Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I buy products directly from the website if I'm living in the EUROPE, USA or the Rest of the world?
    • No, all orders must be placed with one of our specialist retailers. For more information and to find the retailers closest to you, please visit the “Where to Buy” section on our website.

  2. What do the care codes on your website stand for?
    • A full list of the fabric care codes used on our fabrics can be found here.

  3. What do the different ‘pattern matches’ mean?
    • ‘Half Drop’ repeat is where every other horizontal repeat (from side to side) is dropped down one half of its length, i.e. the design repeats itself on the diagonal rather than the horizontal.
    • ‘Straight Match’ is where the pattern repeats across the roll and is positioned at the same place at each selvedge.
    • ‘Random Match’ is where there is no pattern match.
    • 'Reverse Hang' alternate lengths, is where you hang every second (alternate) length upside down.
    • 'Free Match' is where there is no match points evident.

  4. What does railroaded mean?
    • The term ‘railroaded’ refers to the orientation of the fabric’s pattern as it is woven on the fabric roll.
    • Regular fabric: The design is orientated to run along the length of the fabric and is the correct way as it comes off the roll.
    • Railroaded fabric: The design is orientated to run along the length of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) so that you must turn the roll 90 degrees to show the design running the correct way. The width of the fabric is then used for the drop.
    • Please see the following drawing for a visual example:


  5. How long is a roll of wallpaper?
    • The length of a roll of our wallpaper 10.05 metres (11 yards) unless otherwise stated.

  6. Do you recommend using lining paper?
    • Yes, we recommend you use a good quality lining paper to cross line the walls; this gives an excellent surface on which to hang wallpaper.

  7. Are there any specific hanging instructions for your wallpapers?
    • Hanging instructions are sent with every roll of wallpaper. We recommend that your decorator reads these instructions fully before starting to hang the wallpaper.

  8. Are your wallpapers manufactured with sustainable material?
    • All of our wallpapers are sourced from environmentally responsible suppliers and carry the FSC logo.

  9. What does Martindale mean?
    • The Martindale test is also known as the Rub Test, which is a test used to simulate abrasion on fabrics. This is recorded as a figure based on set breakdown criteria recorded on a scale ie: 20,000 General Domestic, 25,000 Heavy Domestic, 30,000 General Contract and 40,000 Sever Contract.
  10. How much paste will I need for my wallpaper?

    We recommend that you use Harlequin, Sanderson or Zoffany ready-mix paste for a superior finish.  Theoretically a 5kg tub of ready mixed light paste with no added water covers 31.2m2, however this will change depending upon porosity of wall and substrate and so is merely a rough guide:

    This would be sufficient for:

    6 x 520mm wide 10m rolls

    4 x 686mm wide 10m rolls

    7 x 3m 1.4m wide panels

    There is no by the metre product calculation as this will depend upon match point and repeat height of the design.

  11. Can I return my unwanted rolls of wallpaper/fabric?
    • Please contact the retailer from whom you purchased the goods for more details regarding the returns policy and retain all labels until the installation is complete.
  12. How do I pay for the items in my basket?
    • Click on the 'Basket' button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Here you can review your order and make any changes to the basket quantities if necessary.
    • Next, click on the 'Go to Secure Checkout' button to be taken to the page where you input your details and your delivery address, before choosing to pay by your preferred payment method at the bottom of the page.
    • Once you click on a payment method you will be taken to the corresponding payment gateway to complete the order.
  13. If samples are out of stock what should I do and how do I know when they will be available?
    • Click on the remind me when back in stock and you will receive an email when we have restocked them. You can also check with your retailer or our Customer Service department can look into expected times for you.

  14. How do I get to the London showroom?
    • The nearest station is the Imperial wharf on the London Overground.
    • People coming by car will need to turn off the A3220 on Lots Road
    • The C3 bus runs between Earl's Court tube and Clapham Junction mainline stations and goes to Chelsea Harbour, approximately every 10 minutes.

  15. Do you have a curtain making service?
    • No, we don't but please contact your local retailer, and they will be able to help.

  16. How can I find a retailer?
    • Please visit the Where to Buy section of our website, a search can then be made using your town or postcode.

  17. Why doesn't the colour on the website exactly match the colour of the product?
    • We strive to make sure the colours shown both online and in our brochures are as close as possible to the finished product, however, it is not always possible to get an exact colour match. Deviations in colour can sometimes occur during the photography process or due to variances in computer screen display settings. We advise customers to see the product in person or order a sample (where possible) in order to ensure satisfaction with the product.

  18. How much area is covered by a wide width wallcovering?
    • There are two different widths of wide wallcovering:
      One roll which covers an area of 6.89sqm (74.16sqft)
      One roll which covers an area of 13.78sqm (148.32sqft)
      The exact width of each wallcovering is specified in the Product Details table data on each product page.
  19. How much area is covered by a standard width wallcovering?
    • Our standard wallcoverings cover an area of 5.23sqm (56.3sqft).  Please use the Wallpaper calculator to check how many rolls you may need.

  20. When using oil eggshell paint, is there anything that can be added to obtain a smoother more uniform finish?
    • To obtain smoother finishes or to brush coat large flat areas use Floetraol Paint conditioner, ensuring precise quantities are added following manufactures instructions.

  21. Do you have a RAL Number or BS Number for your paint colour (xxxxx)?
    • Neither Sanderson nor Zoffany has RAL or BS numbers assigned to them as the paint and colours are exclusive to the brand.

  22. What is the shelf life of your paints?
    • Providing they are stored at room temperature an unopened paint can be stored for up to two years.

  23. Can water-based eggshell be used on external metalwork?
    • This product is formulated for interior use only but can be applied to a variety of surfaces such as ceilings, walls and trim including previously painted or suitably primed metal.

  24. We have a wooden teak fire surround and want to paint it with one of your colours what paint should we use?
    • We would recommend Acrylic Eggshell or Oil-based Eggshell, use a stain-blocking primer to prevent the chance of staining coming though, then apply at least two coats of the selected topcoat.

  25. Do your water-based paints contain fungicide?
    • All water-based products contain an in-can preservative to prevent biological spoiling on storage. All water-based products, except standard Matt, contain a fungicide to prevent discolouration on the wall in high humidity conditions.

  26. How much titanium dioxide is in your emulsion paint?
    • Quantities can vary depending on how light or dark the chosen colour is, dark shades will have less than pastels or white, as this will affect how deep the dark colours appear.

  27. I want to paint my kitchen cupboards with oil eggshell is it suitable?
    • The most important task is to apply an adhesive promoting primer, such as Johnstone's Advanced Multi Primer. Oil-based eggshell is suitable to use as it has excellent condensation resistance and washability.

  28. Why is your elite emulsion paint changing colour in patches when cleaned with a wet damp cloth?
    • When the paint is cleaned with a wet cloth, it may leave a thin layer of water, leaving this for 5-10 mins should allow the water to evaporate.

  29. When I clean your elite emulsion paint with a wet cloth it's leaving a mark, why?
    • Intense localised cleaning can polish or burnish the paint surface leaving a visible mark on the paint surface. The application of durable coatings in high traffic areas is an alternative option.

  30. Why is there a difference in the sheen to oil eggshell paint applied 2 years ago and the paint purchased at the same time and just applied?
    • Possibilities are insufficient mixing, matting agents tend to settle toward the bottoms of the can. Normally accompanied by a slight darkening of the colour, over time paint driers are slowly absorbed by the mineral content of the paint, although a slight increase in dry times is not normally an issue, it can also increase the rate at which the sheen level decreases. Allowing the paint to thoroughly dry for 7-14 days is sufficient to allow the sheen to stabilize.

  31. I am allergic to MIT/CMIT does your paint contain this?
    • Most water-based paints do contain a MIT/CMIT preservative package and so our paint should not be used.

  32. I used some of my elite emulsion paint, sealed the tin and then after two weeks went to use it again and it has a strange smell.
    • There are a number of causes that can create an unpleasant odour, however, cross-contamination during use can lead to the introduction of bacteria into the paint which can over time affect the remaining paint.

  33. I used your oil eggshell paint on a door and it looks streaky, flat and oily in different areas.
    • This could be due to varying film thicknesses that has/is curing at different rates, also insufficient stirring prior to application.

  34. I am concerned that if we make good some cracks to walls after 12 months the paint will look different when patched in.
    • Touching up although undertaken is seldom fully successful when areas are touched up, the repair may not blend with the existing finish, factors such as lighting, different batches of material, varying sheen levels may highlight the touched up areas. In addition to these different methods of application between the original coating which may have been applied by roller, and the touched in areas which are generally undertaken using a brush, these will leave different textures and a greater film builds, all contributing to the touched in areas being visible.

  35. My emulsion paint is flaking off the walls why?
    • There are a number of potential causes for flaking, moisture within the surface, contamination and poor or incorrect preparation are the main ones.

  36. How is the sheen on Elite when compared to Matt Emulsion?
    • Elite has a sheen level of 6% and is durable in comparison to the Flat Emulsion, which has a sheen level of 1% and should not come into contact with water.

  37. Will your acrylic eggshell paint cover a melamine surface (Kitchen cupboards)?
    • We would recommend Acrylic Eggshell or Oil Eggshell, use an appropriate primer considering the nature of the melamine, and two coats of the topcoat.

  38. Can I use your acrylic eggshell paint for an acrylic bath?
    • This is not recommended.

  39. Are your paints suitable for use on a Lime Render (Breathable) surface?
    • We regret that it is not, there is a real risk of flaking off, unless you use truly breathable paint such as limewash for exterior or distemper for the interior.

  40. Are your paints suitable for use around an open fire (are they flame-retardant?)
    • None of our decorative paints are fire retardant.

  41. Shelf life - are there potential problems?
    • Once opened, paints may potentially undergo changes depending upon the type of paint and how they’ve been treated. For instance, with water-based paints, if dirty tools or equipment come into contact with the paint during use there is a potential for bacterial contamination and the spoiling of any unused paint. For part used oil-based paints, a paint skin may form on the surface, this can be very carefully removed without detracting from the paint performance. Store all paint containers in a dry warm area to prevent damage to the tin and contents.

  42. Your eggshell paint is peeling off our bathroom wall why?
    • There are a number of potential causes for flaking, moisture within the surface, contamination and poor or incorrect preparation are the main ones.

  43. What paint is best for radiators, and why?
    • Acrylic eggshell is best on radiators as it more durable than the matt emulsion and as the heat can affect the rate of yellowing of an oil-based system it is best to stick with an acrylic. If it has a previous coat of paint, most likely white gloss, then it needs to be sanded down to provide a key for the topcoat that is going to be applied. If it is uncoated then an appropriate primer should be used and the instructions followed.

  44. Is the sheen on the acrylic eggshell similar to satinwood finish?
    • Our eggshell is about 20% in sheen and so yes we consider it to be a close match to what many other companies would call a satin.

  45. Are your emulsions suitable for external masonry?
    • We would not advise that our paint is used for masonry use, as we can not guarantee its long-term performance. We would recommend that specially formulated masonry paint is used.

  46. Can your oil-based eggshell paint be used on glass, does it contain any water?
    • The Oil-Based Eggshell is entirely oil-based and contains no water. Application onto glass can be achieved if the surface is initially coated with an appropriate bonding primer such as Johnstones Advanced Multi-Surface Primer.

  47. Why are there slight colour discrepancies in the paint I bought several weeks ago and that bought recently?
    • Purchasing material from different sources and at different times can result in slight batch to batch variations with regards to colour Best practice is to purchase the material all from one source at the same time and material should be checked to ensure the same batch number, when appropriate.

  48. Why does oil eggshell paint appear to yellow over time?
    • Ageing effects with oil-based materials may cause it to slightly yellow with time as a consequence of the natural drying process. Heat, dark conditions and site specifics will all have an effect upon the degree of yellowing observed.

  49. The sheen levels between the finishes do not look different?
    • It can be somewhat problematic for the untrained eye to compare a matt and higher sheen version of the same colour. The viewing angle can play a significant part in this comparison.

  50. The shade appears to change when I put the light on why?
    • Within a room, light conditions and quality of light may vary significantly. For example, halogen lighting produces a different look against natural light. Therefore, slight colour differences within a room can be experienced dependent on site influences.

  51. The paint does not cover the previous colour very well.
    • Commonly called grinning or patchy appearance this can be caused if insufficient paint has been applied to a surface to achieve complete coverage. Attempting a wide colour change from light to dark can also result in an uneven look to the coating.
    • For an even look and for the colour to achieve its full opacity, 
      especially when covering a darker tone, we would suggest a minimum of 
      two coats of the new shade would be required.

  52. Can I Mix matt, active and elite emulsion together? What would be the outcome?
    • We would only recommend mixing paints of the same finish. We wouldn't be able to predict or guarantee any blend performance of mixed bases if desired this is done so at the users' own risk.

  53. Are the pigments in your paint natural?
    • The pigments used in our paints are a mixture of inorganic (mineral) and organic pigments.

  54. Are your matt and flat emulsion paint suitable for children's toys?
    • The flat emulsion is not durable enough for children's toys, it is a decorative product, the paint itself is harmless but we would not recommend it for this use.

  55. I am using Accoya wood (Modified Timber). Is your Acrylic Eggshell suitable for this wood, is it microporous?
    • To get this paint to stick to this wood you will need a primer to block tannins and promote adhesion, these paints are not microporous, Acrylic eggshell also is not really microporous.

  56. Oil eggshell paint has uneven finish differences in sheen, paint is shiny and non-shiny when applying in warm weather (1)
    • Difficulty in application – when applying in very warm conditions the paint may dry very quickly. To overcome this a small percentage of thinners can be added. It is also important that the correct primer or base coat is applied to seal dry absorbent surfaces.

  57. Oil eggshell paint has uneven finish differences in sheen, paint is shiny and non-shiny when applying in warm weather (2)
    • Oil eggshell has very high solids finish and the sheen level will continue to drop from when first applied finally stabilising after 7 to 14 days. Areas painted a few days apart and compared for sheen will look different but if allowed to dry completely then the sheen levels will equilibrate.

  58. Oil eggshell paint has uneven finish differences in sheen, paint is shiny and non-shiny when applying in warm weather (3)
    • Touching up although undertaken is seldom fully successful when areas are touched up, the repair may not blend with the existing finish, factors such as lighting, different batches of material, varying sheen levels may highlight the touched up areas. In addition to this different method of application between the original coating which may have been applied by roller, and the touched in areas which are generally undertaken using a brush, these will leave different textures and a greater film build, all contributing to the touched in areas being visible.

  59. How do I contact the Customer Services department with an issue or query?
    • Please contact our office in the UK: Sanderson Design Group.
      Chalfont House,
      Oxford Road,
      UB9 4DX Telephone number - 0203 4575 862
      Email -
      Operating Hours - Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00
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