Farrow and Ball Emulsion Review

Updated May 4, 2024 | Posted May 30, 2019 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 4 comments

Table of Contents
Farrow and Ball is a premium brand paint which is loved by designers, but receives a lot of mixed reviews from people who have to use it. Is it really worth the hype? Or is it overpriced and poor quality? We asked professionals on the Decorators Forum UK to give us a mini Farrow and Ball Emulsion review.

It is probably worth mentioning that Farrow and Ball is generally the same price wherever you look. It’s often easier to buy it online with fre delivery. Click here to see online prices.

I painted a room in Farrow and Ball Estate Emulsion, creamy yellow and not massive colour change. It took 4 coats and still looked patchy!! I probably should have used the primer.

Stuart Beard

Professional Painter and Decorator

Farrow and Ball is just expensive nonsense.

Alba Decor

Professional Painter and Decorator

Farrow and Ball is not the best!! I get crown to match the colour.

Darren Woolridge

Professional Painter and Decorator

Farrow and Ball emulsion is a pain to apply. It normally takes three coats, whereas most other emulsion products might cover in two. I know other decorators get frustrated with this, particularly considering the cost of Farrow and Ball, but the finish is generally good. The pigments in the paint are high-quality, so when people talk about “depth of colour”, it’s a result of the pigments. So, if you have a budget for the paint, and you don’t mind applying an extra coat, Farrow and Ball is a great choice.

Joseph Gellar

Professional Painter and Decorator

The overall finish of both the Estate and Modern emulsion is good, but both products have drawbacks. Farrow and Ball Modern Emulsion has a high sheen level, so not very modern. The Estate Emulsion looks gorgeous, but it marks easily.

Luke Jackson

Professional Painter and Decorator


The paint is too expensive and poor quality.

John Barker

Professional Painter and Decorator

There are better products than Farrow and Ball Emulsions, that are cheaper. Pointless.

Dave Pearce

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Paul Dambrosio

Professional Painter and Decorator

Not as good as Little Greene or Rose of Jericho

Chris Hayes

Professional Painter and Decorator

I prefer Johnstone’s Acrylic matt over Farrow and Ball. You can get colour matches online.

Alan Pierre Botti: Interior Painting and Decorator

Professional Painter 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.


Farrow and Ball Emulsion review

Lee Thornton

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Professional Painter and Decorator

If you follow the system recommend by Farrow and Ball the finish is quite good. You’ll want 3 coats minimum to get a good finish.

Jay Price

Professional Painter and Decorator

The Modern emulsion is great, not a fan of the Estate emulsion. Farrow and ball isn’t as bad as some decorators say it is.

Ross Duggan

Professional Painter and Decorator

Easy review, too expensive but lovely paint

John Marcroft

Professional Painter and Decorator

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. It was a dream to roll. After two coats it looked great and didn’t flash too much. It’s good paint.

Ben Whitfield

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Neil Belsom

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Professional Painter and Decorator

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! That’s my Farrow and Ball Emulsion review

Connor R Sallis

Professional Painter and Decorator

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

Professional Painter and Decorator

Nice colours, great marketing but not user friendly!

Lisa Hurbz

Professional Painter and Decorator

Updated May 4, 2024 | Posted May 30, 2019 | 4 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


  1. Iain Cherrie

    You have to prime lining paper with this nonsense . 4 coats in total. I gave my customer 2 quotes. 1 for dulux (2 coats standard) 1 for F and B (4 coats) They went for the latter. Not great in my opinion but the eggshell is pretty good on woodwork.

  2. Papa Painting

    Nice colors but needs minimum 3 coats,never recommended to costumers

  3. Des cass

    Always in the bottom 3 for quality ,Which extensive tests for past 15 years,known as The Renault car of the decorating trade,fantastic marketing of a very poor product.

  4. Mike

    I’ve been a Decorator for 35 years and totally refuse to use the F&B emulsion especially on newly plastered walls, the last job I used it due to the customer insisting I used it. After the contract Matt mist coat It took 4 coats to get it to look somewhere near acceptable due to constant flashing between the brush cutting in and roller application.. I’ve had the same problem before. I’d rather avoid the stress, Well overpriced trash, however the acrylic gloss and eggshell is about the best on the market.


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