From a purely technical standpoint, what's the difference in these two paints? Is one superior--especially in a semi-gloss application? I recognize that FPE has many more color choices. But how do they LOOK different on a wall or on the woodwork?
This is not a definitive answer, by any means, but an offer of an opinion. To me, the best aspect of Farrow and Ball paint is the Estate Emulsion formulation's chalky, velvet-like finish (well, that and the fact that it doesn't give me headaches). If I want a flat finish, that is my go-to paint. I'll even sacrifice a bit on first choice of color in order to use F & B. So, if I cannot use the Estate Emulsion and I do not need to match a previous F & B color, then other possibilities open up. My sense about FPE (not based on experience) is that it does not have that same texture. Earlier posters have stated that it has almost a ceramic feel to it. I would expect better durability from FPE. Since you are using paint with some sheen, I might opt for the FPE, were relative price not a concern. For woodwork and cabinets, I would probably prefer the FPE, with the caveat that some painters do not have the skill or experience FPE application requires. When I looked into FPE for the exterior of a friend's (immense) Victorian, FPE said it did not have a single certified painter in my state, and they couldn't guaranty a satisfactory result.
I wish you had a way to contact Pirula (Ivette) who used to post here as she has used both.
This post was edited by kitchendetective on Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 13:57
Being a painter, I use FPE a good bit and there is no real trick to it. You certainly do not have to be certified to apply it.
Perhaps this thread from many years ago will be helpful, especially comments by Pirula and Rococo.
Here is a link that might be useful: Old FPE, etc. comments
Thanks so much, kitchen detective--I read Pirula/Rococo and others' comments and it was very helpful. I get it! I've used FPE in one house, and haven't tried the F&B. Different looks, essentially--both top quality. Thank you again.