Decorators review Farrow and Ball Modern and Estate Emulsion

Farrow and Ball is a premium brand paint which is loved by designers but receives a lot of mixed reviews from professional decorators. Is it really worth the hype? Or is it overpriced and poor quality? We asked professionals on the Decorators Forum what they think. This is what they came back with.
Too expensive and poor quality John Barker

Expensive nonsense Alba Decor

There are better products that are cheaper. Pointless. Dave Pearce

Very poor, way below par and I wouldn’t bother with it myself Paul Dambrosio

Not as good as Little Greene or Rose of Jericho Chris Hayes

Not the best!! I get crown to match the colour Darren Woolridge

I prefer Johnstone’s Acrylic matt Alan Pierre Botti: Interior Painting and Decorator

Nice emulsion, great flat finish. But be prepared for three coats. I prefer the estate, but it’s not the most durable if you have kids or dogs. Lee Thornton

I painted a room in estate emulsion, creamy yellow and not massive colour change. It took 4 coats and still looked patchy!! Stuart Beard

4/5 coats, picture frames, dries unevenly no matter how much care you take. The emulsion is rubbish for its money, and I would never recommend it. The eggshell on the other hand is alright. Nathan Darch

If you follow the system recommend by F&B the finish is quite good. You’ll want 3 coats minimum to get a good finish. Jay Price

The Modern emulsion is great, not a fan of the estate emulsion Ross Duggan

Easy review, too expensive but lovely paint John Marcroft

I finished using farrow and ball yesterday. Painted a big ceiling with a lot of light at one end in a cream colour in modern emulsion. Was a dream to roll and after two coats it looked great and didn’t flash too bad. Ben Whitfield

Nice to use but needs three coats. Doesn’t touch up Neil Belsom

Excellent gear if used correctly. (primer and keep a wet edge) though the estate (being chalky) is susceptible to marking especially finger grease. It depends on the client’s living style which I query at the quoting stage.

That’s India yellow… covered in two after using primer over a deep red

Ste Hanson

No no no and no! Too much hassle too many coats. Total nightmare! Unless it’s your place and you’ve got a million years to paint it Connor R Sallis

Wonder how many people know you are meant to brush and not roll it? I only found this out by having a rep around one of our projects to discuss this. Plus, it always requires three coats not 2! People slag it off but those who can appreciate the chalky amazing finish and can actually see it really know what the product does for an interior! Jamie Stephen Mintrim

Nice colours, great marketing but not user friendly! Lisa Hurbz

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