Dead Flat: The Story Behind the Name

Written on 3rd May 2023

All-new Dead Flat. It’s ultra matte, impressively durable (and we mean seriously scrubbable), and suitable for walls, woodwork and metal. Plus, it has exceptional opacity, minimal splatter and only trace VOCs too. But the thing that most of you really want to talk about? The name. Well, read on to find out how this unusual name came about.     

About the name

Dead Flat may seem unusual but there's a story behind it – like there is with all our names. This particular story starts back in the 18th century with the highly prized ‘flatted lead’ paint effect. This coveted style involved painstakingly building up layers of paint, creating exceptional depth of colour and, most importantly, a completely flat (aka matte) look. Or, as we describe it, a ‘dead flat’ look. So, when we created our original Dead Flat finish over 70 years ago, we named it after the look we were recreating. And there you have it. The name Dead Flat just describes its ultra-matte appearance. 

Rooms painted in Dead Flat

Walls, Ceiling, Plasterwork, Panelling and Trims all painted in Dead Flat Left: Hague Blue No.30 | Right: Red Earth No.64

Why reimagine Dead Flat?

When Dead Flat was originally created all those years ago, it was so more people could enjoy the ‘flatted lead’ look, which, due to the work and time it took, was otherwise reserved for the very best rooms in the finest houses. Our founders wanted to offer flatted lead in a tin: a practical way for people to recreate this classic look, without the time-consuming, fiddly application. And unsurprisingly, it was very popular.

Naturally, times have moved on a little since then and modern life has new demands for us to meet, from busy hallways to radiators and even the arrival of new decorating trends like colour drenching. So, once again, our technical experts have worked their magic, reimagining the iconic, sought-after aesthetic of Dead Flat with added toughness and versatility, so even more people can enjoy the colour-rich, ultra-matte look we’ve always loved. 

Bedroom painted in Calke Green Dead Flat

Walls, Ceiling, Coving, Radiator, Panelling and Trims painted in Dead Flat®Calke Green No.34

The results

It’s safe to say, all-new Dead Flat has been incredibly popular, and it’s easy to see why. Discover how fellow Farrow & Ball fans have brought this finish to life and you might even find inspiration for your next transformation too.

Discover Dead Flat

Feeling inspired to try Dead Flat® for yourself? Find out all about our new, multi-surface, durable, ultra-matt finish and discover the possibilities.

Discover More

Related Articles

By Design: A West London Victorian Home Renovation

Read the article

By Design: A New Look Living Room with Carte Blanche

Read the article

By Design: Two Beautiful, Bespoke Bedrooms

Read the article

In Conversation with Thomas Mach Interiors

Read the article