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After renovating 4 houses, decorating at both of my parents homes and countless friends houses I have done a lot of painting and used a lot of paint!

is expensive paint really worth the money
image source dulux

We all have to work to our budget but over the years I have come to realise that some economies are false economies and in my opinion paint is one of those. In light of all the hoo ha over ad not an ad. Or sponsored or gifted etcetera etcetera I will declare now that this is not an ad and not in any way sponsored this post is based on my personal experience.

is expensive paint really worth
image source Abigail Ahern

I recently had a child free day coming up so I decided I was going to get the pink on the chimney breast and ceiling of my office. I had already picked out Middleton Pink, I am pretty anti royal so I wanted not to love the colour but I just do. I digress I went to my local Farrow & Ball stockist to get the paint and they were out of Middleton Pink. I knew I could not get it delivered in time so in a desperate attempt to capitalise on my time I went and had it mixed from the RAL number in Johnstones paint. It was half the price but guess what I had to use twice as much. It took longer, so wasted more time and it is still not quite as nice.

is expensive paint really worth the money

So what are the main differences?

Coverage. You get more for your money so the cost differential is negligible or in some cases non existent.

Ease of use. Some paints drag and are a pain in the arse to paint with. Others go on really well and make a tedious job far less tedious.

Suitability. This is not the case with all premium paint brands but certainly brands such as Little Greene Paint Company and Farrow & Ball are especially suited to period properties. They allow the materials to breathe which is of upmost importance when you are maintaining your home.

Pigment. This is the glaring difference when it comes to premium paint brands. The pigments have more depth so even in the neutrals you get some really interesting tones and the light plays well on them.

I have used Johnstones eggshell paint and I have been pleased but three times I have been disappointed with the emulsion.

So what paint brands do I love?

is expensive paint worth the money

My all time favourite paint is Little Greene Paint Company. Their paints work really well in period homes, my current Yorkshire home is filled with clay and lime plaster. They also have the most exciting paint colours. They have fantastic coverage and wipe really well.

Next up is Farrow & Ball. They have the same features as Little Greene but the colour range is not as extensive and I have found that the walls are not as durable in the darker colours as when you wipe the walls down, (which you do when you have children), the paint marks.

I also love; Fired Earth, Abigail Ahern and Dulux.

What paint brands do I hate?

Okay so hate is a strong word but I certainly do avoid them. Albany, Johnstones, B&Q Colours, Paint Library & Valspar. These paints have poor coverage and or the paint drags as it goes on making it harder work to get a nice even coat.

is expaensive paint really worth it
image source Fired Earth

Obviously there are many many more paint brands out there that I have not used but these are paints that I have used more than once. I am sure people will have differing opinions and if there are any paint brands that you think I should try be sure to comment below.

February 10, 2019

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11 Comments

  1. Reply

    Marlene

    February 5, 2019

    I am still due to try Little Greene Co Paint but I like very much Farrow & Ball and Dulux. I wouldn’t go cheap on paint neither, it is such an hassle to have to paint over a first bad job plus you look at the walls every single day. They deserve it!

  2. Reply

    Evija

    February 6, 2019

    This is the question I ask myself every time! I think you can be hit and miss with some paints.. I’ve used Valspar paint and never had any issues but I know some people who’ve had a nightmare with it.. I recently painted F&B Hague blue walls in our bedroom and found that paint was great going on but some patches were a little funny and I agree about wiping the surface! I am sticking to F&B for eggshell as I think that is very good and durable paint x

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 10, 2019

      Valspar seems to be hit and miss, I fell in love with a mustard colour for the kids bedroom and had to do 6 coats it has made me shy away from giving it another go but i see a lot of swear by it and they do have a nice colour range

  3. Reply

    Evija

    February 6, 2019

    This is the question I ask myself every time! I think it can be hit and miss with some paints.. I’ve used Valspar paint and never had any issues but I know some people who’ve had a nightmare with it.. I recently painted F&B Hague blue walls in our bedroom and found that paint was great going on but some patches were a little funny and I agree about wiping the surface! I am sticking to F&B for eggshell as I think that is very good and durable paint x

  4. Reply

    Stacey Sheppard

    February 7, 2019

    Great post and it’s so true about it being a false economy. Got to say I’ve never tried any of the really pricey ones though thinking them out of budget. But I probably could have afforded them all along if I needed less paint. I might give one of them a go now. I usually use Valspar and actually quite like it. I find it really hard wearing as you can properly scrub it and it doesn’t mark or come off which is perfect with little kids.

  5. Reply

    Maria

    February 9, 2019

    Personally, I think paint has become something of a statement to shout about in recent years especially with the tags on Instagram. Let’s face it anything tagged Farrow and Ball is going to get you more likes than say Wilkos special own branded paint. We’ve always been a fan of tried and trusted Dulux. We’ve never had a problem with it and it’ more affordable than some of the higher end brands. We have used Farrow and Ball a few times and to be honest found the difference in both painting experience (not as good – we needed more) and it is a lot more expensive.

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 10, 2019

      Oh I love Dulux too big time. I have not used it in this house as the walls are all clay or lime plaster and I am paranoid about the breath ability, I may have driven myself potty on reading about preserving old buildings.

  6. Reply

    Pati Robins

    February 10, 2019

    Great post ! i love valspar but only v700 range – it covered almost black ceiling back to off white in 1 coat , and you can still touch it up if needs be months after and its washable 🙂 for me farrow and ball is overpriced and over promoted paint – i tried touching up farrow and ball and i had a diffrence in shade plus in my opinion coverage isnt good at all x

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 10, 2019

      I will have a look at the v700 range thanks for the tip.

  7. Reply

    Kimberly Duran

    February 26, 2019

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve always been a fan of Dulux – I think for a mid-range paint, they are probably the best you’ll get and I tend to avoid Valspar like the plague after a few really bad experiences with their paint. The really cheap stuff is just a total waste of money though – agreed, a false economy as you need so much more and the coverage is rubbish. Tried Farrow & Ball a few years ago (I thought it was all hype – I was wrong) and realised how good paint can actually be although I know people have had mixed results with it – perhaps it depends on the colour! Since then, Little Green is definitely a favourite – the coverage is unbelievably good, the colours wonderfully pigmented. I’m also a big fan of Earthborn – great for older properties, very high quality and the most amazing creamy texture xx

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      March 8, 2019

      I am so glad you agree with me on Valspar so many people love it but I am busy I do not have time for 5 fucking coats!

      I am eager to try Earthborn I have heard such good stuff and I have a period property it is so important to maintain breath ability I have a few colours in mind for my dining room

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