Farrow & Ball has been a name in the paint industry since the company was founded in 1946, and while a lot has changed for the brand over the past 70 years, their tried-and-true paint recipes have pretty much stayed the same. The brand is all about creating rich, creative colors, a process which the brand's Head of Creative, Charlotte Cosby, describes as "magical." So how do these magical paints get made? Cosby took Natipernavigare behind-the-scenes at the company's Wimborne, UK-based factory to find out.
Before the paint can be manufactured, they have to develop the colors first. That, Cosby says, involves sitting down to mix colors with her colleague, International Color Consultant Joa Studholme, at her kitchen table. "[That's] where we'll be mixing paints with loads of different colors using all of our current sample pots," Cosby explains, adding that they go through this process for all 132 of the colors in their palette.
Inspiration, she says, can come from anywhere. For example, Mizzle, which Cosby describes as a "beautiful green-y gray color," is actually inspired by the Dorset word for mist and drizzle.
When it comes to actually making the paint, the first step for Farrow & Ball is adding titanium dioxide, which Cosby notes is the ingredient that gives the brand's paint its chalkiness and opacity. Next, they move on to adding the pigments. "Farrow & Ball has up to 13 different pigments we can add, which means we have this fantastic range of color," Cosby says.
From there, it's all about the mixing. "Once we've added all the pigments, we need to make sure the color has gone through every single part of the base, so we use a variety of different blades to make sure it's mixed thoroughly," she explains.
Last but not least, Farrow & Ball paints go through an extensive quality control process. "Our chemists in our quality control lab will then test for color to twice the industry standard," Cosby says, joking that the results are "probably not even visible to the human eye." The chemists then test for sheen level, opacity, viscosity, and pH levels to ensure each paint is perfect before it leaves the factory.
Another fun fact? Farrow & Ball's wallpaper is actually printed with their own paints, so the designs and paint (which you can shop on the brand's website) can complement each other seamlessly in any style you choose. Oh, and if you've been lusting over a Farrow & Ball color that's been retired, Cosby has a hot tip for you: the brand can—and will—make any of their old colors for you. Yes, really. You just have to head to a showroom near you, ask for an archive fan, and find the color you'd like them to make, and they'll take it from there.
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