only one coat on. I applied a second coat and this was enough to cover the panelling so that it didn't show through at all. I bought a 2.5l tin to cover the panelling in the kitchen and utility which cost £18.99. (They also do 5l tins for £34.99) I realise that this is more than a lot of other paints but the quality of this paint justifies it. In addition to that the thing that impressed me most was just how far this paint will go. Farrow and Ball claim that a 2.5l tin will cover 35-40m2 depending on the surface. By comparison a tin of Dulux emulsion I have will cover up to 32m2, a tin of Crown emulsion up to 30m2, a tin of Crown Solo up to 20m2 and a tub of B&Q kitchen paint up to 12m2. (These are all 2.5l tins.) I must have covered very approximately 24m2 having applied two coats and I've got about half a tin left so I'm very impressed. Farrow and Ball is the only paint manufacturer I actually believ
e when they tell me the paint will cover a certain area. You won't find anything garish in the Farrow and Ball range, all the colours are designed to be traditional, useable colours that will create a comfortable, warm home. They have also developed a range of paints for the National Trust. They describe themselves as being 'the last remaining traditional paint and wallpaper manufacturer in Britain.' They use original formulations to create paints in the same way they always have and this means that their paints have a flat finish allowing the depth of the colour to be the thing that you see, rather than the sheen over the top. Farrow and Ball paints are available in sample pots, Estate emulsion, water based eggshell, oil eggshell, exterior eggshell, oil full gloss, dead flat oil, exterior masonry paint and floor paint as well as a few colours in soft distemper and casein distemper. In addition they sell flat varnish, eggshell varnish, oil stainers, water stainers, primers for all surfaces, scumble glaze and paints for your garden. I defy you to not find something you love in all that lot! You'll also find brighter colours in their ranges of Laura Ashley and Jane Churchill paints. Their website shows the whole range of paints and wallpapers and you can order from it with free p&p. They accept Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Delta and Eurocard. Samples are available and they encourage you to visit one of their stockists before ordering so that you can see the colours properly. There is a stockist finder on the website although I don't think this includes stores like Homebase and B&Q which do stock Farrow and Ball. They also offer a colour consultancy service for £90 per room where they will demonstrate different options and talk you through the styles and finishes available to you. This could be a really good investment if you find the whole interiors thing a bit daunting. I'll be attacking the living r
oom next and Farrow and Ball will be my first port of call when I'm searching for that elusive perfect colour. Thanks for reading this very long opinion. Hope you find it useful. A x
I’ve tried many different makes of paint over time. Early on I decided the named brands are better value than the shops’ own brands because they seem to give better coverage, but other than that I would choose tester pots for all the colours that seemed possible regardless of make. That’s usually quite a few tester pots... why, oh why, do the colours never look anything like the same on the wall as they do in the picture?! When I recently repainted my living room, several friends and family recommended Farrow and Ball paints for their subtle range of colours. Farrow and Ball make a whole range of paints in traditional, “period” colours and finishes. If I tell you that the National Trust use Farrow & Ball paints in their properties, you’ll get the idea. They are proud of the fact that they use traditional methods and high quality materials which is why, they claim, their paints have great depth of colour. They also make wallpaper, but I've never yet ventured into wallpapering so can’t comment on that! I’d decided that I wanted a warm, creamy-gold (you know what I mean) and a friend had used Print Room Yellow, so I went to my local Sainsbury’s Homebase which has a range of Farrow & Ball paints and tester pots. I knew the paint was more expensive than regular brands so I wasn’t too shocked to find that 2.5 litres was £17.99. However, I was horrified to find that the price of the tester pot was £2.99! If it’s any consolation this is a large pot at 100ml so if you like the colour it will go a long way. Sadly, Print Room Yellow was too bright for my room but there were dozens of others to choose from. On my second attempt I was more lucky. Dorset Cream is a gorgeous colour, just what I wanted. Of course, when I next went back to Homebase they didn’t have my colour in stock and they proved hopeless at getting it on order. “Let’s see if they list stockists on
the website,” said my husband. “Don’t be soft!” said I affectionately, “an old-fashioned company like that won’t have a proper website.” Actually, the list of stockist wasn't complete, but other than that we were surprised at how good the website is. You get loads of information about the different products and how to use them, and you can order everything on-line. They recommend that you don’t buy without first getting free colour cards from them or wallpaper samples. You can then order tester pots and 2.5 litre pots at the same prices as my local shop, or 5 litres at £32.99, a more economical option which wasn’t available from Homebase. My living room is nearly 40 square metres, so I got the 5 litre tin which is intended to cover up to 80 square metres. We were puzzled that the order form didn’t mention delivery charges so we rang up to check, but they confirmed that delivery is free! I was really starting to warm to this company. We went ahead and ordered 5 litres of Estate Emulsion, and the paint arrived three days later with no fuss. We duly set to work. The paint goes on nicely and covers well – although we had to go over the dark colour in my previous stencil three to four times with the new paint being a lighter colour – and it certainly seems to have a certain “depth” to it. Perhaps I’m imagining that. What is certain, though, is that the paint goes a long way– even after 2 full coats I’d only used just over half the tin! Weeks later and I'm still admiring my very own "stately home" paint job. Now all I need is a West Wing....
We recently decided to paint our sons new bedroom, in blue and yellow. We chose colours from Anne Mckevits range, in 'Deep Sea Blue', and 'Yellow wellies'. I prepared the walls as you normally do for paining, deciding to paint 2 walls in blue, and 2 walls in yellow (opposite walls). The blue paint was fine, went on great, and within 2 coats was covered. The yellow however was a different matter. I am well aware that obviously the state of the wall plays an important factor in how much paint is used, but as the blue went on fine, so should have the yellow (theoretically!). The yellow was a disaster, in the end it took 5 coats. yes FIVE COATS. It wasn't as if I was painting over a dark colour, the walls haven't been painted before, they were just the plaster colour. The paint was thin, and just didn't cover the walls at all well. The advantage of these paints though, to give them their due, is that they are 'scrubbable and rubbable' great for kids rooms, (if they have accidents with the felt tips!) and you can also paint the skirting, doors and radiators with the same paint, so saving the need to buy separate gloss or satinwood. I wouldn't buy this paint again though. (Price £13.99 for 2.5 litres)