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Farrow and Ball - rubbish or not?

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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.

sh77 Mon 09-Jul-12 15:22:33

Does not wipe indeed. Having just spent a fortune on posh paint, I can honestly say I wish I had stuck to dulux. Little Greene has a better variety of colours but suffers from cleaning issue. It is cheaper than fb if you get it frin leyland sdm - 45 quid per 5l instead of 68 from lg online.

SundaeGirl Mon 09-Jul-12 15:30:34

Do not listen to your decorator! Try two tester pots, one f&b, the other Dulux, and you'll see why he wants the Dulux. F&B has a higher pigment - the brush drags and it's harder to paint. Dulux slaps on. Your decorator is thinking of himself not the lovely finished result!

That said, Little Greene has a finish that's really hard wearing.

lottiegb Mon 09-Jul-12 15:33:02

Not rubbish, very different matt, chalky finish which does look lovely and suit older houses. The slight glisten of dulux can look wrong.

Not sure about wiping though.

heroutdoors Mon 09-Jul-12 16:31:36

SundaeGirl hit the nail on the head!
The paint does drag, and the decorator does not like it at all. Our lifelong decorator sat with his hands in his head ( you would have thought he was Picasso!) he could not get it to flow.
Which makes me wonder if the poor OP on the other thread had a painter who added too much thinner when she wasn't looking. grin
These " problems" started when FB had to comply to the new European Rule and Regulation regarding paint. As they all did.

heroutdoors Mon 09-Jul-12 16:42:53

..head in hands even...

Flatbread Mon 09-Jul-12 16:58:25

Lottie, agree. We had put dulux on our old house. It was nice, but didn't have the depth of colour f&b has. I think it is a bit crap to pay so much for f&b paint, and get subpar performance, though. At the end of the day, it has to be practical, especially in kitchen and bathrooms.

Flatbread Mon 09-Jul-12 16:59:05

Hereoutdoors, what changed with EU regulations?

MarshaBrady Mon 09-Jul-12 17:03:16

Nearly all decorators will say no to F&B and say it isn't good etc. All ours did when we were looking for someone.

Except for one who said he specialised in F&B paint at double the price. Rather clever, although I didn't use him. Made the guy we chose use F&B despite his protests.

But it is nicer imo

noddyholder Mon 09-Jul-12 17:04:27

Littel greene are lovely

PanicMode Mon 09-Jul-12 17:33:27

F&B colours are great, pigments better blah blah blah. However, I won't use it again (at least until the children are older), despite having a period house because it just isn't practical for family living - I cannot get ours to wipe clean, despite their assurances that it does.

If your children are older and are unlikely to scuff walls or put mucky handprints all the way down your stairs two days after completely redecorating, then it does look lovely and is probably worth doing, but with a young family, I'd definitely steer clear.....

heroutdoors Mon 09-Jul-12 18:28:05

@ flatbread
I will find out for you as soon as I can. I am not technically up to date with paint.
However I do know that this regulation is not new. Maybe three/four years old.

Flatbread Mon 09-Jul-12 18:47:55

Thanks, Here, if it is not too much of a bother smile

angrywoman Mon 09-Jul-12 18:51:57

I have used F and B outside. It needs a third coat and I was quite pissed off to see a couple of bubbles in it recently. Still like it but would consider others in future.

soonbesailing Tue 10-Jul-12 16:24:44

This is a discussion that could roll and roll, but I do think the main thing is to be realistic about what you want from your paint, as not all paints are the same.

F & B have low VOCs and use quality pigments and bases in their paint, but that means they do not perform in the same way as say Dulux paint.

It's the plastics in paint that make them more durable and washable, also the flatter the finish the more likely it is that dirt will stick on it, that is why Modern emulsion has more shine to it than estate emulsion and why eggshell is used on wood, because it's in areas that you want to wash down (ie around door handles).

So if you want a lovely chalky flat minimal VOC paint then you will be happy with F&B.

From a colour point of view, again it's the amount of pigment in F & B that gives it that special chalky look. Yes you can get a similar colour in other brands, but it will not be the same, if you have a really keen eye you will notice the difference.

There is nothing wrong with matching a colour but it does drive me mad when people test a F &B paint then get it matched and find it's not the same.... Of course it's not the same. If you can't afford their paint why even try the tester pot in the first place? You should take their colour card and match to that and try the tester pot in Dulux or whatever paint it is you want to buy at the end, then you will get a real idea about the colour you will end up with.

I'm not saying this to be difficult or snobby just as good advice as I come across many people who are disappointed in their F & B match.

Re the washability I haven't commented on the other post as I can see that the OP is really cross and I don't think she will like what F & B say, but I do think the whole area regarding washability is so subjective and one persons gentle wipedown is anothers scrub down. I do think all of the paint co's are a bit lax in this area and they don't really say what washable/ wipeable means, but in my experience it's often tricky to spot clean or touch up and for it to not show you often have to clean the whole wall or repaint a whole wall, especially if you have dark colours (I have lots of dark grey not easy to touch up).

Decorators often don't like F & B because it's thinner that other paints and takes more work to put on.

The EU regulations changed about 3 years ago all paint co's reduced the level of VOC to fall in line with that, so all paint now has reduced level of oil/plastic etc in it even the cheapest on the market. More reg changes are coming ( in 2015 I think) and eventually you will not be able to buy oil based paint in the E U.

F & B decided to get ahead of the game and reformulated all of their paint without oil, so they will not have to make the changes in the future.

I work in a paint stockist so sell several brands but just thought I should tell you about F & B, as that was what you were asking about, hope it is of some help.

fresh Tue 10-Jul-12 18:14:53

Thank you soonbesailing. Whenever this question comes up again (and it will), I shall link to your reply as it's the sanest I've seen grin

libelulle Tue 10-Jul-12 19:23:01

Little Greene, little greene! I used to be a F&B enthusiast but since using LG I'm a total convert, the coverage seems so much better and still with the 'chalky' finish of f&b. Re washability, the LG 'intelligent emulsion' is supposed to be washable and so far we've given it a couple of rubs down and it seems to be pretty sturdy. I promise I have no LG connection (have plugged them on a couple of threads already!) - just the experience of painting one entire house in f&B and then another whole house in LG!

amazonianwoman Tue 10-Jul-12 20:31:52

Libelulle - recommend me some nice LG colours please! Looking for a bedroom colour to go with white and pale grey patterned bedding, roman blinds which are white & greigey flowers, oak bed & bedside drawers (don't love these but can't afford to change them) and very old waxed pine chest of drawers and trunk (could paint both of these)

Bedroom is large 6.5 x 4.5 m and faces mostly east, with north facing window too. 3 big windows so light.

Have only ordered "Pearl" tester so far but wish I'd ordered pearl dark instead. I thought a greeny grey might tone down the (not too) orangey yellow oak. Really don't want to spend a fortune on testers! Any recommendations!

[sorry for hijack!]

ovariantryst Tue 10-Jul-12 23:07:34

Thanks all - anyone ever tried Fired Earth, though? There must be a compromise! Our youngest dc is 2 so wipeable is a must.

In fairness to our decorator, it wasn't so much the application but the performance of F&B that he had most issues with. They were at the job for a couple of weeks and by the time they left, the first outside areas they'd painted were bubbling...

I'll look up Little Greene and see if I can get hold of it in the back of beyond...

heroutdoors Wed 11-Jul-12 15:11:30

@ flatbread.
Still waiting for feedback , sorry.
After soonbesailing's excellent post I doubt there will be much to add.But when it comes I will pass it on.

Flatbread Wed 11-Jul-12 15:43:07

Her, thanks. Soon covered it well.

I think F&B need to be more upfront about the performance of their paints, so people can make an informed choice.

GiveTheAnarchistACigarette Wed 11-Jul-12 15:47:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flatbread Wed 11-Jul-12 16:07:13

Ooh, interesting <off to google Earthborne claypaint>

ExitPursuedByABear Wed 11-Jul-12 16:12:35

Markng my place. I love F&B colours and haven't had much trouble wiping it down.

Yorky Wed 11-Jul-12 17:14:31

Interesting to read as following another thread I have been looking at DIY kitchens and like their painted range, which they describe as F&B colours, but having read this I have no intention of using F&B on my kitchen walls with 4DC under 6!
I don't suppose anyone knows if they have just 'matched' the colours to an F&B paint card, or actually use their paints on the cupboard doors?

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