Benjamin Moore vs. Farrow & Ball – A Painter’s Verdict

Bob Thomas

Welcome! As someone who has been a painter and decorator for a number of years, I’ve had a fair share of experience with various paint brands.

Today, we’ll dive into a comparison between two premium brands – Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball.

They both have their strengths, but which one is the best fit for your project?

Let’s find out!

Quick Summary

In our comparison between Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball, we’ll look at factors like color range, quality, price, and environmental friendliness. While Benjamin Moore offers a wider color palette and more budget-friendly options, Farrow & Ball are renowned for their high-quality, eco-friendly paints.

Unraveling the Color Palette

Benjamin Moore: With a spectrum of over 3,500 hues, Benjamin Moore outshines most of its competitors, including Farrow & Ball. From subtle neutrals to vibrant tones, there’s a color for every mood and space.

Farrow & Ball: Although Farrow & Ball’s color range is significantly smaller, with around 132 curated colors, it doesn’t fall short on quality. Each shade is rich, unique, and gives off a distinct personality.

Pro Tip: While choosing a color, consider factors like the room’s size, purpose, lighting, and existing decor. If you’re unsure, sample pots are a great way to test colors before committing to them.

Delving Into Quality and Durability

Benjamin Moore: From my years of experience, I can vouch for the long-lasting nature of Benjamin Moore paints.

They have impressive coverage and are resistant to fading, even with darker shades, which I’ve found particularly useful for high-traffic areas in homes.

Farrow & Ball: If you’re aiming for a luxurious, velvety finish, Farrow & Ball paints can be an excellent choice. These paints are highly pigmented, resulting in deep, rich colors.

They’re highly durable and provide a unique depth of color unmatched by most other brands.

Comparing the Price

Benjamin Moore: With a variety of product lines to choose from, Benjamin Moore offers a more budget-friendly range, accommodating for different project sizes and needs.

I’ve often recommended this brand to folks looking for a balance between quality and price.

Farrow & Ball: Farrow & Ball sits on the pricier end of the spectrum. However, their emphasis on quality and an environmentally-friendly approach can justify the cost for some customers.

Pro Tip: Remember, a high-quality paint can save you money in the long run. It might require fewer coats and touch-ups, leading to lower maintenance costs.

Considering Environmental Impact

Benjamin Moore: Benjamin Moore shows a commitment towards reducing environmental impact by offering several lines of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints.

Farrow & Ball: As an eco-friendly brand, Farrow & Ball prides itself on creating paints that are water-based, low in VOCs, and safe for children. They even pack their paints in recyclable tins.

Benjamin Moore
Farrow & Ball

Color Range

Over 3,500

Around 132

Quality & Durability

Excellent

Excellent

Price

More affordable

Higher end

Environmental Friendliness

Low-VOC and zero-VOC lines

Entirely low-VOC, water-based paints

Previous Experiences

I remember a project last summer where I was revamping a large living room.

The client wanted a rich, deep navy blue – something that could give the room a cozy yet elegant feel. I suggested Farrow & Ball’s ‘Hague Blue’.

Although pricey, the depth of color and the luxurious finish was just what we needed.

On the other hand, for a recent DIY project at home, I chose Benjamin Moore’s ‘Revere Pewter’ – a beautiful, versatile gray that didn’t break the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)  

Q. Do both brands offer paint options for different finishes?

  A: Yes, both brands provide a variety of finishes. Benjamin Moore offers everything from flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss to high-gloss finishes.

Similarly, Farrow & Ball also provide options for different finishes like Estate Emulsion (matte), Modern Emulsion (matte), Estate Eggshell, Full Gloss, and Dead Flat.

Q. How are the brands rated for ease of application?

  A: Both brands are generally well-regarded for ease of application. Benjamin Moore paints typically go on smoothly with minimal dripping or splatter.

Farrow & Ball paints are also easy to apply, though some users have reported needing to apply multiple coats to achieve the depth of color they desire.

Q. Do both brands have primers, and are they necessary?

  A: Yes, both brands offer their own lines of primers.

Primers help prepare the surface and ensure the longevity of your paint job, especially for drastic color changes, porous surfaces, or when painting over stains.

Always refer to the specific product instructions as the necessity of primer can depend on the specific type of paint used.

Q. Are both brands available worldwide?

  A: Yes, both Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball are available in many countries around the world.

However, availability can vary, so it’s best to check their respective websites or local retailers for accurate information.

Q. What about the customer service of both brands?

  A: Both brands generally receive positive feedback for their customer service.

Benjamin Moore has a widespread presence and offers expert advice in their stores.

Farrow & Ball also offers color consultation services and in-store assistance.

Q. How do the brands compare in terms of odor?

  A: As both brands have low-VOC and zero-VOC options, the odor from their paints is generally minimal.

However, individual sensitivity to paint odors can vary, so it’s always advisable to ensure good ventilation when painting.

Q. How do the brands handle color trends and innovation?

  A: Both brands keep up with color trends. Benjamin Moore annually releases a “Color of the Year” along with a coordinating palette.

Farrow & Ball, while they have a more limited color range, periodically introduce new colors and retire older ones to keep their palette fresh and on trend.

Q. Are there any specific collections or collaborations with designers in either brand?

  A: Yes, both brands have collaborated with designers. Benjamin Moore has collaborated with various designers for their Color Trends Collections.

Farrow & Ball has several curated collections, such as a collaboration with the Natural History Museum in London to create a range of colors inspired by nature.

Q. How do the two brands compare in terms of drying time?

  A: The drying time for both brands can vary depending on the specific product line, but generally, Benjamin Moore paints can dry to the touch in a couple of hours, while Farrow & Ball recommends a minimum drying time of two hours between coats.

Q. What is the shelf life of these paints?

  A: Unopened cans of Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball paints can last up to 5 years when stored in a cool, dry place.

 Once opened, it’s best to use the paint within a year or two for optimal performance.

Always remember to seal the can properly after use to prevent the paint from drying out.

Conclusion

Choosing between Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball comes down to your individual needs, preferences, and budget.

Both brands deliver high-quality products, but offer different experiences.

My best advice is to consider the specific needs of your project and pick accordingly. 

Suggested Products:  

Benjamin Moore

  1. Benjamin Moore Regal Select: This premium line of paint comes in a variety of finishes and is widely loved for its easy application, excellent coverage, and superior durability. It’s also self-priming on most surfaces.
  2. Benjamin Moore Aura: This line of paint is known for its extreme hide and coverage properties, providing deep, rich color with just a single coat in most instances. It also offers color-lock technology for exceptional color richness and durability.
  3. Benjamin Moore Advance: This is a waterborne alkyd paint that offers the application properties of a traditional alkyd with the convenience of soap and water cleanup. It’s great for cabinets and trim due to its excellent leveling and hard, durable finish.

Farrow & Ball

  1. Estate Emulsion: This signature chalky, very matte finish gives walls and ceilings a soft and traditional look. The finish is available in all 132 Farrow & Ball colors and is highly favored for its subtle elegance.
  2. Modern Emulsion: This finish is designed for use in higher-traffic areas or where you need a more durable, but still matte finish. It’s mold and mildew resistant, making it an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, or other areas exposed to moisture.
  3. Estate Eggshell: This is a robust, mid-sheen finish that’s ideal for interior wood and metal. It’s durable, easily wipeable, and available in all of Farrow & Ball’s richly pigmented colors, making it great for cabinetry and trim.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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