Farrow and Ball - rubbish or not?

(119 Posts)

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ovariantryst Mon 09-Jul-12 14:44:48

Okay, I realise I am about to offend half of Mumsnet, but I have spent an entire morning having my ear bent by a professional decorator and I need a second opinion…

According to him and his previous experience, Farrow and Ball is a pile of poo, does not wipe clean as it should (have just seen thread here that suggests this is true) , doesn't go on well, and doesn't last long without bubbling in the Westcountry sun (not that I've seen it much recently, mind…).

So - do you agree? What should I use instead? Someone recommended Dulux but I'm concerned the pigments aren't as rich as F&B.

Is Fired Earth any better? Anything else I need to know?? It's for an 1820s house, if that has any bearing at all on anything.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 11-Jul-12 17:17:41

Our decorator said that to us once and when we said no we want F&B, he proceeded to ignore us and paint the wall with a copy. We made him do it again with F&B.

I can certainly tell the difference in the tone and depth. Oh and we have found it wipes down fine. We have 2 small DC and a house full of F&B

heroutdoors Sat 18-Aug-12 15:03:57

@ flatbread.
Finally! I had an answer, although by now you have probably not only painted your own place but everybody else's as well.
I'll repeat it word for word:

VOC2010 refers to the latest year when compliance to the reduction of volatile organic compounds had to be in place.
This reduction of solvents means that paint had to be reformulated.
So out go the titanium fillers and in come the plasticizers which are a mixture of solvent and water. Some manufacturers rather than modifying the solvent based product opt for a water based alternative. Water based paint on previously unpainted woodwork is very good. But on surfaces previously oil painted there can be an adhesion problem
Modified versions like Dulux satinwood, gloss and undercoat are now very slow drying and still soft after 24 hrs of application
Some manufacturers have opted for water based gloss and exterior gloss.
The big problem here is that an acrylic water based undercoat has to be used as a substitute to the conventional undercoat.
Acrylics are price sensitive for quality and in F&B's case would be applied over previously (oil?) painted woodwork. Which in my experience is retrograde.

Hope all that makes sense. I am not sure I understand it all.

HaplessHousewife Mon 20-Aug-12 18:44:10

My builder and decorator both turned their noses up at F&B and said the best quality paint is Dulux trade. The decorator said it's the lack of vinyl that makes it difficult to clean although he did say it touches up well if you get scuffs on it but that means you have to be prepared to keep repainting.

(The builder's not doing the painting, so no reason to put us off F&B, but I asked his opinion as we've known him for 15 years.)

Ingles2 Mon 20-Aug-12 19:02:37

I've been painting my 16c weatherboard cottage in f&b for the last 10 years and it definitely isn't as good since they changed the formula/went water based to come in line with EU changes.
I'll still be using the estate emulsion on interior walls for the Matt, chalky depth of colour
But I'm not using their interior or exterior eggshell again. It flakes, bubbles and scratches off easily which when your house it completely timber, is a total nightmare! Im using leyland/ Johnstone exterior oil based gloss colour matched which is fab...
My exterior doors were fired earth wild olive which is no longer available since changes, the leyland version is exactly the same, but cheaper.

noddyholder Mon 20-Aug-12 19:04:39

Farrow and ball is always a source of an argument with my builders they never want to use it so I don't. It takes longer to put on and so costs more. Every time i have used it they have had to come back and do another coat.Little greene is very good but dulux is best and if you really want posh paint malabar covers really well

BerylStreep Mon 20-Aug-12 19:48:40

I have never used F&B outside, but internally, the colours are gorgeous, and it is true, there is better pigment. I'm surprised by those people who have said you need to do more coats. That's not my experience - usually the first coat goes on, and you are left wondering if you really need a second one (which of course you do, but YKWIM).

Our interior designer (dahling) warned us against getting F&B colours mixed by a trade counter, said it never looked the same - we thought he was being a bit precious, but having made that expensive mistake, can vouch that it is true.

I used the estate emulsion, and my DC (7 & 5) know that they touch walls at their peril. I wish to goodness their sticky handed friends knew the same.

Anyway, the modern emulsion really is wipeable, and I wish I had used that throughout, but have only used it in bathrooms, although you don't get that fab mattness that you get with the estate emulsion.

The other brand that gets a good name with designers is Zoffany, but I haven't used it.

Carlag73 Thu 25-Apr-13 17:15:04

Some facts about paint.

Dulux/ crown etc are made to a price, they know what they want the price to be on B & Qs shelves and the chemists do the best job they can with the money in the pot.

Farrow and Ball and Little Greene make the best paint they can and it costs what it costs.
The EU have recently brought in strict regulations regarding Volatile organic compounds in paints which has meant that paint makers have had to change their formulations and F & B have really struggled with this and their paints now need more coats than Little Greene's do.
And Little Green are a small familly owned Manchester concern whereas F & B are owned by an American Venture Capital company.
Little Green also manufacture for Sanders, Zoffany, Paint Library (not Fired earth any more)

justaweeone Thu 25-Apr-13 19:25:39

York-I have painted units and had this paint colour matched in a f & b colour

Elegant Aqua Lackfarg 10

It is fab paint to use,hardwearing and we make an effort to touch up the units ever year.5 yearson the units still look great

Rosesandlemons Thu 25-Apr-13 21:29:56

I know of someone who was warned against f&b for her windows and doors by her decorator. She ignored him. A year later she was having them re painted with dulux, the f&b bubbled and cracked within months. This was a ver big house, therefore a very costly mistake.

I think I would use f&b for a bedroom but not for areas of the house that get more wear and tear. I have had our living room painted in a colour matched paint from the f&b range, so the same colour but more hard wearing and wipes down well.

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 26-Apr-13 11:12:48

WE have F&B Slipper Satin in lots of places (open dining area, under dado in hall, and our bedroom) all have lasted well for 8 years.

I have recently painted another room in a matched Slipper Satin and to my eye it does have the same soft colour - it looks too yellow, rather thena gentle neutral cream. I didn't buy enough so I will make sure the top coat is the original stuff. TBH I'm not convinced by the shops who say they can colour match.

Carlag73 Thu 02-May-13 11:37:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Devora Fri 03-May-13 01:25:05

I love a bit of F&B, but have to admit that I will not be using it again for high traffic areas frequented by small children with grubby palms. Whenever I try to wipe it I just seem to end up spreading the dirt around, and I am resigned to it looking shabby until I repaint, which won't be for a good few years yet.

Next time, it's plain Dulux for me in those areas, with F&B saved for my bedroom smile

CoolStoryBro Fri 03-May-13 02:20:49

Personally, I think the standard of F&B has gone down in direct correlation with its popularity going up.

I'd go with a low VOC colour match.

SvetlanaKirilenko Fri 03-May-13 11:39:19

Zombie thread but I'll add my tuppence-worth being as I have just finished decorating our house in F&B...

F&B colours can not be matched IMHO, they change with the light in a way dulux etc. do not. They are beautiful - and I love the slight "sludginess" you get with each colour, which fits in well with an old slightly crumbly house like mine. I have it in every room including halls.

I tested lots of LG colours but found the colours too "clear" for my liking, so obviously it's that beige base I love smile

Carlag73 Sat 04-May-13 19:39:39

It's all very well saying I bought xyz emulsion and it goes shiny when I wipe it therefore it must be rubbish. Most paint companies offer one emulsion which is extra chalky and therefore does not wash well but is great for ceilings and for people without kids and dogs. And another emulsion with polyurethane which is slightly less chalky but is virtually scrubbable, don't pile in without learning which is which and buy the wrong one. There is a 50% chance of you getting it right but really it's not rocket science.

Honestyisbest Sat 04-May-13 22:38:10

Both the decorator who is painting the walls ( he has 40 years experience, he's 64!) and the kitchen company painter who is painting the cupboards insist on Dulux. We have chosen for their heritage range. They both have said independently that they will use FB or similar, but they really don't recommend it for all the reasons others have mentioned. Anyway we are using Trade Matt white on the walls and Georgian Grey on the cupboards. Oh and it's three for two on offer in B and Q!

tutu2 Sat 11-May-13 17:59:41

F&B are great - but even better are Ecos Organic paints. used them right throughout our past 2 houses for years - I dont know why more people dont seem to know about them

noddyholder Sat 11-May-13 18:47:51

Little Greene is very good. Lots of decorators admit to me at work that it is good paint but they can't be arsed to put in the effort required with super matt finish to get good coverage. All the really good decorators never complain. Cheaper ones do (I have found) I like dulux too

crazyhead Sat 11-May-13 19:14:28

I really like Little Greene intellimatt emulsion or whatever it is called. It does take more coats than Dulux but looks nicer. Not cheap though

Merguez Sat 11-May-13 19:14:44

We need to repaint the outside wooden window frames as the F&B paint we had done a few years ago is completely cracked now.

So, what's a good alternative? Hate gloss, must be eggshell finish. Only paint Dulux recommends for exteriors is gloss...

noddyholder Sat 11-May-13 19:23:43

Little greene traditional oil eggshell

SvetlanaKirilenko Tue 14-May-13 10:41:29

tutu2 I like the sound of ecos paints, I have pm'd you smile

Bramshott Tue 14-May-13 10:51:11

Merguez - I think it has to be gloss for exterior wood. We've used F & B white tie gloss on our window frames and it's lasting well so far.

Merguez Tue 14-May-13 16:28:11

But I hate gloss! way too shiny for our traditional old farmhouse...

Bublinskibits Thu 06-Jun-13 12:47:49

The reason the quality of F&B has gone down is that they were bought out by a Chinese company. The product is now all made in China and contains certain types of plastic/synthetic material to make it more hard-wearing. There are many examples of people using new F&B in their old houses and suffering ongoing problems from the fact that old lime walls need to breathe and new F&B doesn't allow that. I'm sad, as we've always used F&B and don't really know what other make will look OK against these in our old house.

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