Farrow & Ball vs Glidden: A Comprehensive Review

Bob Thomas

Hello there, fellow DIY enthusiasts and professional decorators alike!

It’s Bob Thomas , and today we’re going to tackle a question that has been popping up a lot in our community: Should you splurge on Farrow & Ball paint, or is Glidden a better bet for your buck? 

Let’s dive into the details.

Quick Summary

In this Farrow & Ball vs. Glidden showdown, we’ll discuss their overall coverage, durability, price, availability, color options, environmental impact, sheen and finish options, ease of application, and customer satisfaction. Spoiler alert: both have their merits, but your choice depends on your budget, project needs, and personal preferences.

Overview: Farrow & Ball vs. Glidden

Farrow & Ball, a UK-based brand, is a go-to name for luxurious, high-quality paints.

Itโ€™s admired for its rich pigments and depth of color.

On the other side, we’ve got Glidden, an American brand known for its affordability and reliable performance.

Pro Tip: To best gauge a paint’s true color and finish, apply a test patch on your wall and observe it throughout the day in different light conditions.

Coverage and Durability

Farrow & Ball’s paint is noted for its exceptional coverage, requiring fewer coats due to its high pigmentation.

As for durability, its paint tends to hold up well against time and wear, an essential feature if youโ€™re painting high-traffic areas.

Glidden, meanwhile, may require more coats to achieve the same depth of color, but it offers a durable finish that withstands time and resists wear and tear.


There’s no denying that Farrow & Ball comes at a premium price.

However, if you’re willing to invest for a unique color range and premium quality, it could be worth every penny.

On the other hand, Glidden is budget-friendly and provides a decent bang for your buck, making it a popular choice for those wanting to save without sacrificing too much on quality.


Farrow & Ball can be slightly trickier to find in some regions, but they sell directly from their website and select retailers.

Glidden is widely available in home improvement stores across the U.S and online.

Color Options and Environmental Impact

Farrow & Ball boasts a curated selection of unique, complex shades, often with historical or nature-inspired backgrounds.

Plus, their paints are low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), making them more environmentally friendly.

Glidden offers a broad range of colors, albeit less unique.

Their paints also meet strict VOC regulations, making them a green choice.

Sheen and Finish Options

Both brands provide a range of sheens, from matte to glossy.

Farrow & Ball’s Estate Emulsion offers a chalky, matte finish, while their Modern Emulsion is more resistant and semi-matte.

Glidden offers flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes.

Ease of Application

In my experience, both Farrow & Ball and Glidden are user-friendly.

Farrow & Ball paints go on smoothly but may require a primer for best results.

Glidden is easy to apply and has good adhesion even without a primer, a boon for DIY novices or those on a tighter schedule.

Customer Satisfaction

Based on online reviews and my interactions with the community, both brands seem to have a solid customer base.

Farrow & Ball patrons often rave about the unique colors and luxurious finish.

Meanwhile, Glidden customers appreciate its cost-effectiveness and the paint’s ease of application.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Can Farrow & Ball and Glidden paints be used interchangeably in the same project?

  A: Yes, but it’s important to consider the finish and color match. Both paints may appear different under different lighting conditions, so it’s crucial to test the colors together before proceeding.

Q. Do Farrow & Ball and Glidden paints have low VOCs?

  A: Yes, both brands have made efforts to reduce VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in their products, contributing to a healthier environment and less potent fumes during application.

Q. What’s the drying time for Farrow & Ball and Glidden paints?

  A: The drying time for these paints may vary based on the environment, the type of paint, and the number of coats applied.

However, on average, you can expect a drying time of 1-2 hours for touch-dry and 24 hours for complete dryness.

Q. Can I find Farrow & Ball and Glidden paint in my local hardware store?

  A: Glidden paint is more widely available and can be found in many local hardware stores and big-box retailers.

Farrow & Ball, while available in select stores, is best sourced from their official website or specialized paint and decor stores.

Q. Can I use Farrow & Ball or Glidden paint on exterior surfaces?

  A: Yes, both Farrow & Ball and Glidden offer paint products designed for exterior use.

It’s important to use the correct product for the surface you’re painting to ensure longevity and durability.


In the grand scheme of things, choosing between Farrow & Ball and Glidden comes down to your personal needs, taste, and budget.

If you’re after a luxe, unique color palette and are ready to splurge, Farrow & Ball is an excellent choice.

However, if you’re more budget-conscious and still want a reliable paint, Glidden has you covered. Ultimately, remember that the best paint for you is one that fits your project requirements, meets your budget constraints, and brings you joy every time you look at your walls. 

Suggested Products:

Farrow & Ball

  1. Estate Emulsion: This is a high-end, chalky matte finish paint, ideal for interior walls and ceilings. It’s available in the brand’s full range of 132 colors.
  2. Modern Eggshell: This is a mid-sheen finish paint that’s durable and versatile, making it a good choice for wood, metal, and floors. It’s more resistant to wear than the Estate Emulsion.
  3. Exterior Eggshell: This is a durable, flexible, and water-resistant paint that’s ideal for exterior woodwork. It has a mid-sheen finish and is resistant to flaking and peeling.


  1. Premium Interior Paint + Primer: This is a high-quality, interior latex paint with excellent hide and coverage, and it’s also low VOC and low odor.
  2. Essentials Interior Paint: This paint is a budget-friendly option that provides good coverage. It’s ideal for low-traffic areas and ceilings.
  3. Premium Exterior Paint + Primer: This is an all-weather, exterior latex paint that offers excellent hide and coverage, along with strong resistance to fading, cracking, and peeling.

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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