Farrow & Ball vs. Pratt & Lambert: An Expert Decorator’s Insights

Bob Thomas

Hello there, DIY enthusiasts! It’s Bob Thomas, your trusty painter and decorator, at your service.

Today, I’ll be walking you through a comparison I know many of you have been asking about: Farrow & Ball vs. Pratt & Lambert.

As a seasoned professional in the trade, I’ve worked with numerous brands and types of paints, and I’m here to give you my unvarnished opinion.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Summary

If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick rundown of Farrow & Ball vs. Pratt & Lambert paints. Farrow & Ball is known for its rich, deep colors and eco-friendly ingredients, while Pratt & Lambert offers superior coverage and a wide array of finishes. Although Farrow & Ball is slightly more expensive, both brands provide excellent durability and customer service.


Farrow & Ball

Founded in the UK, Farrow & Ball is renowned for its richly pigmented paints made from top-notch ingredients.

With a palette of 132 distinctive hues, each carefully crafted, they offer eco-friendly water-based paints that are low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Pratt & Lambert

An American brand, Pratt & Lambert offers a wide array of colors, finishes, and products.

Their paints are known for their excellent coverage and durability.

What’s more, they have a commendable environmental consciousness, with low VOC paints in their line-up.

Coverage and Durability

Farrow & Ball’s paints provide a deep, immersive finish that may require multiple coats for perfect coverage.

However, once applied, they stand the test of time, showing excellent resistance to wear and tear.

On the other hand, Pratt & Lambert paints are acclaimed for their superior coverage.

Their Accolade line, for instance, usually requires just one coat to fully cover a surface.

Their paints are also highly durable, maintaining their color and sheen for years.

Pro Tip: Paint coverage refers to how much area a can of paint can cover, while durability relates to how long the paint lasts before it starts showing signs of wear and tear.


Farrow & Ball tends to be slightly pricier, attributed to their high-quality ingredients and rich pigmentation.

Pratt & Lambert, while not cheap, are a bit more affordable and offer excellent value for their price.

Both brands are in the premium category and should not be considered if you’re looking to spend very little. 

Availability, Color Options and Environmental Impact

Both Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert are available online and in physical stores.

Farrow & Ball’s palette is a curated selection of 132 colors, while Pratt & Lambert offers a broader range, with over 1,000 hues to choose from.

In terms of environmental impact, both brands strive to be eco-friendly.

Farrow & Ball’s paints are water-based and low in VOCs. Pratt & Lambert also have low VOC options in their lineup.

Sheen and Finish Options

Farrow & Ball offer a range of finishes, from matte to high gloss, while Pratt & Lambert offer an even wider array, including a unique velvet finish.

Ease of Application

Both brands offer easy application, whether you’re using a brush or a roller.

Remember, the key to a great finish is a well-prepped surface.

Always start with a clean, dry, and smooth surface.

Customer Support and Satisfaction

Both brands offer excellent customer service, with dedicated helplines and informative websites.

They also enjoy positive customer feedback for the quality of their products.

Personal Experiences

As a seasoned painter and decorator, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with both Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert paints.

And I can tell you, they both hold a special place in my toolkit for different reasons.

There was a time when I had a client who wanted to revamp their Victorian-era home’s interiors.

They were keen on maintaining the period authenticity, and I knew Farrow & Ball, with its heritage colors, was the right fit.

The way the ‘Elephant’s Breath’ shade from Farrow & Ball’s range added depth and warmth to the living room was truly something to behold.

Yes, it took a few extra coats, but the client was over the moon with the end result.

On another occasion, I was tasked with renovating a bustling family home.

With young kids running about and a dog that loved to mark his territory, I needed a paint that could stand up to daily wear and tear.

That’s when I turned to Pratt & Lambert, specifically their Accolade line.

The durability and coverage it provided were impressive, and the family was relieved to know they could clean off scuffs and stains without ruining the finish.

From my experience, I’ve learned that it’s not about which brand is superior, but rather about which one is right for the job.

As a decorator, my aim is to ensure my clients are thrilled with the results, and both Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert have helped me achieve this in their own unique ways.

And remember, no matter what paint you choose, there’s no substitute for proper application.

Even the highest quality paint can fall short if it’s not applied correctly.

Always take the time to prep your surfaces and apply each coat with care. You won’t regret it!

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Do Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert paints have an eco-friendly line?

  A: Yes, both companies have shown commitment to producing eco-friendly products.

Farrow & Ball boasts of an entirely water-based range that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Pratt & Lambert also offers low-VOC products and has made significant efforts towards sustainable manufacturing processes.

Q. Can I use these paints in humid areas, like bathrooms or kitchens?

  A: Absolutely. Both Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert offer lines specifically designed for high-humidity areas.

For Farrow & Ball, you might consider their ‘Modern’ or ‘Estate Eggshell’ finishes.

As for Pratt & Lambert, their ‘Accolade’ line has proven to be highly resistant to moisture.

Q. How can I find the exact color match in each brand’s product line?

  A: While both brands offer a wide range of colors, an exact match might not always be possible due to differences in color formulations.

However, most paint stores offer color matching services where you can bring a sample of the color you want, and they can create a very close match using their in-store technology.

Q. What is the drying time for Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert paints?

  A: Typically, Farrow & Ball paints are touch-dry in about 1-2 hours and can be recoated in 4 hours.

Pratt & Lambert paints, on the other hand, usually take about 2 hours to be touch-dry and can be recoated after 4 hours as well.

However, it’s essential to note that drying times can vary depending on the specific line of paint, the temperature, and the humidity levels.

Q. Do Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert offer primer or undercoat products?

  A: Yes, both companies offer primer or undercoat products that prepare your surfaces for painting and help to achieve the best finish.

They’re particularly useful if you’re planning to significantly change your wall color or if you’re painting over porous materials.

Q. Can I purchase these brands’ products online?

  A: Absolutely.

Both Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert have made their products available through online platforms.

You can purchase directly from their websites or through approved online retailers.

Just remember, colors can look different on screens, so it’s always a good idea to test the paint in the intended space before committing to a large quantity.


In conclusion, both Farrow & Ball and Pratt & Lambert are excellent choices for any painting project. Your decision may come down to specific needs and preferences.

If you’re seeking deep, rich colors and are committed to eco-friendly products, you might prefer Farrow & Ball.

While it might take an extra coat or two, the final result is a beautiful, long-lasting finish that is worth the effort and investment.

Pratt & Lambert, on the other hand, could be your go-to if coverage and a wider array of finishes are your priorities.

It provides excellent durability and a comprehensive color palette, all at a somewhat lower price point than Farrow & Ball.

Regardless of your choice, remember that the key to any successful paint job lies in proper preparation of the surfaces and application of the paint.

Always take your time, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if you’re unsure about anything.

Suggested Products:

Farrow & Ball

  1. Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion Paint: Known for its robust and elegant matte finish, this interior paint is richly pigmented, offering a unique depth of color. It’s a premium choice for living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.
  2. Farrow & Ball Full Gloss: This high-sheen paint is great for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s durable, resistant to flaking, peeling, and color fade, making it perfect for doors, window frames, and other high-wear areas.
  3. Farrow & Ball Wood Primer & Undercoat: This is an excellent preparation product for all bare wood surfaces. It has strong adhesion and provides an optimum base for Farrow & Ball’s topcoats.

Pratt & Lambert

  1. Pratt & Lambert Pro-Hide Gold 2 Primer: This professional-grade primer offers excellent adhesion and coverage. Its fast-drying capability makes it an efficient choice when covering stains or drastically changing wall colors.
  2. Pratt & Lambert Accolade Paint: A top-tier, 100% acrylic paint known for its exceptional hide, durability, and washability. It’s well-suited for both interior and exterior surfaces.
  3. Pratt & Lambert RedSeal Oil Enamel: This is a high-quality oil-based paint that provides a hard, durable, and beautifully smooth finish. It’s ideal for trim, cabinets, doors, and other high-use areas.

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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