California Collection: Tar


A soft off-black

Capturing the off-black shade of sun-baked desert highways, this deep yet restrained neutral is soft enough to envelop a whole room.

Recommended Primer & Undercoat: Dark Tones

Complementary white: California Collection: Salt

California Collection: Tar is rated 2.8 out of 5 by 10.
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Back in 2010, we moved to an entirely water based range of finishes, becoming the first in the industry to do so. These low-odour, low-VOC finishes are easy to clean without harmful solvents. They are also certified child- and baby-safe in accordance with Safety of Toys Part 3: Migration of certain elements (EN 71-3:2019+A1:2021).

Exclusions: Casein Distemper, Wood Floor Primer & Undercoat, Wood Knot & Resin Blocking Primer & Undercoat, and Metal Primer & Undercoat.


Our paint colours are available in a range of durable interior and exterior paint finishes, each rigorously tested to ensure an exceptional depth of colour and long-lasting finish. For the very best results, we always recommend using a Farrow & Ball Primer & Undercoat – see above for the correct tone for this colour.


All Farrow & Ball finishes except Limewash contain isothiazolinones, which may produce an allergic reaction. Farrow & Ball Limewash contains calcium hydroxide which can cause severe damage in contact with skin or eyes. For further information about our products, including guidance on safe use and application, click here to view our advice pages.

Corrosive icon Harmful icon 

Limewash: Danger. Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye damage. May cause respiratory irritation.

Exterior Eggshell and Exterior Masonry: Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects. Contains isothiazolinones. May produce an allergic reaction.

All other finishes: Contains isothiazolinones. May produce an allergic reaction.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the color As always, farrow and ball does not disappoint. These cards are very handy for figuring out the color with out having to waste time painting. It also allows one to move it to different areas of the room and different light.
Date published: 2021-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fabulous colour Victorian lounge We bought a 5 litre for just the lounge but adored so much we painted the dinning room too!
Date published: 2021-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous warm black So happy with this colour on panelling in my bedroom. It’s a lovely warm tone of black, making the room feel cosy. I was afraid black would be too dark but this shade is perfect.
Date published: 2021-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 1 star reviews are not about the color This color is gorgeous. While reading the reviews, I noticed that all the 1 stars were about receiving a card instead of a pot. Please, do better at making this clear to customers when they place their order. It may be obvious to some that you will not mail a pot of paint by post, but not obvious to others. Btw, I like the cards a lot. I used to paint boards using the sample pots but no longer need to. The cards avoid having to re-prime the wall and also alows me to post it on different walls to see the colors under varying light.
Date published: 2021-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Grey not black Would describe this more like a a greyish charcoal. Bought the eggshell for redoing my windows. I love the colour (thankfully) but quite annoying as farrow and ball colours are normally much closer between real colour and description! Aside from that, the paint itself is lovely quality and went on well.
Date published: 2022-05-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Grey not black A beautiful quality paint as usual but this is definitely grey and not the soft black I was expecting. I am really disappointed as I was going to paint a bookcase but now won’t.
Date published: 2021-10-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not happy I purchased the Tar, Salt and Sand colors for my new master bedroom. Frustrated is the kindest word I can use. I'll start my saying the colors look good. However, the Tar left terrible streaks and only covered roughly 200 sqft of wall. The paint was very watery. I expected top quality paint for $125/gal. Now I have to purchase another gallon and hope another coat will fix it. FWIW, I'm an experienced painter and have never paid more per gallon of paint and have never been this disappointed in paint quality. Also, the Sand color did not streak, but shows areas of significant cracking. I'm astounded that such high priced paint could be poor quality like this.
Date published: 2022-03-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Please send paint not a piece of card! I was very disappointed to receive a piece of card rather than actual paint - so much so that I have returned it. I really feel nearly £5 for a small piece of card is very poor value. If you must send card then the price should be reduced.
Date published: 2021-04-06
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