Paint FAQs

Application & Usage

  1. Should I use a primer or an undercoat with your paints?

    Generally, if you are painting a new surface, then a primer should be used. If you are painting an existing surface which has been previously painted, then we would advise using an undercoat. An undercoat, being very thick, can fill tiny surface irregularities and hide the existing surface colour and provides a thicker film build. This protects the surface but also 'keys' better to surfaces such as previously painted woodwork. Any good quality proprietary brand is suitable with our paint products. However, we do recommend Johnstone’s Joncryl or Aqua.

  2. Can I touch-up the wall after the paint has been applied?

    Factors such as lighting, different batches of material and varying sheen levels may highlight the touched-up areas, resulting in the repair not blending seamlessly with the existing finish. There may also be different methods of application between the original coating, usually achieved by a roller, and touched-up areas commonly undertaken using a brush. This may leave different textures and cause a build-up of layers, all contributing to the touched-up areas being visible. We would recommend re-painting a large area rather than touching-up to help to negate this.

  3. Would there be a difference in colour between paint purchased on separate occasions?

    Our paints are made to order, therefore, slight batch-to-batch variations in colour can occur. Best practice is to purchase the paint from one source at the same time and to mix tins together prior to use to ensure shade consistency.

  4. How would you recommend I undertake a radical change in shade to ensure an even coverage?

    Attempting a wide colour change can result in an uneven look to the coating. For the colour to achieve its full opacity and to achieve a seamless look, especially when covering a darker tone, we would suggest a minimum of two coats of the new shade be applied.

  5. 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. Why is this?

    There are several causes that can create an unpleasant odour, however, the most common cause is cross-contamination during use. This can lead to the introduction of bacteria to the paint which can affect the remaining paint over time . We recommend any paint with offensive odours be safely disposed of and new paint purchased.

  6. Can your water-based eggshell paints be used on external metalwork, woodwork, or masonry?

    Both our Sanderson and Zoffany Water Based Acrylic Eggshell paints can be used for exterior woodwork as long as they are suitably primed. The Sanderson Water Based Acrylic Eggshell is also suitable for exterior metalwork, again, as long as it is suitably primed. However, our Morris & Co. Water Based Acrylic Eggshell unfortunately is not suitable for any exterior use. We would also recommend specially formulated masonry paints are used for all stone/brickwork.

  7. Which finish would you recommend for painting a wooden teak fire surround?

    We would recommend Acrylic Eggshell for this purpose. We would also advise using a stain-blocking primer to prevent the chance of staining coming though and applying at least two coats of the selected topcoat.

  8. Which paint to do you recommend for radiators?

    Acrylic Eggshell is best on radiators as it more durable than the emulsion. If the radiator has an existing coat of paint, most likely white gloss, then it needs to be sanded down to provide a key for the undercoat prior to the topcoat being applied.

  9. Are your paints suitable for use on a Lime Render (Breathable) surface?

    We regret that they are not suitable due to the risk of flaking off. We recommend that you use truly breathable paint such as limewash for exterior or distemper for the interior.

  10. Are your paints suitable for use around an open fire, are they flame-retardant?

    None of our paints are fire retardant and are unfortunately not suitable for use around an open fire.

  11. Will your Acrylic Eggshell paint cover a melamine surface (e.g., Kitchen cupboards)?

    We would recommend our Acrylic Eggshell for a melamine surface. Please use an appropriate primer and two applications of the topcoat to achieve the best finish.

  12. Why does the paint shade appear to change in different lighting?

    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 depending upon on-site influences.

  13. My paint is flaking off the walls, what is the reason for this?

    There are several factors that may cause this. These include but are not limited to; moisture within the surface, contamination, and incorrect preparation.


  1. Are your paints washable?

    Yes, the affected area can be cleaned with mild detergent using a soft, clean cloth or sponge in small circular motions to clean beyond the stain/soiled area. We would always recommend that the area is rinsed with clean water and gently dried with a clean, soft cloth, to leave the surface clean and free from smears. A thin layer of water may be left on the surface after cleaning, however once evaporated and dry, the colour will resume. However, any intense, localised cleaning can have the potential to polish or burnish the paints surface leaving a visible mark and so the application of a durable coating in high traffic areas is an alternative option to prevent this.


  1. Why does the paint colour selected on the website look different once added to the basket?

    The colour may appear to look different depending on your screen settings and the colours shown on the website are created using codes which relate to the paint colour. The images are not photos of the actual paint and so we would always recommend a sample pot is ordered for a true colour representation.

  2. Do paint colours of the same shade differ across different paint finishes?

    Colours across finishes are colour matched to be as close as possible.

  3. What are the sheen levels of your paint?

    Our Eggshell is about 20% in sheen and we would consider it to be a close match to what many other companies would call a satinwood.

    Zoffany True Matt / Morris & Co. Chalky <3%
    Zoffany Elite/Sanderson Active <6%
    Morris & Co Eggshell 15%
    Zoffany/Sanderson Eggshell 20%
  4. Do you have a RAL Numbers or BS Numbers for your paints?

    None of the Sanderson Design Group paint brands have RAL or BS numbers assigned to them as the paint and colours are exclusive to the brand.

  5. What is the shelf life of your paints?

    Providing they are stored at room temperature; unopened paint can be stored for up to two years. Once opened, paints may potentially undergo changes depending on the type of paint. For instance, with water-based paints, if dirty tools or equipment encounter the paint during use there is a potential for bacterial contamination and the spoiling of any unused paint.

  6. Do your water-based paints contain fungicide?

    - Both of our Morris & Co. paint finishes (Chalky Matt and Acrylic Eggshell), along with Zoffany True Matt do not contain fungicides.
    - Zoffany Acrylic Eggshell, Zoffany Elite Emulsion and both Sanderson finishes (Acrylic Eggshell and Active Emulsion) do contain fungicides.

  7. How much titanium dioxide is in your emulsion paint?

    Quantities of titanium dioxide can vary depending on the chosen colour. Dark shades will have less than pastels or white shades, as this affects how deep the dark colours appear.

  8. I am allergic to MIT/CMIT. Do your paints contain this?

    Most water-based paints do contain a MIT/CMIT preservative package and so our paint should not be used.

  9. Are the pigments in your paint natural (organic)?

    The pigments used in our paints are both a mixture of organic (natural) and inorganic (synthetic) pigments.

  10. Are SDG paints Vegan Friendly?

    All our paints are Vegan Friendly, none of our paints are tested on animals and they contain no animal biproducts.

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