Farrow & Ball Wall & Ceiling Primer

A water-based undercoat/primer designed for use with Farrow & Ball Estate & Modern Emulsion to obtain the full depth of colour and unique finish intended.

Ask a typical decorator what he/she thinks of Farrow & Ball emulsion paint and they’ll likely say that it is too thin and doesn’t cover. They’ll also say the finish isn’t as durable as regular vinyl emulsions and it is also very expensive.

While these are valid points it needs to be said that Farrow & Ball is a different kind of paint and needs additional preparation for the best results. Farrow & Ball emulsion paints are specially formulated for use with a base coat and omitting this crucial element will result in a lack of satisfactory finish.

Farrow & Ball Isn’t Standard Emulsion Paint

With a standard emulsion paint one should expect decent coverage for most shades in two coats, three for very deep colours or when there is a stark change from, say, black to white.

With Farrow & Ball you must always expect to use a base coat and then two or three coats of final colour. Only then then will you achieve the quality of finish this brand is famous for.

It’s become common to colour match F&B colours with cheaper brands, which is fine if you like a specific shade and want to save some money, but the result will never be a perfect facsimile of the original.

F&B say that less than 8% of the product is the colour – the remaining 92% creates the depth and response to light that makes their paint unmatchable.

Farrow & Ball isn’t standard emulsion paint, if that’s you want there are plenty of alternative brands that are.

Why Decorators Complain that Farrow & Ball Doesn’t Cover So Well

Paint finishes are always a compromise of different qualities, you can’t have a paint that excels in every way. Aside from a few special additives, all coatings are made with three key ingredients:

  • Pigment – the colour, protection & finish.
  • Resin or Binder – holds the paint together, adds adhesion and creates a film.
  • Solvent – the liquid component that keeps pain wet – mostly water or oil based.

Each paint will have a combination of these key elements and increasing the level of one will result in there being less of the others. A bit like a sponge cake, altering the ratios of ingredients will result in a cake with different tastes and textures.

Farrow & Ball paints have a high level of pigment and resin which result in depth of colour but a lower solvent content, this means you don’t get the same build-up of paint film as you would with a regular brand alternative so not so great coverage, or obliteration. Hence the need for a base coat.

With standard emulsions much of the coverage is achieved by adding *extenders, rather than pigment, which bulk-up the paint and aid obliteration.

Our paints have a higher amount of pigment than average and a much higher quantity of resin. We have less extenders and less water than other brands on the market. Our primers contain the same ingredients as our paints and they are colour coded to help with depth of colour and coverage.

Farrow & Ball

It isn’t all about the colour either, some existing wall finishes can have a high degree of tiny air voids within the dry film that will soak up any subsequent paint coats. A good primer will aid adhesion and application by eliminating these issues.

How To Use Farrow & Ball Wall & Ceiling Primer

The Wall & Ceiling Primer is available in four tones to match the shade of paint selected.:

  • White & Light Tones
  • Red & Warm Tones
  • Mid-Tones
  • Dark Tones

For new dry plaster or new plasterboard, the primer should be diluted (up to a maximum of 25%) in order to soak into the surface. Then dilute the top coat slightly to provide a suitable base and then one or two final full colour coats.

For lining paper, dilute to a maximum of 15%, then two full coats of your chosen finish colour.

For previously painted walls, apply one full coat of Wall & Ceiling Primer followed by two coats of your finishing colour.

Brushes and rollers can be cleaned afterwards with warm soapy water.

VOC Content is low at 2 grams per litre, with the maximum allowed for this class of product being 30 grams per litre.

*Extenders are substances added to paint in place of pure pigment to reduce the cost of production. Typical extenders include; magnesium silicate (aka, talc), silica, calcium carbonate and barium sulfate.

See Also
Eathborn Clay Paint
Eathborn Clay Paint
Extreme matt white paint