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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.

Elliptic5 Thu 06-Jun-13 13:33:10

Merguez I mentioned on another thread we are just having the outside of our house done in Sadolin Superdec, that may well give the finish you are after.

mattip Mon 08-Jul-13 21:58:31

I used F&b james white 2010 last year and it was brilliant 2 coats and it covered well. This year the same colour new tin and I'm having to put 4 to 5 coats before it covers it completly. A waste of time. I rung F&B and they said there is nothing wrong with the paint ...what a load of rubbish. £60 worth of useless paint. Im going to use Annie Sloan from now on.

Itscoldouthere Tue 09-Jul-13 00:01:41

Bublinskibits I don't know where you got that information about F & B but I worked as a stockist for them and that is news to me, I believe that all of their paints made in Dorset and the reason for the change is the removal of oil in their paint.
I'd love to know where your information comes from, as a stockist I rely on this information to sell their paint.

frostyfingers Tue 09-Jul-13 13:50:13

I looked at F&B and Fired Earth but in the end opted for Dulux Heritage paints - they have a similar look to the others, coverage and application is about the same, but they are a little cheaper. The room that we painted with it has stayed immaculate, and I used to wipe sticky finger marks, dog marks etc regularly.

PainterPete Thu 08-Aug-13 23:07:48

Decorators hate Farrow & Ball because their client is paying for the brand marketing spin and not the contents of the tin. Very, very poor product. Manufactured in China, very poor resin & pigment content. Bulked out with all sorts of nasties and you'll pay me or any other decorator lots of money for labour to paint on four or even six (dark colours) to achieve a passable result. Once the little ones embelish with pens & crayons you'll be left with a shiny mark & less paint once you've been busy scrubbing the lot off. Chips like soft meringue. Pay same price for a real premium paint that dries dead flat, eggshell or gloss dependent on your preference. It's Marble Matt emulsion contains crushed marble in the formula so it'll be as tough as nails and I can tell you with confidence you can scrubb of anything the dog or children throw at it and it will not leave a shiny mark. Manufactured in Lambeth, London by a 130 yr plus old company who know their paints and varnishes. Company is called Mylands and their Colours of London Marble Matt paints are a joy to use. Find 'em online or visit their trade counter - you'll find all the decorators in the know tell customers Mylands are the real thing. Pay for the stuff in the tin and not some F&B showroom & marketing. Fabulous colours too..... two coats and your done too smile

SuddenlySingleAgain Fri 09-Aug-13 20:54:24

it's made in Blandford Dorset

Itscoldouthere Sat 10-Aug-13 10:18:53

Yes again another person saying its made in China confused

Why do you think that? I'd really like to know.

It's not something I've every been told and I sell the stuff !

PainterPete Sat 10-Aug-13 16:00:34

Shipped in bulk and the colours added in uk.... Damn awful stuff. Used Mylands paint for years. It's the contents of the tin that count and not the fancy shop & adverts. New colours keep my most discerning fussy customers coming back time & time again for more of the proper stuff. Same price as the other posh paint that painters hate but goes on in two coats and covers a host of sins. Good enough for the queen too and she knows quality. Wife loves it and the toddlers have yet to make their mark - scrubb of the crayons and no look at me shine or mark. Proper paint.

PainterPete Sat 10-Aug-13 18:41:27

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

CustardTheCat84 Sun 11-Aug-13 18:27:04

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

EmmaRoberts Wed 14-Aug-13 09:48:47

My favourite new paint in the range my that hotel agency Mr & Mrs Smith! Didn't even know they did that kind of thing!

EmmaRoberts Wed 14-Aug-13 09:49:04

My favourite new paint in the range my that hotel agency Mr & Mrs Smith! Didn't even know they did that kind of thing!

stayhomedaddy Wed 21-Aug-13 16:21:23

For what it's worth, I painted our study in F&B. I did not use their primer, but I did use 3 coats of F&B (5 litres + c.2.5l), the 3rd coat from a different tin. I was told 3 coats is an ok alternative to using their primer.

My view is it is not as good as either Sanderson (get from John Lewis, and elsewhere) or Zophany (I understand has merged with Sanderson, but paint seemed different).

My F&B experience is:

1. It goes on thinly, hence i used 3 coats.
2. It bubbled when I put the 3rd coat on (I sanded and repainted, it bubbled again)
3. It is not hard wearing - 2 weeks later I brushed my chair against the wall and 3 layers of paint peeled off, plus the layer of paint it sat on top of!!
4. By contrast, I painted my living room and bedroom (both more than twice the size of the study) using Sanderson and used just 5 litres each (just one coat). All rooms started in light/white colour paint, dulux, which I painted 5 years ago.

I live in a georgian house in the new town of Edinburgh (think Bath's Crescents, if you live in the South of England!) and I would never use F&B again. I can't understand why the brand still exists, to be honest.

Peppercornhouse1 Mon 14-Oct-13 22:53:33

The best chalk paint to use is Autentico velvet for walls. Beautiful colours to choose from and they are chalk paints. Very robust and wipe able
I stock them at peppercorn house. There are various stockists all over the country!! Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Nov-13 15:29:30

Hello there

We've been contacted by Farrow and Ball, who've asked us to pass on the following:

'After a few customers referencing this forum thread, Farrow & Ball can confirm that their paint and wallpaper continues to be made at their home in Wimborne, Dorset, where it has been for over 70 years.'


Aloysius Tue 05-Nov-13 20:37:51

Having used Fired Earth throughout our house, we used F&B Drawing Room Blue in the bedroom of our four boys. Never again! When you wipe a mark you can actually see the paint on the cloth and it leaves a visible and obvious mark. I have vowed never to use it again. We recently used Fired Earth Afternoon Tea (it is part of their harder wearing range) and this gives a lovely finish and texture. I have a chart for Mylands and the colours are fab, so think I would give it a whirl next time.

SadPander Tue 05-Nov-13 20:54:18

I love Fired Earth, goes on so well and has a hard wearing finish. I'd definitely recommend it.

Retroformica Tue 05-Nov-13 22:55:00

The amazing interior decorator I know recommends little green. Lovely colours!!!

BoffinMum Tue 12-Nov-13 15:40:59

Reluctantly, I've just had the whole house done in F and B colours mixed in Crown paint, which gave a much better result. Realistically you wouldn't be able to tell it's not F and B, although we did have to experiment a bit to get the correct shades (they often come out a bit darker). I think F and B need to look long and hard at their current formulations as the quality really has deteriorated since I started using it 15 years ago. Even your loyal customers are getting fed up with the quality issue.

thekitchenpainter Sun 05-Jan-14 09:39:22

I can see all the problems here as I have had to try and find a method to try and attain a high quality finnish using Fand B paints,estate eggshell to be exact,the problems arise from using water based undercoats on wood that has next to no moisture content and on mdf panels where the same applies,the fact is if you use the specified water based primer you are reintroducing a moisture content,the tulipwood frames and mdf panels will absorb this water and the final finish will be poor and not hardwearing.I paint all my kitchens,bookcases etc, using oil based primer which I tint to as near to the final colour using various shades of oil eggshells .The make of paint I use for this is pretty quick drying for oil based paint and lets me paint both sides of the cupboard doors the same day but you have to wait until the next day before the paint is dry enough to sand.If the kitchen is to be finished in a white or very light colour I always use at least 2 coats of primer so that you cannot see any wood through the paint bearing in mind that white paint colours contain the least amount of coloured pigment,If the finished colour is a grey or green one coat of primer is usually sufficient.I then sand everything with a 180 grit paper thoroughly and can then apply my 2 top coats of paint,I use FandB or Little Green eggshell and nothing else,sanding between coats with a fine 240 or old worn 180 grit paper,there will be less sanding with each coat of paint and with the matt finish of the primer you should not have any compatability problems when applying a water based eggshell,I do not use any other makes of paints and would like to say that its not an easy job and that the average sized kitchen will take me around 10 days.

thekitchenpainter Thu 16-Jan-14 19:55:41

Dear oh dear the same problems rearing their ugly heads again and again,nothing wrong with farrow and Ball,nothing wrong with Little Green eggshell paints,its all in the preparation,use the correct oil based primer and all your problems will be solved,ignore water based primers the aforementioned companys should be well aware that their primer undercoats are not up to the job and should be looking into alternative processes to to try and produce a water based primer undercoat that does some justice to their water based eggshell paint,the thing here as I have found is to think outside of the box and do not be dictated to by off the shelf product advice,just find someone who is prepared to make an effort for you the customer.

Mabelandrose Thu 16-Jan-14 21:48:28

It took me about 4 costs of paint to cover a small room - very tedious bit looks lovely now finished. I have had far more success with little greene paint

Mabelandrose Thu 16-Jan-14 21:48:39

4 coats*

Pannacotta Thu 16-Jan-14 21:55:56

I find Little Greene better in terms of coverage and the face it can be wiped clean but its pretty much the same price as F&B.
Fired Earth also very good and often run promotions so worth keeping an eye out.

CustardTheCat84 Thu 06-Mar-14 18:33:05

Panncotta, I'm with you on Little Greene and their heritage colours! I've just got myself a bargain using Mylands 20% off promotion thingy on their fab paint. I'm all for a bargain smile Two coats work for me and I'm done.

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