Farrow & Ball® Primer Guide

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Water-based Primers & Undercoats by Farrow & Ball® are a crucial part of the painting experience. Using the recommended primer + paint process will ensure that your paint holds up and wears well on the surface you'll apply it to, and will also ensure that your paint remains the same color as the sample you approved. While not every single situation requires a primer (a very few number of such situations exist), forgoing it when needed is not recommended. We are always happy to help you figure out the recommended primer for your project!

Farrow & Ball® Primers typically come in 4 tones (excluding some specialty primers), which is what truly makes your paint color pop and show up accurately. Did you know that on the back of your F&B Color Booklet there is an alphabetized list of the current 132 colors, with each color description detailing exactly which tone of primer should be used with each?! How fabulous and helpful! We have that same list below which you can easily refer to anytime!

Recommended Primer Tones Per Each Current Paint Color:

All White- White & Light Tones | Ammonite- White & Light Tones | Archive- Mid Tones | Arsenic- Mid Tones |            Babouche- White & Light Tones | Ball Green- Mid Tones | Black BlueDark Tones | Blackened- White & Light Tones | Blazer- Red & Warm Tones | Blue Gray- Mid Tones | Blue Ground- Dark Tones | Bone- Mid Tones | Book Room Red- Red & Warm Tones | Borrowed Light- White & Light Tones | Brassica- Dark Tones | Breakfast Room Green- Mid Tones Brinjal- Red & Warm Tones | Cabbage White- White & Light Tones | Calamine- White & Light Tones | Calke Green- Dark Tones | Calluna- White & Light Tones | Card Room Green- Dark Tones | Charleston Gray- Dark Tones | Charlotte's Locks- Red & Warm Tones | Churlish Green- Mid Tones | Cinder Rose- Mid Tones | Citron- White & Light Tones Clunch- White & Light Tones | Cooking Apple Green- Mid Tones | Cook's Blue- Dark Tones | Cord- Mid Tones | Cornforth White- White & Light Tones | Cromarty- Mid Tones | Dayroom Yellow- White & Light Tones | Dead Salmon- Red & Warm Tones | Dimity- White & Light Tones | Dimpse- White & Light Tones | Dix Blue- Mid Tones | Dorset Cream- Mid Tones Dove Tale- Mid Tones | Down Pipe- Dark Tones | Drawing Room Blue- Dark Tones | Drop Cloth- Mid Tones | Eating Room Red- Red & Warm Tones | Elephant's Breath- Mid Tones | Farrow's Cream- Mid Tones | French Gray- Mid Tones | Great White- White & Light Tones | Green Blue- Dark Tones | Green Ground- White & Light Tones | Green Smoke- Dark Tones Hague Blue- Dark Tones | Hardwick White- Mid Tones | Hay- Mid Tones | House White- Mid Tones | Incarnadine- Red & Warm Tones | Inchyra Blue- Dark Tones | India Yellow- Red & Warm Tones | James White- White & Light Tones | Joa's White- Mid Tones | Lamp Room Gray- Mid Tones | Lichen- Dark Tones | Light Blue- Mid Tones | Light Gray- Mid Tones Lime White- Mid Tones | London Clay- Dark Tones | London Stone- Mid Tones | Lulworth Blue- Dark Tones |        Mahogany- Dark Tones | Manor House Gray- Dark Tones | Matchstick- White & Light Tones | Middleton Pink- White & Light Tones | Mizzle- Mid Tones Mole's Breath- Dark Tones Mouse's Back- Dark Tones | Nancy's Blushes- White & Light Tones | New White- White & Light Tones | Off- Black- Dark Tones | Off- White- White & Light Tones | Old White- Mid Tones | Oval Room Blue- Dark Tones | Oxford Stone- Mid Tones | Pale Hound- Mid Tones | Pale Powder- White & Light Tones | Parma Gray- Mid Tones | Pavilion Blue- White & Light Tones | Pavilion Gray- Mid Tones | Peignoir- Mid Tones Pelt- Dark Tones | Picture Gallery Red- Red & Warm Tones | Pigeon- Dark Tones | Pink Ground- White & Light Tones Pitch Black- Dark Tones | Pitch Blue- Dark Tones | Plummett- Dark Tones | Pointing- White & Light Tones | Purbeck Stone- Mid Tones | Radicchio- Red & Warm Tones | Railings- Dark Tones | Rectory Red- Red & Warm Tones | Red Earth- Red & Warm Tones | Ringwold Ground- White & Light Tones | Salon Drab- Dark Tones | Savage Ground- Mid  Tones | Setting Plaster- White & Light Tones | Shaded White- White & Light Tones | Shadow White- White & Light Tones | Skimming Stone- White & Light Tones | Skylight- White & Light Tones | Slipper Satin- White & Light Tones Smoked Trout- Mid Tones | St Giles Blue- Mid Tones | Stiffkey Blue- Dark Tones | Stone Blue- Dark Tones | Stony Ground- Mid Tones | String- Mid Tones | Strong White- White & Light Tones | Studio Green- Dark Tones | Sudbury Yellow- White & Light Tones | Tallow- White & Light Tones | Tanner's Brown- Dark Tones | Teresa's Green- Dark Tones Tunsgate Green- White & Light Tones | Vardo- Dark Tones | Vert de Terre- Mid Tones | Wevet- White & Light Tones White Tie- White & Light Tones | Wimborne White- White & Light Tones | Worsted- Mid Tones | Yeabridge Green- Mid Tones | Yellowcake- White & Light Tones | Yellow Ground- White & Light Tones

 

Additionally, the type of project and substrate that you are painting over will determine what type of Primer & Undercoat you need. Here are the different types of primers from F&B and what they are used for:

Exterior Wood Primer- (comes in: Dark Tones, Mid Tones, Red & Warm Tones, White & Light Tones)

  • Exterior Wood Primer is for exterior wood surfaces that are bare or previously painted. It comes in 4 primer tones to best suit your chosen paint color. Apply this water-based primer with a brush and/ or roller prior to painting to ensure the best paint durability and lasting color. Recommended to be used with Exterior Eggshell and Full Gloss (the exterior wood-friendly paint finishes). 

 

Interior Wood Primer- (comes in: Dark Tones, Mid Tones, Red & Warm Tones, White & Light Tones) 

  • Interior Wood Primer is for interior wood surfaces that are bare or previously painted (excluding wood flooring- please visit the Wood Floor Primer link). It comes in 4 primer tones to best suit your chosen paint color. Apply this water-based primer with a brush and/ or roller prior to painting to ensure the best paint durability and lasting color. Recommended to be used with Estate Eggshell, Full Gloss, Dead Flat, and Modern Eggshell (the interior wood-friendly paint finishes). 

 

Knot & Resin Blocking Primer- (one color)

  • Knot and Resin Blocking Primer is for interior and exterior woodwork that contains resinous stains-- it blocks these stains and knots from blooming through the paint. Apply this water-based primer with a brush and/ or roller prior to painting to ensure the best paint durability and lasting color. Recommended to be used with Full Gloss, Exterior Eggshell, Estate Eggshell, Modern Eggshell, and Dead Flat (the wood-friendly finishes). 

 

Masonry & Plaster Stabilizing Primer- (one color)

  • Masonry & Plaster Stabilizing Primer is for interior and exterior masonry (stone, brick) and plaster. It's essential to use this when working with Exterior Masonry paint finishes, and crucial to use when painting over unsound masonry or plaster surfaces. Apply this water-based primer with a brush and/ or roller prior to painting to ensure the best paint durability and lasting color. Recommended to be used with Exterior Masonry, Estate Emulsion, Modern Emulsion, and Modern Eggshell (some masonry and plaster-friendly finishes).

 

Metal Primer- (comes in: Dark Tones, Mid Tones, Red & Warm Tones, White & Light Tones) 

  • For interior and exterior bare metal surfaces to inhibit rust. To be used with Estate Eggshell, Full Gloss, Dead Flat, Exterior Eggshell, and Modern Eggshell.
  • Metal Primer is for interior and exterior bare metal surfaces in order to inhibit rust. It comes in 4 primer tones to best suit your chosen paint color. Apply this water-based primer with a brush and/ or roller prior to painting to ensure the best paint durability and lasting color. Recommended to be used with Estate Eggshell, Full Gloss, Dead Flat, Exterior Eggshell, and Modern Eggshell (the metal-friendly finishes).

 

Wall & Ceiling Primer- (comes in: Dark Tones, Mid Tones, Red & Warm Tones, White & Light Tones)

  • Wall & Ceiling Primer is for interior-only walls and ceilings, which are bare or previously painted. It comes in 4 primer tones to best suit your chosen paint color. Apply this water-based primer with a brush and/ or roller prior to painting to ensure the best paint durability and lasting color. Recommended to be used with Estate Emulsion and Modern Emulsion (the wall and ceiling finishes).

 

Wood Floor Primer- (comes in: Dark Tones, Mid Tones, Red & Warm Tones, White & Light Tones) 

  • Wood Floor Primer is for interior wood floors that are bare or previously painted. It ensures that your hardwearing floor paint finish will do exactly what it's supposed to do, which is to last up to heavy traffic. It comes in 4 primer tones to best suit your chosen paint color. Apply this water-based primer with a brush and/ or roller prior to painting to ensure the best paint durability and lasting color. Recommended to be used with Modern Eggshell (the one and only floor paint in the line). 

 

As always, please reach out to us with any questions!