Which is Better: Farrow & Ball vs Valspar


Comparing paint brands can sometimes be like comparing apples and oranges. You might not have thought it but they are actually really different in so many ways – colour, consistency, coverage, workability. We've had plenty of experience with lots of different paint brands, but in particular Valspar and Farrow and Ball, so if you’re alternating between the two, we want to give you a little bit of a heads up about what to expect from either paint brand.


Just an example of where we’ve used Valspar vs. Farrow & Ball paints in our current house…

Inside our living room: Farrow & Ball

We used Farrow & Ball’s Skimming Stone estate emulsion on the walls of our living room, and Wimborne White interior wood paint on the alcove shelving and skirting. It was a nightmare to cut in with at the time as we didn’t mix the tin well nor did we have a trusty angled cutting-in brush (essential for a good finish), but the light we get in this room is incredible and varies magically throughout the times of day.

living room farrow & ball ideas
1930s bathroom renovation

Inside our bathroom: Valspar

We used Valspar paint colour matched to Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Blue. The match itself was near identical to the F&B tester pot we originally bought, and we are glad we opted for Valspar’s Kitchens & Bathrooms paint mix which has fared well with condensation in the room.

In our hallway & landing: Valspar

Here’s a room where we used Valspar paint but wish we used Farrow & Ball. It’s colour matched to Cornforth White. The hallway and landing has been prone to skuffs and scratches on the walls, thanks to all the furniture deliveries and renovation work that’s been happening, so sanding back and retouching the Valspar paint has proven a little tricky. It doesn’t sand back well, although if you do run out of paint you can be assured you’ll reorder the exact colour with Valspar – they record your colour reference on their software in store, whereas Farrow & Ball paints can vary by batch.

1930s house renovation
farrow and ball paint ideas vs valspar

In our kitchen diner: Mix of Farrow & Ball and Valspar

All the tongue and groove, the door, architraves, skirting and window sills in this room were painted with Farrow & Ball in the shade Bone. It’s such a gentle shade that has given us good durability in the last year or so we’ve had it. No touch ups needed yet, and a very smooth finish.

The walls we colour matched with Valspar, and opted for a complementary Farrow & Ball shade called Slipper Satin. As we had a lot of work happening in this room, we were once bitten twice shy and wanted to go Farrow & Ball to give us the ability to sand back and touch up areas that became marked from workmen. However, we opted again for Valspar’s Kitchen & Bathrooms paint as we knew it would be prone to heat/condensation in here. We since realised Farrow & Ball’s Modern Eggshell would have worked well in a condensation-prone environment, but you live and learn, hey!

In our utility room: Valspar

We painted this room when we were at the end of our tether having finished days of painting elsewhere in the house! It was a tricky one given it was previously painted bare brick, so required a little more arm muscle/coverage to paint all the gaps and mortar. We were very pleased with the coverage Valspar paint gave us in here – it’s hard to tell whether the finish is any good given it’s a rough surfaced wall, but it only took us 2-3 coats which we were surprised with at the time.

Being a room filled with light, the colour bounces off the brick really nicely.

utility room makeover ideas

So which paint company do you prefer? Have you tried Valspar and Farrow & Ball? What did you think? Leave your helpful advice in the comments below so that your experience can help other home renovators achieve a look they love!