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Farrow and Ball Ammonite

by - Thursday, February 27, 2020

One of the most frequent questions I receive here and on my Instagram is, "What is that paint colour in your living room"? I understand it. Farrow and Ball Ammonite is an understated yet eye-catching soft grey that works so well under different spaces and light conditions.

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farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint


Farrow and Ball Paint Colours


I've used many different paint brands over the years and Farrow and Ball paint has a few unmistakeable qualities. First is the curated selection of colour. Unlike other brands that offer every colour under the sun, the Farrow and Ball palette offers a somewhat limited selection. You won't find any super bright or neon colours here. There's only a few whites and blacks.

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The photo of the paint card above shows about half of their paint colours. They don't introduce new colours often and offer just 132 different hues.

This creates a palette that feels thoughtful, intentional, and well-coordinated. With Farrow and Ball, you get the sense that you could choose any colour and it would work in your space.

farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint

Farrow and Ball Paint Finishes

Farrow and Ball paint finishes are different from your typical high gloss, semi gloss, satin, eggshell, matte. They offer mainly low to mid sheens, giving their paints a chalky, matte quality. 

Can you color match Farrow and Ball paint?

That matte quality gives Farrow and Ball paint a deep, complex characteristic that other paints can't quite replicate. 

It's for this reason that I don't recommend trying to colour-match a Farrow and Ball colour using another brand's paint - you won't get that same depth of colour, personality, and texture. But if you want to try, Benjamin Moore Light Pewter 1464 is a close match to Farrow and Ball Ammonite.

I found the Farrow and Ball Ammonite retains its saturation throughout the day. Unlike other paint brand colours which can look completely different in different light conditions, Farrow and Ball Ammonite looks and feels like the same hue in the bright morning light and in the darkness of night.

In our living room, we used two different Farrow and Ball paint finishes:
  • an Estate Emulsion finish for the walls and panel moulding
  • an Estate Eggshell for the crown mouldings, door and window casings, fireplace, pocket doors and baseboards. 
The difference in sheen is subtle and provides more durability in those areas that get more wear.

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How To Select Paint Colors

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When we were looking for a paint colour for this living room, I knew I wanted something that was neutral and could work with different decor and throughout the seasons.

I was leaning towards the off whites and warm greys. Something with character but that could provide a neutral backdrop to my changing accessories.

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One way to select paint colour is to paint samples. You could paint them directly on the wall, or paint them on sheets of white paper. This way, you can move the samples around, try them on different walls, move them around day to night.

Ammonite No. 274 is a versatile perfect grey, in my opinion. It appears neither too warm nor too cool. We had also considered Farrow and Ball Conforth White but found with the north east light that comes into our living room, it read a little too dark. Ammonite has warm undertones and doesn't appear too blue as some greys can.

farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint

farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint

Here's how Farrow and Ball Ammonite looked with two coats on the wall. This is just a photo from my phone, but you can see how warmer and more saturated it looked against the stark white of the pre-primed MDF moulding, and the existing semi-gloss creamy white paint on the doors.

If you're considering using Farrow and Ball Ammonite, here's my thoughts.

Spaces to use Farrow and Ball Ammonite

  • living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens
  • restful or gathering spaces
  • traditional homes, country homes
  • rooms with little or no natural light. Rooms with cool northern light
  • cabinetry
  • hallways and entryways
  • moulding and architectural details
  • as a backdrop to more colourful accents
  • paired with other warm-toned neutrals


farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint

farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint

You can see here how Farrow and Ball Ammonite really brings out the architectural details in my living room. The paint colour doesn't compete with the room. It enhances the details and allows the decor to pop.

Farrow and Ball Paint Price

Make no mistake, this refined paint does come at a cost. On their website, Farrow and Ball paint is priced at $110 US per gallon. Is Farrow and Ball worth it? I think so. With a premium paint, you'll want to be intentional about where you use it though. I used it here in the living room as I knew, once renovated, this would be one of the most used and visible rooms in our home.

This is not the kind of paint to use for small, insignificant projects like inside of closets or rarely used guest rooms. Reserve this paint for rooms and spaces that will have high impact - living rooms, hallways, a full wall of kitchen cabinetry.

How many coats of Farrow and Ball paint do you need?

We found that for the walls in an Estate Emulsion finish, two coats was sufficient. For the crown, baseboards, fireplace and other moulding where we used Estate Eggshell, three coats were needed to get the depth of colour and even coverage we wanted.

What colours go with Farrow and Ball Ammonite?

  • For a monotone palette, try Ammonite, Strong White and Purbeck Stone
  • For a country palette, try Ammonite, Mizzle and French Grey
  • For a bold palette, try Ammonite, Stiffkey Blue and Railings

farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint
farrow and ball ammonite, ammonite no 274, farrow and ball paint, neutral grey paint, neutral gray paint, soft grey paint

How does Farrow and Ball Ammonite make a room feel? It feels sophisticated yet reserved. Welcoming. Calm and restful.

On the surface, Ammonite seems like a plain warm grey but I've found it to be very complex and refined. It feels at home no matter the season. Whether I'm accessorizing with blue and orange in summer, or mulberry red over the holidays, Ammonite works.

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I have to say though that I love Farrow and Ball Ammonite in the fall. The shaded afternoon light casts this room in a softer glow and makes it feel cozy and warm. The colour palette of fall - creams, rusts, blacks and browns - really showcases the best qualities of Ammonite.

Have you tried Farrow and Ball paint? I'd love to hear how you've used it in your home!

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Want to see how we've used other paint colours in our home? Click over to these stories:



Farrow and Ball Wimborne White

Benjamin Moore Simply White

PARA Paints Lunenberg

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