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Farrow and Ball eggshell sheen level

F&B state on their data sheet the sheen level for their Estate Eggshell is 20%.
I recently sent a 2.5l tin back for testing - the finish was so flat the client was unhappy, it was plain for me and a colleague to see once it was dry.

F&B 's response …'It may help to explain the sheen level for Estate Eggshell has to achieve between 15%-20% sheen"

I had painted nine sash windows - full prep, 1 x coat cover stain 2 x full coats F&B Estate Egg, After my client contacted me and I revisited we could all see how flat the finish was. A (rare) fault in F&B paint I assumed and with a new tin applied a third coat to the nine sash windows without question. The new tin brought the desired result of the sheen/lustre associated with F&B eggshell

I returned the tin to F&B with full explanation and a note about my regular and committed usage of their eggshell, but the Service and Technical team wrote to say they were 'unable to extend the offer of financial compensation or costs toward redecoration’
There was more detail about test cards, spectrophotometers, beams of light and levels of reflected light (!) and the explanation about 15%-20% sheen level (the tin I sent back was 17.1%)

I cannot imagine my clients response if instead of getting on and repainting his windows I’d taken the F&B customer service line and discussed the merits of a spectrophotometer!

So do be aware that while F&B aim for a colour accuracy tolerance of less than 1%, their tolerance for eggshell sheen may be 15% which is virtually flat or it may hit 20%

many of you will now be saying ‘told you so Dave’ as I seem to be one of the rare F&B happy-to-use-F&B painters. Hmmm with a response like that seems like I’m with the rest of you and getting their stuff colour mixed from now on.

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There seems to be an inherent disconnect between the complaints side and the rest of F&B?! They can’t be sending out flat matt in eggshell tins once in a blue moon and think it is alright to palm off a regular trade user with that little known fact of 15-20%. Spoiling their “trade” ship for a pennyworth of tar seems petty in the extreme. Especially as they could have paid for your labour out of petty cash. You are on about £12 a day, right!!! Maybe they think it doesn’t matter that you go and share your crappy experience with a few mates. Who knows. Their marketing team are ace, I doubt they will be happy to hear they might lose a good client because of poor handling of a technical glitch, negating all their hard work behind the scenes.

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I agree. You proved the tin was a baddun by using a new one. You could have changed brands but you gave F&B another chance. They should be rewarding people that use it in spite of slight problems. Bad customer service.

I’ve more than happy using F&B and haven’t had problems with it at all - so far but if I ended up in that position where they were being less than helpful I would be tempted to drop it and move on. Their loss.

I am seeing them on Wednesday - i will ask the question. Ben

When I sent the original tin back I thought they’d just accept it was a fault .Faults being a rare thing for F&B. It was so clear that it wasn’t up to the mark . But that wasn’t a problem , stuff happens to all of us , it’s how we resolve it.
The way they resolved was not to hear the views of the customer and regular user , but to offer a technical explanation which doesn’t tally with their marketing. And to dismiss my claim for one days labour to keep client happy .
The irony is that I’d switched the client from Dulux pbw to F&ball All white for a softer tone and sheen!

I wasn’t that bothered about a rogue tin but I now feel totally unsupported by f&ball to put things right


I have always found customer service suddenly improves if you tell them you’ll be reporting your problem on Twitter for all to see. #F&B and #flat eggshell will work wonders I’m sure :slight_smile:

having copied Bristol showroom with my original letter to Head Office I followed up with an email to keep them in loop: Head Office hadn’t copied the showroom with their reply!

However an hour later showroom manager had contacted Regional Manager and was very keen to resolve the matter for me and keep me as a regular customer. So the retail guys did what they could, my concern is that had it been a bigger job and more to put right that F&B technical won’t support the trade

The statement about sheen level variable between 15%-20% still stands.

I tried to post a review with a copy of Technical Dept statement but it was 'rejected"

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It seems the tech dept of a lot of paint companies are a bit defensive and take it personally when something goes wrong. They don’t understand the concept of customer service.

I did speak to the Farrow & Ball area Manager yesterday and mentioned this to her. She did say that the sheen level should not vary. 5% difference in sheen is strange and way too much and her advice was to send the paint tins back to have them looked at. Not sure that helps but i did ask for you! Ben

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I had a problem with F&B a few years ago and I found there initial response very good, replacing the paint and offering to pay for labour to put the job right.
However once they got the faulty paint back they totally changed. Their technical disputed the amount of paint I used and I ended up with a fraction of the invoice I sent them for redoing the work.
I understand companies can’t just pay out for perceived problems because they would be inundated with claims that may be ‘trying it on.’ But, if there is a problem then they should be proactive in sorting it out and Dave’s issue should be a case in point.


Thanks all for helping with perspective on this - F&B is, after all, a premium priced product
I’ve now received two letters from technical team both state clearly that the eggshell sheen of Estate Eggshell has to achieve between 15% - 20% and that as the tin I had purchased was 17.1% it was therefore acceptable. They offered to refund the price of the tin and a token gesture goodwill voucher

However the Showroom manager at Bristol was far more helpful and with Area Manager consent has helped resolve this for me

I have to say in years of using F&B i have found their colour accuracy and the sheen level of eggshell to be consistent. I believe this was a rogue tin (not really a problem, stuff happens!) and F&B technical team getting highly defensive for no real reason!