Don’t Waste Your Money: Is pricey paint worth it?

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Designers showcase paint from the British company Farrow & Ball because of its luscious colors. But Farrow & Ball costs around $100 per gallon, two to three times more than other paints. Consumer Reports included it in its tests of more than 60 paints to see what you get paying top dollar.

All the paints face the same tough tests. One tests for stain resistance. Another checks how well each paint can cover dark paint.

The expensive Farrow and Ball paint couldn’t cover well with one coat. But a much less expensive Behr paint from The Home Depot did much better.

And as for Farrow & Ball’s beautiful colors, Consumer Reports sent a secret shopper to The Home Depot to see how closely it could match a sample of Farrow & Ball with its Behr paint. Back at the labs, testers compared the color. The color difference was within one percent.

Farrow & Ball paint did do a good job in the stain-resistance test, but so did Satin Enamel Behr Premium Plus Ultra. It earned top ratings and costs $34 a gallon.

There’s another advantage to Behr Premium Plus Ultra. Unlike Farrow & Ball, it’s a primer as well as paint. So you don’t have to cover bare surfaces with a primer first.

You can find Consumer Reports’ tips for getting a perfect paint job here.


  • Oh, really?

    I wonder how a company can justify charging that much for a bucket of paint-is it supposed to do something special that other brands don’t? Has it got liquid gold in it? I can’t imagine someone paying that much money for something they could easily duplicate for less-the Farrow & Ball reps must be splitting their sides at the stupidity of their customers.

  • Stephen

    Luckily for us there are plenty of customers who still love the unrivalled soft, matt finish of Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion which other paints struggle to achieve.

    At the end of the day its how a room looks after decoration which counts with our knowledgeable customers and as everyone knows, by far the largest expense is incurred in labour costs not in the paint!

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