When people think of paint companies, they don’t often think about what goes into the paint and the company itself. But paint, especially producing paint, is much more than simply mixing some goop together and hoping for a cool colour. It takes years of hard work and the mastery of a variety of different skills and knowledge bases, including chemistry, design, and knowledge of painting and painting tools.
With so many companies producing paints these days, we often don’t think about the brands that we buy. In fact, we often consider paints based off of two criteria: the colour and the price. Learning about paint companies, their vision and their history, is actually an excellent way to learn more about paint itself. And with more knowledge, you can pick better paints and colours for your next painting project. Today, we wanted to talk about a new addition to our painting collection: the paint and wallpaper company Farrow & Ball.
Founded in 1946 by two friends, John Farrow and Richard Ball, Farrow & Ball quickly became one of the world’s top producers of paint and wallpaper. The company has always had a strong commitment to creating beautiful an rich colours while respecting the environment. Farrow & Ball has spent the past 60 years respecting the traditions of their trade, looking back to see what works, and how to produce high quality paints that offer the rich, deep colours for which the company has become known. And while the company has upgraded their equipment in their factory in Dorset, England, they still use the traditional methods of making paint. It may cost more to produce, but the end results are noticeably superior.
Part of what makes Farrow & Ball paints significantly different from other companies is the colour quality. According to the company, it’s “the high levels of pigment, rich resin binders, and the high refractory nature of our key ingredients that produces our signature immersive depth of colour.” Many professional painters can actually spot Farrow & Ball paint because their quality ingredients and highly-trained paint creators create colour qualities unlike anything else on the market.
Another element that has long separated Farrow & Ball from other paint companies is their longstanding commitment to eco-friendly production and products. The company is proud of their many green initiatives that are designed to make paint safer for the environment and its users. Such programs include making paint that’s easy to clean and produces minimal odours, protecting you and your family from paint fumes and paint stains. Another initiative is the complete elimination of solvents and emissions from their paint production process. Their water-based, zero or minimal VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints are also great for the environment, helping reduce the amount of pollutants released as paint dries.
The Farrow & Ball Test
Many people have done what professionals are now calling the “Farrow & Ball test,” which has demonstrated the superior colour quality found in their paints. The test goes like this: grab a small sample of a Farrow & Ball colour that you like, then head to your big box store that sells paint. Get them to mix up a colour as similar as possible and grab a sample of the base colour that looks the most similar to the Farrow & Ball colour. We’ll call these paints the Farrow & Ball, the Faux Farrow & Ball, and the Big Box Brand.
What most people will notice right away is that the colours aren’t as deep or rich in the Faux Farrow & Ball and Big Box Brand compared to the Farrow & Ball. But in the process, you’ll also notice that the real Farrow & Ball covers better than the other paints, which is important for getting the most out of every brush stroke. When paint covers effectively, you’ll get more “bang for your buck,” as it were, paint a room faster, and still get the colour you desire.
People who do the test also notice that the final finish, after everything is dry, has a deeper and richer quality. It may not be something you can put your finger on, but the end product of a Farrow & Ball paint always looks better than the Faux Farrow & Ball and the Big Box Brand.
Fun, High Quality Colours
Farrow & Ball have also become known for their funny and strange colour names, which has become a staple of their new releases. Every season, new colours are released along with their ridiculous names. Popular favourites include “Elephant’s Breath,” a deep, rich grey, and “Nancy’s Blushes,” a beautiful and rich pink.
This year, Farrow & Ball have made a range of colours inspired by Asia, calling it “East Meets West.” They describe the latest trend best themselves:
“Drawing influence from Asia, and combining it with industrial finishes, creates a fusion that sits well in any contemporary home. This trend takes note of natural materials and uses them in a more regimented way – sharp, slick lines and metal touches are used frequently to offset the glimpses of the natural world. In terms of colour, soothing neutrals like Ammonite, Worsted and Wevet are punctuated with bolder tones such as Blazer, Babouche and Yeabridge Green. Together this combination of colours perfectly embodies the meeting of two worlds to create a timeless and eye-catching scheme.”
Farrow & Ball have been setting the standard for paint and paint products for sixty years. Their combination of quality paints and excellent colours has made this company a worldwide phenomenon. While they can be more expensive than the leading paint brands, many painters will only use Farrow & Ball to ensure the best results. Only a select number of stores throughout the world can actually carry the paint, mostly smaller boutique paint stores, we are proud to be a Farrow and Ball Toronto paint store. But if you’re not in Toronto, be sure to head to a local retailer to find out more about this amazing paint brand.