Frequently Asked Questions

Which wallpaper paste do you recommend for use with your wallcoverings?
We recommend Cole & Son Tub Paste for all our non-woven wallpapers.  It is a specially prepared ready mixed starch based paste which has been tested with all of our non-woven papers.  

Please check the hanging instructions for exceptions, Burlington Silks, Clerkenwell Vinyls, Milan, Teramo and some items in Caledonia require specialist paste.

How much paste will I need?
We supply 3 different tub sizes; 2.5 kilos, 5 kilos and 10 kilos.  We recommend 1 kilo of paste per standard roll of wallpaper, so if you place an order for 5 rolls of wallpaper a 5 kilo tub paste would be required. Additional paste will be required where wide width wallpapers are used.

Can I use your wallpaper in a bathroom?
As long as the room is well ventilated and the walls are in good condition, wallpaper can normally be used in bathrooms. However, with the exception of our vinyl papers, they should not be placed in areas where they are likely to come into contact with water.  In order to help prevent against problems when using wallpapers in a high humidity areas, we recommend using a sealer like Polyvine on top of the wallpaper which will provide better protection against moisture. We advise you test Polyvine on a wallpaper sample to check you are happy with the finish before applying to the wall.

Can I hang your paper on a newly plastered wall? 
It is always best to allow a newly plastered wall to fully dry out for two or three weeks before hanging wallpaper. If you need to decorate before the plaster has fully dried the walls must be ‘sized’ before hanging. Use a normal decorator’s size or diluted good quality paste and then follow the hanging instructions.

When hanging vinyl or textured wallcoverings please be aware that they do not allow the wall to breathe, and any moisture present in the walls will be trapped there and could create mould. The recommended paste (which includes a fungicide) will help to prevent this. Please check the hanging instructions for further information.

What size are your wallpaper samples? 
Our samples are approximately 26cms x 34cms depending on the design. You can order a sample of wallpaper by adding a sample to your basket and following the checkout instructions. Or downloading the Cole & Son Pattern Book iPad App, free from the Apple Store. 

Samples are £1.50 each (which includes VAT and postage). 

These are posted by first class post and should arrive within 3 working days (UK). For all destinations outside of the UK postage cost is quoted at checkout stage and delivery can be slightly longer.

If you have any queries regarding samples email us at

What is your Returns Policy? 
If you wish to arrange a return to Cole & Son, then please contact our Customer Service team on 0208 442 8844.

If the item is faulty or an order error has been made by Cole & Son, our Customer Services team will arrange a replacement and a collection of the goods. Cole & Son will arrange a full credit to a maximum of invoice value.

If the return is a result of a customer error, please note that a re-stocking charge of 20% of the invoice value will apply to goods being returned.  It will be the responsibility of the customer to arrange the return of the goods to Cole & Son, Lifford House, 199 Eade Road, London N4 1DN.

Goods can only be accepted for return by prior agreement with Cole & Son and must be returned within 60 days of invoice date.  We regret that we cannot accept returns of less than five rolls of wallpaper, unless faulty. The 5 rolls must be the same item reference and supplied on the same invoice.

Please note: we do not accept any returns of paste or the Caledonia, Burlington, Clerkenwell, Milan or Terramo collections.

Do I need to use lining paper and are there any particular lining papers that you would recommend? 
A good quality, 800 or 1000 grade lining paper is recommended.

Do I need to paste the wall or the paper when hanging your wallcoverings? 
Please always check the hanging instructions supplied with your wallpaper. Most Cole & Son wallpapers are non-woven paste the wall products.

What is a Batch Number? 
A batch number indicates rolls that have been produced together. Rolls from the same batch should be hung together to avoid any roll to roll colour discrepancies.

How do I order/Find a store in my area? 
Visit our Stockist Page to find your nearest retailer or visit our Distributor Directory for contact details of our international distributors and agents.

What are the hanging instructions? 
Hanging instructions are provided with every wallpaper delivery. They can also be found here.
Please read these instructions carefully before starting to hang.

How can I obtain a fire certificate? 
Please contact with the product code you require certification for.

What is a ‘Random match’, ‘Straight match’ or ‘Half drop’? 
A ‘Random match’ is where there is no pattern at the joining edge to match, e.g. a vertical stripe. 

A ‘Straight match’ is when the pattern repeats side to side on the roll. The pattern joins in the same place on the next drop of wallpaper.

A ‘Half Drop’ is when the pattern repeats diagonally across a wall, the pattern match from side to side drops down one half before repeating. 

Please note, patterns with a large pattern repeat or a half drop require additional wallpaper to account for wastage.

How many rolls do I require? 
Ask your decorator to calculate the number of rolls required. Use our roll calculator or follow the instructions below to estimate. 

Measure the width of the wall and divide by the width of your selected wallpaper. This gives you the number of ‘drops’ required. This number should always be rounded up. 

Then measure the height of the wall. Divide the length of the roll of your selected wallpaper (Standard rolls are 10m long) by the height of your wall. This gives you the number of drops you will get per roll. 

Dividing the number of drops you require in total, by the number you get per roll gives you the number of rolls required.

If you have a wallpaper that is marked as ‘half drop’, or has a large pattern repeat, add the size of the pattern repeat to the height of your wall to account for additional wallpaper required.

If you have any unanswered questions please contact