When dreaming of the perfect paint finish for your next interior renovation, there are few brands more worthy of your brush and roller than Farrow & Ball. This iconic British paint maker is renowned the world-over among interior designers and homeowners alike. But, how exactly does a brand born in the quaintly rolling and idyllic countryside of Dorset, UK, become an international name?
Put simply, Farrow & Ball have a masterful flare for color—delivering spectacular shades that bring sublime richness to any space. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they also have a knack for infusing their signature palette with names that are both charming and whimsical. Who wouldn't want to sink into sheets in a bedroom painted in Nancy's Blushes, or have an indulgent moment set against a backdrop of Sulking Room Pink? From Slipper Satin to Elephant's Breath, Farrow & Ball's paint color names have been serving as quirky conversation-starters for decades!
The World Loves Farrow & Ball Paint Finishes But there's more to Farrow & Ball paint finishes than the memorable names, the mesmerizing pigments, or even the fantastic eco-credentials. Perhaps above all else, the thing that keeps a global following coming back for more is the brand's adeptness at curating paints that respond beautifully to light. Decades of development allow for the creation of finishes that interact uniquely with all manner of light conditions—allowing each hue to steal the show.
In order to harness these incredible aesthetics, it's worth noting that Farrow & Ball paint sheens don't follow the play book of other, more contemporary brands. That's not to say that Farrow & Ball paint won't sing within a crisp modern interior—it absolutely will! But it helps to know how to navigate Farrow & Ball paint sheens, so you can manifest the exact look you aspire to.
If you're investigating Farrow & Ball for the first time, then most likely you're wondering: what is the difference between Modern Emulsion and Estate Emulsion, or Modern Eggshell and Estate Eggshell? For that matter, what do we mean by eggshell, if not the color that the word evokes? If you're nodding in agreement because these are the questions on the tip of your tongue, then read on—let's dive into Farrow & Ball paint finishes, so your paint brush can too!
Understanding Farrow & Ball Paint Sheens The very first Farrow & Ball paint factory opened its doors in 1946, and so it's no surprise that the brand has a long history of cultivating traditional paint making techniques. However, what sets the company apart from the crowd is that Farrow & Ball have retained many of those artisanal practices—bar the decision to boldly ditch historic oil-based paints and take their range 100% water-based for environmental reasons.
Because of this approach to paint making, the Farrow & Ball paint palette offers different standards in terms of sheen when compared to other brands. In order to delight the full spectrum of modern consumers, they produce both an Estate range, which delivers a more historic aesthetic, and a Modern range which is a little more akin to mainstream paint finishes—although still with that striking deep pigmentation for which the brand is celebrated!
Choosing Your Ideal Farrow & Ball Emulsion The term “sheen” describes how much light is reflected from a surface once the applied paint is dry. We can think of this as the spectrum that runs between a very matte finish and an eye-catching gloss. For most paint brands, an emulsion paint dubbed “matte” or “flat” would likely have a sheen level of a little less than 10%, while a gloss might shine with a rating of 90%.
In contrast, Farrow & Ball's Estate Emulsion offers an ultra-low sheen level of 2%, and a divine chalky texture that emanates ultimate elegance. Their Modern Emulsion boasts a 7% sheen level—providing an emulsion ready for walls and ceilings that is a little more washable and hard-wearing than its chalkier Estate counterpart, but still ready to deliver a depth of color that will enchant onlookers.
What is Farrow & Ball Eggshell? Some paint manufacturers use the term eggshell to describe a selection that has more of a sheen than their matte line, while still being at the lower end of the sheen scale. It can be a little confusing that none of these terms are standardized—so we can't look to descriptive as a cut and dry indicator of paint finishes. It's fascinating to know, however, that this particular term finds its home in paint production because so many interior paints used to count real eggshells among their essential ingredients!
Turning back to Farrow & Ball, we find that Eggshell describes their interior wood and metal paints. Once again, those ready to reinvent a space can choose between a traditional finish or a modern finish. The Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell provides a gentle sheen level of 20%, while their Modern Eggshell offers a more glamorous sheen level of 40%. This is comparable to what many mainstream manufacturers might describe as “satin”.
So Much to Choose From for Interesting Interiors Having scratched the surface on Farrow & Ball's Emulsion and Eggshell ranges—including the difference between their Estate and Modern finishes—we shouldn't forget that the brand offers so much more! They also provide a high-caliber and air quality-friendly interior high-gloss, as well as paints with the same sustainability and quality credentials for all exterior surfaces.
For those who can't get enough of that spectacularly low 2% sheen aesthetic, the brand's Historic selection includes resin-based, limewash, and casein distemper paints—ready for the re-imagining of heritage properties. With Farrow & Ball paint, there is no finish off limits!
Here at Exeter Paint, you can discover a Farrow & Ball supplier that is passionate about every facet of this fascinating brand. When this is paired with our exemplary customer service, your interior design dream is surely within reach! If you're unsure where to begin, don't forget that our innovative Ep Transform Paint & Design service is ever-ready to help you form and bring your vision to reality. If you have any queries about Farrow & Ball paint, or any of the other products or services we provide, contact our team today 603-997-2590!