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7 Favorites: British Boutique Paint Companies

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7 Favorites: British Boutique Paint Companies

April 8, 2019

Slightly moody and never obvious, the best paint colors in the UK look as if they were created against the soft gray light of the British Isles. Here are five English paint lines we love.

1. Cassandra Ellis Paints

cassandra ellis paints 1
Above: “Our paint is a carefully chosen palette of 38, calm luminous colors that offer a quiet, enveloping backdrop for your home,” says London-based designer Cassandra Ellis of Atelier Ellis. (See more at Palettes & Paints: A New Line of Luxe Paints from Cassandra Ellis).

2. Little Greene

little greene paint company palette 2
Above: Little Greene is a paint manufacturer founded in 1773 as the Little Greene Dye Works of Collyhurst Wood, on the outskirts of Manchester. Known for depth of color, Little Greene paints have a complex pigmentation that provides character and definition. The company’s water-based paints have a low-VOC rating, and its oil-based paints are made with sustainable vegetable oil.

3. Paper and Paints

founded in \1960, by robert baty and currently owned by his son, patrick, pape 11
Above: Founded in 1960, by Robert Baty and currently owned by his son, Patrick, Paper and Paints of London specializes in color palettes for historic buildings, including Kensington Palace. Mixing paints from Little Greene (see above), they create colors to match traditional settings. In the US, they’ve worked with institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Colonial Williamsburg foundation.

4. Ecos Organic Paints

ecos organic paints are water based and free of all solvents, vocs, and toxins 12
Above: Ecos Organic Paints are water-based and free of all solvents, VOCs, and toxins. When the Louvre had some touching up to do on walls near the Mona Lisa, Ecos was selected. Odor and fume free, the brand has also been singled out as ideal for allergy sufferers. Go to Remodeling 101, to learn All You Need to Know About VOCs in Paint. Photograph by Joanna Henderson.

5. Earthborn

another small, eco friendly paint company, earthborn, has developed claypaint,  13
Above: Another small, eco-friendly paint company, Earthborn, has developed Claypaint, a special clay-based formula with an ultra-matte finish that absorbs and softens the light in the room. Earthborn paint is available only in the UK and Europe.

6. Plain English

uk kitchen outfitters plain english teamed up with interior designer adam bra 14
Above: UK kitchen outfitters Plain English teamed up with interior designer Adam Bray to develop a collection of 12 colors that are bolder than what is typically associated with the company’s understated, Georgian-inspired designs. With names such as Dripping Tap, Draughty Passage, and Scullery Latch, the palette (available in eggshell, gloss, and matte) is inherently English. The collection is exclusive to Plain English clients. See more in Bespoke Color from an Accidental Decorator.

7. Farrow & Ball

 the best known of the english paint lines, and the one most available in the  15
Above: The best known of the English paint lines, and the one most available in the US, Farrow & Ball was founded by John Farrow and Richard Maurice Ball in Wimborne Minster, Dorset in the 1930s. Several years ago, Farrow & Ball developed a new, water-based formula for its paints, reducing the solvents in its products to low and zero VOC. Colors are derived from natural pigments as well as other natural ingredients, such as china clay, lime putty, and linseed oil. And the company doesn’t use harmful ingredients like ammonia or formaldehyde.

See 10 Easy Pieces: Eco-Friendly Paints for US companies that offer low-VOC and toxin-free options. And have a look at 5 Boutique Paint Lines from Down Under and Trend Alert: 3 New Direct-to-Consumer Companies Shaking Up the Paint Industry.

Choosing paint colors can be daunting; browse the designer-vetted colors in our Palette & Paints series, which includes:

And, head to Gardenista for advice on Exterior Paints.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 23, 3014.

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