Farrow and Ball or Little Greene? Which is Better?
27 October 2021
Farrow and Ball or Little Greene?
This is another question that we get asked a lot in store. We have been selling both of these brands for over 10 years and both have seen changes in their colour, size and finish offerings. When people look to re-paint their homes in a high-quality, long-lasting paint, the question of which is better is asked.
Here we can look at the strengths both brands have to offer, giving you a head start in making your final decision on which brand to go for, or using a mixture of the two brands to get the best possible outcome for your home. We will look at 3 of the main advantages of each brand.
Starting with Farrow and Ball, the main strengths must be the amazing colours on offer, painstakingly researched and created to work perfectly with one another. This is a strength that Farrow and Ball seem to hang on to over other brands and in my opinion their colours are still the most popular when comparing them to other designer brands available, not just Little Greene. With the proof of this being that most people want the Farrow and Ball colour and more importantly, the finish that only their paint can give. The paint colours are hard to match, and we spend a considerable amount of time, serving customers who have been left disappointed and out of pocket with nearest matches.
Secondly would be the quality of their paints across the range, much improved on 4 - 5 years ago, when customers would complain of having to do 3+ coats to get good coverage. However, we always say that although the process may be a little tough, the outcome always has people coming back for more. They offer two emulsions, Estate Emulsion for bedrooms/living rooms Etc and a Modern Emulsion for kitchens/bathrooms and high traffic areas. The offer both an interior and exterior eggshell, available in all of their colours, amongst several other finishes that have pretty much all projects covered. All paints are water-based and have been since 2010, helping the planet along the way.
Finally, Farrow and Ball have addressed the products availability by rolling out tinting machines. This allows Farrow and Ball paints to be tinted to order on site, rather than all of the paints being tinted in Dorset. Limited space meant that stockists could only hold a certain amount of each colour, size and finish in stock at one time. In October 2020 we installed our F&B tinting system, meaning our customers can have the paints they need on the day. Customers have in the past been left disappointed if the product they need is sold out or a product that would have to ordered in. This has allowed Farrow and Ball to catch up with most other designer brands.
Moving on to Little Greene. I must be honest that with access to many designer paint brands I personally have used Little Greene paints in all the houses in which I have lived.
The first thing to mention when we talk about Little Greene paints is QUALITY. Across the whole range the quality of this paint is pretty much outstanding. Superb coverage, opacity, and an excellent range of paint finishes to rival any other brand out there. The Intelligent Matt Emulsion with its low sheen, and scrubbable finish does in my opinion give it the advantage over F&B's Modern Emulsion due to its lower sheen level. Trust me, you can scrub your walls down when they get marks from dogs shaking off muddy water, and the wall looks great again. I can honestly say in over 12 years of selling Little Greene paints on a large basis I can only remember a handful of issues.
Secondly, Little Greene still offer oil-based options on their paints. TOMS Oil Exterior Eggshell, and the Flat Oil Eggshell for both interior and exterior wood and metal makes this a popular choice for painters/customers who still want to use an oil-based paint. Though how many more years this will go on for is anyone's guess, which the laws on paints constantly changing.
Little Greene also have the edge currently on the sizes on offer. Whilst the price between these two brands is similar, the sizes on offer from Little Greene is more friendly to the customer. For example, Little Greene offer both of their emulsions in a 1Ltr can size and a 10Ltr can size (most colours). Therefore, if you only have a small project like a chimney breast to paint you don't have to buy a 2.5Ltr, also if you find yourself running a little short you can grab another 1Ltr in the same colour, box it together and finish the job. Also, the 10Ltr can, although very heavy, works out much cheaper than buying 2 x 5Ltr cans. So if you have large areas to paint with is one way of keeping your paint bill down a little. However now F&B are now tinting off site, this is something they could replicate very easily and maybeeventully will.
In conclusion I think it’s down to the individual, their needs, and requirements. We have lots of customers who use both brands, which is another advantage of using a shop or website that gives you the choice of both brands and the many other options out there, this saves you time going to different stores and money on delivery of your ordering online. Personally, I would go for Little Greene, as I don't want to sit on the fence. I've used in in my own houses and probably will the next time i re-decorate, although with paint of this quality it will be because the colour is out of fashion rather than the paint looking shabby. Hopefully this has helped with recognising the difference between these two excellent designer paint brands, who I'm sure will only go from strength to strength as more people get fed up with poor quality paints for their homes. People are looking for higher quality, more colour depth, and paints that make decorating a pleasure not a challenge.