When you have been painting as many rooms as we have over the last two and a half years, it’s good to know that you can get your chosen Farrow & Ball paint (and paint brushes!) at the drop of a hat- lucky for us, we have a B&Q on our doorstep which means we can pick up our paint without any hassle or waiting around.

Those of you that have been following Ian and I for a while will know that we love our grey tones – Cornforth White, Moles Breath and Purbeck Stone are a few of the Farrow & Ball colours that we have used in the @our1930sfixerupper household. Recently we have both been warming to more… well… warmer neutral tones. Some people refer to them as safe tones but we prefer to call them classic! For the record, it’s not that we don’t like grey any more (you will still find lots of grey tones within our home), it’s just we don’t want every room in our home painted in ‘50 Shades of Grey’ (sorry.. I couldn’t help myself).

When we were deciding on paint colours for our recently renovated Living/Dining Room area, we agreed that we would look out for a warmer neutral tone for this newly created space. Farrow & Ball recently released 9 new colours  – their first set of new colours since 2016 – and School House White stood out as the perfect neutral colour that would help us achieve the soft off-white colour we were hoping for. In Farrow & Ball words – “This is the lightest colour in the group including Shadow White, Shaded White and Drop Cloth – each created to look like white when used in deep shade. Pared back, timeless and familiar without the cool undertones of the more contemporary neutral groups, this soft off-white is reminiscent of the colour used in old school houses”


Choosing paint colours is meant to be one of the fun parts of re-decorating any new space, but it can also be quite daunting and a complicated process (it can also nearly end marriages and relationships.. just ask Ian!). The problem is there is so much choice and you want to make sure you are making the right decision. We all use Pinterest and Instagram as a way of inspiring us, but sometimes it’s good to get a second opinion and a bit of help along the way – this is where B&Q come in (not with marriage counselling) – but they can help offer expert advice and a huge range of tools to ensure that you can bring the project you have in mind to life. The full Farrow & Ball range (including all 9 new colours) can also be found in every B&Q store across the country and here you can explore the new range and find the colour that suits you best.

Now we had the paint colour sorted, it was important to have the right materials – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” as Ian tells me all the time! I asked him to share some of his top tips for painting and decorating and what products he recommends for the job itself.


Ian’s Recommended Products and Tips for Painting & Decorating Projects


  • Prepping the walls is the one of (if not the most) important thing you can do when decorating. Try to do all the preparation together in the early stages (including any woodwork)- this is to ensure you limit the amount of unwanted dust from sanding. Use a high grit sandpaper, the higher the grit the smoother the finish.
  • Wash your walls and woodwork with sugar soap to ensure all dust is removed before painting – this is another important task, as you may end up with paint peeling off at a later date and nobody needs that in their interior life!
  • Remember to prep your room with Frog Tape to ensure you get those crisp clean lines!
  • As we were painting onto newly plastered walls, we (by ‘we’ I mean Ian) used a mist coat of Farrow & Ball Wall & Ceiling Primer & Undercoat. Make sure you use the correct Farrow & Ball colour tone for your top coat – in our case this was a mid-tone for School House White – however, if you’re unsure, your local B&Q store can help and advise the correct primer to use and help with any other decorating questions you may have. Once you have performed your mist cost, finish by applying two full coats of your chosen Farrow and Ball colour. If your plaster surface is a bit unstable, apply one coat of Masonry & Plaster Stabilising Primer to bond the plaster and seal the surface, followed by one coat of Farrow & Ball paint.
  • If you’re painting an entire room, first paint the ceiling, then the walls. Also, decorate the walls before any woodwork – the reason for this is because it is easier it to paint over emulsion with gloss then it is the other way round, however, if you use your frog tape, you should be fine anyway!
  • Invest in decent brushes and rollers – Ian’s favourite brushes are made by Harris.
  • If you’re painting over a number of days, use tin foil to cover all your paint brushes and rollers – this stops them from drying out and saves you having to wash them up every time you finish painting for the day. Fewer Jobs, Tasks and Chores! #winning
  • Work Light– helps show up any imperfections and helps you get that perfect finish.



All of these products listed can be picked up from your local B&Q store (along with the full range of Farrow & Ball paint). B&Q is the place to go for every home improvement task, whether you plan to up-cycle a piece of furniture or add those finishing touches to a room such as cushions, wall art or a rug– B&Q is your one-stop shop for any home renovation project.


(This was a paid partnership with B&Q)


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