Farrow & Ball Eggshell Review

Updated May 23, 2024 | Posted Feb 22, 2020 | Product Reviews, Paints | 4 comments

Farrow & Ball Modern Eggshell is a water-based timber paint. In my opinion as a professional decorator, this is the holy grail for water-based paint for interior woodwork!! Re-coat time is around 4 hours, and it is very durable once cured. The paint is perfect!! As well as white, it comes in any colour from Farrow and Ball’s eccentric range, even dead salmon!! As well as the usual skirting boards etc, Farrow and Ball Eggshell is also a favourite for hand painted kitchens.


My Experience Using Farrow and Ball Eggshell


I didn’t expect a lot when I first used the product. After all, Farrow & Ball seems to spark controversy amongst professional decorators. F&B recommend using their own wood primer, which I did. If surfaces are keyed and cleaned properly, the primer adheres well to various substrates, even surfaces previously painted with oil-based gloss.

Not only does the Farrow and Ball primer grip well, but it is easy to use, has great opacity and leaves the perfect base for your topcoat. I wouldn’t deviate from the manufacturer’s instructions on this occasion, stick with the proper primer.

Eggshell application over the top of the primer is excellent, flows lovely and settles really well. Farrow & Ball Eggshell is a very forgiving paint. The finish, once dry, is nice with a subtle sheen. Brush marks seem to disappear, which for water-based paint is awesome. Rolling flat surfaces without laying off…no problem. Settles well with no orange peel effect.


The only issue I found is that on some instances, an additional coat of paint was required. Maybe some would be happy with that, especially since some of the other brands are a three-coat system anyway. Personally, it would be nice to see this product in a wider range of colours, although I know homeowners lover the Farrow and Ball colour range.

Price wise, it’s on a par with other leading manufacturers. And the spread rate is great. A 2.5L tin seems to last forever.

I would use it again, an excellent product. I like to buy Farrow and Ball Eggshell online with free delivery. Click here for more information and latest prices.



Farrow & Ball Eggshell Review - Decorator's forum UK

A water-based eggshell used mostly for interior woodwork like doors, frames, and windowsills. Available in any colour from Farrow and Ball’s range.

Product Brand: Farrow & Ball

Editor's Rating:


  • Easy to use.
  • Fantastic finish.
  • Very durable.
  • Great colour range.
  • Good spread rate.


  • Expensive.

What Other Decorators Think

Great review. Decorators tend to overlook Farrow and Ball eggshell because for some people, the F&B modern and estate emulsion aren’t deserving of their inflated price tag. The eggshell is though and it is still my favorite product for hand painted kitchens and the like.

Lee Thornton

Professional Decorator

Updated May 23, 2024 | Posted Feb 22, 2020 | 4 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Gregory is a Professional Painter and Decorator who works in the Northwest of England. He mainly sub-contracts for large decorating firms and works on a wide variety of projects.
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  1. Teresa Davies

    Hi, just some advice please . Redoing a solid oak kitchen in Farrow & Ball Corforth White , my bespoke carpenter is spraying the doors , my husband is painting the inner cabinets. Carpenter told us to add hardner precisely measured – this has been done as instructed. What i am not sure about is the paint has dried very glossy inside the cabinetry , can we tone it down a bit. All responses and advice greatly received.

  2. Sylvia Campbell

    Put on eggshell paint first coat on sitting room walls. Can I paint on top for second coat with state emulsion ?

  3. Rebecca

    I fully agree I use F&B eggshell all the time on painted furniture, have been using it for many years and it’s superb . It definitely requires a primer undercoat and 2 x top coats. But the finish is beautifully smooth , highly durable, wipeable and very low sheen . I tried McPherson acrylic eggshell ( water based ) and dulux trade eggshell ( oil based ) – on wood and the finish was nowhere near as good as the F&B . I painted a beautiful old Victorian dresser base 10 years ago with the F&B eggshell it looks as good as the day it was done ( no yellowing on the white shades ) .

  4. Janet D

    Could anyone please give me some advice. I have re painted my bathroom cabinet in Farrow and Ball pitch black estate eggshell prior to it being fitted.
    The only problem is it seems to mark easily which l am very surprised about having used the same paint for a kitchen with no such problem but that was some years ago. The paint does not seem the same.
    I am very worried that during the process of it being fitted it will scuff.

    The paint has had plenty of time to cure. I did a practice test piece first to make sure of the paint finish. I have applied two coats of f and b primer and two top coats.

    I am looking at Polyvine dead flat decorators varnish. I have seen advice to first apply two coats of Polyvine satin decorators varnish and then the dead flat for better protection. It’s been a bit of a nightmare really. Going back 12-15 years l painted so much with this paint with no problems.

    Thank you any advice gratefully accepted


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