Green Smoke by Farrow and Ball–a color expert’s review

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If you haven’t noticed, green has been making waves in the paint color industry. Most paint brands named green hues for their colors of the year in 2022, and Farrow & Ball is no exception, shining light on their popular Green Smoke hue.

Thinking of using this muted green hue in your next home improvement project? Here’s my full color review on Farrow & Ball Green Smoke.

What are the undertones of Green Smoke?

Green Smoke is a muted green with blue/gray undertones. Usually paint companies aren’t too helpful with the names of their products in terms of what the color actually is, but with Green Smoke, the name is dead on!

You’ll notice that as the light changes the color will morph, usually in more light you notice more of green/blue, but in the lower lighting situations you tend to see mostly green/gray and not the blue.

What trim color works with Green Smoke?

This depends on the look you are going for. For a more modern look, you’ll pair Green Smoke with a true white like Chantilly Lace. For a more country cottage or classic bungalow, you might pair green smoke with an off-white (White Dove works really well) or even go as far as to pair it with a cream like Benjamin Moore Mascarpone.

How to know if Farrow & Ball Green Smoke is right for you

Observe your fixed elements and decor

I typically review neutral colors, because that’s what people have the most difficult time with, and when I do that, understanding the undertones in fixed elements and finishes is very important. But, with colors, it’s not quite as difficult.

Recall the beautiful photo above of Green Smoke used in a bedroom. This color comes to life because of how they layered in green throughout the room. Just throwing Green Smoke in a room without carefully making sure it relates to other large elements in the room is a mistake.

Green Smoke looks fabulous with mustard yellow, and you’ll also notice how that color is found in the overall room palette.

Note the difference between clean and dirty colors

Green Smoke is what you’d consider a “dirty” paint color, you know this by comparing it to a true green. In this case, I compared Green Smoke with Benjamin Moore Rainforest Foliage, a “clean” green paint color. When decorating with either a clean or a dirty color, you want to make sure that you carry out the clean or dirty palette throughout.

Refer to the picture of Green Smoke used in the bedroom above. All of the other colors used in the room are “dirty” colors. If the bed had been layered with a true yellow throw it would have looked out of place. Same goes for the green shams, those would have looked wrong if they were closer to a true green.

All this to say, remember this principle when you decorate if you want to go with a color like Green Smoke.

Evaluate your light

There’s no doubt about it, Green Smoke will change as the day light moves throughout your home. At times you will observe it to be a more blue green, and other times it will look like a green/gray.

Make sure you’re okay with how it looks as the light changes and the only way you can do this is to correctly test it out…which brings me to my next point!

Test it out

Here’s where doing your homework will really save you! You must test out any and all paint colors before you commit. The best way to do this is to either paint a large square on a plain white poster board or order the peel and stick samples and place them in front of a white poster board (don’t remove the sticky part)

You never want to paint color directly onto a wall that isn’t pure white, as the current wall color will always negatively influence your new one. Anytime you test out a color, you need a pure white boarder full around it.

What colors go with Green Smoke?

I’m a huge fan of pairing Green Smoke with mustard yellow hues, like Chestertown Buff. I also like pairing it with much lighter grays with green/blue undertones like Rainwashed.

Other helpful tips about choosing Green Smoke for your home

farrow and ball green smoke paint color review

An in progress client mood board using Green Smoke in the bathroom. I love how Green Smoke works with natural wooden tones.

Don’t get another paint company to match the color

You really don’t ever want another paint company to match colors from another brand as it just won’t be the same, but especially with Farrow & Ball paint, you want to stick with buying directly from the company.

Pay attention to the sheen you’re getting

I’d go with Estate Emulsion if you want more of cottage or classic look. It’s very flat and it looks almost chalky, which works really well with the smokiness of Green Smoke.

There’s also the modern emulsion which is still matte, but it lacks that chalkiness found in their signature Estate Emulsion.

Farrow & Ball Green Smoke dupe

If you like the look of Green Smoke but you don’t want to spend quite that much, the absolute closest matches I’ve found are:

  • Benjamin Moore Enchanted Forest
  • Benjamin Moore Caldwell Green

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