Tikkurila Helmi 30 Review – Water-based Satin

Updated May 17, 2024 | Posted Apr 9, 2019 | Product Reviews, Paints | 3 comments

Helmi 30 is a water-based satinwood which is manufactured and sold by Tikkurila. You can pick it up online by clicking here in white, or just about any tinted colour. I’m going to talk about how it compares to some of the other products on the market.

Tikkurila Helmi 30 is a Bit Thin


It’s going to seem as though I’m pointing out an awful lot of negatives about this product. You need to remember that there are issues with just about every water-based woodwork (trim) system. So just because I mention a flaw, don’t assume Helmi 30 is a bad product. Quite the opposite, I think it’s a great product and it certainly has its place.

Its one of the thinner water-based systems out there, which comes with both benefits and problems. It doesn’t pretend to be an oil-based (decorators will understand what I mean). It doesn’t have the body an oil-based paint does which means it’s quite difficult to cut in with. I know a lot of decorators slate those who use masking tape to achieve the perfect edge, but on this occasion it might be an option. Either that or complete your woodwork before your walls (I’m going to get some stick for suggesting that).


Difficult to Apply


You also have problems with brush marks, to be fair this is a common complaint with most water-based systems, but it’s a difficult problem to overcome with Helmi. Your working time isn’t great either (again, a common complaint with water-based systems). So, rolling a big area and then going back to lay off with a brush is a nightmare. The working time isn’t the end of the world to be honest, as long as you’re conscious of it. It’s Just water-based I suppose, but if you are working with a brush and roller, in my opinion there are better systems out there.


Let’s Get Started – Helmi Primer review

Tikkurila do a couple of different primers which you can use with Helmi Top coat. The first one is the Helmi Primer believe it or not!! You can use it on bare wood, it does have some adhesion properties, recoat time is two hours, it’s fully waterbased and Helmi 30 takes to it really well. Another plus point about the Helmi primer is you can tint it to match your topcoat.

The second product I want to talk about is the multi-stop. I actually love this paint!! Ideal for bare timber, it prevents tanning and holds back stains, including knots!! It’s fully water-based and even has some adhesion power!!

Recoat time is 6 hours which really isn’t ideal for a water-based paint. Smells boss though!! A lot of decorators begrudge paying for multi-stop, and it is expensive for what is essentially an acrylic primer. I don’t mind paying a little bit more for a premium product, which this is.


The third is Otex Akva which is Tikkurila’s water-based adhesion primer. This is the one you need to use is you want to apply Helmi 30 over an existing oil-based coating. It’s a fully water-based system which is recoatable after 2 hours. There is a downside though, the Helmi doesn’t seem to take as well to it. Not the end of the world, but if you need to apply two coats of Helmi 30 over Helmi primer to achieve the proper finish, expect to have to apply a third if you’re using the Otex.

It’s not as bad as it seems – A Twist in my Review


Can you remember what I said three years ago when I first started writing this review… it went something like “I think it’s a great product and certainly has its place.” Well I’m about to explain why;

Tikkurila is a very modern brand. If you’ve ever visited their trade counters, you’ll understand exactly what I mean. They have a Festool stand, modern coffee and a sitting area AND EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SPRAY!! Tips, filters, units, parts, lube (steady on) and Helmi!! Coincidence? It’s really not!! You’ll find a lot of the Tikkurila products spray beautifully, this has got to be by design. Helmi 10 (matt), Helmi 30 (satin) and Helmi 80 (gloss) all fit into that category.

Let’s stay focused on Helmi 30, for starters it is ready to use straight from the tub. No thinning, no messing about trying to find the right viscosity, its ready to rock!!

One of the biggest issues when spraying any trim product is the tendency of that product to run. You’ve always got to be conscious not to apply too much product in any area or before you know it, you’ve got drips of paint all over the place. I’m not saying you won’t see that problem at all with Helmi 30 but its defiantly easier to avoid and more forgiving.

The last thing (and by far the most important), its dead easy to achieve an amazing finish when spraying the stuff. It just seems to atomize brilliantly then settle on a surface like glass. I spay trim now and then and I think Helmi is probably my favorite system to use by far.

If anyone is still awak, thank you for reading my Tikkurila Helmi 30 review. Click here for more information on Tikkurila Helmi.



Tikkurila Helmi 30 Review – Water-based Satin - Decorator's forum UK

Tikkurila Helmi 30 is a water-based satinwood available in the UK and throughout Europe. You might use it on interior doors, skirting board, and other trim. You can’t use this paint outside.

Editor's Rating:


  • Fully water-based system (not a hybrid).
  • Lovely to spray.
  • Reasonably priced.


  • Quite loose difficult to use.
  • Brush marks can be a problem.
  • An additional adhesion primer needed over existing oil-based paint.
  • Limited amount of Stockists.

Best Tools to Use to Apply Tikkurila Helmi


As mentioned in the above review, Helmi is a loose paint. Spraying is ideal, and because it is relatively easy to spray, a cheap sprayer is generally fine. If you intent to brush and roll it, then you will achieve better results with a mini roller. However, you need to be careful in your choice of roller so you can avoid orange peel. Your brush needs to hold its shape, and the addition of a sash brush will help to cut in.

A Wagner 690 FLEXiO Electric Paint Sprayer is perfect really. It’s one of the better ‘cheap’ models. It’s easy to use, easy to control, and will last for years. Click here to see online prices.

The best roller for Helmi is an easy question to answer. Two Fussy Blokes is fantastic for this type of material. It holds loads of paint and lays it off beautifully, avoiding orange peel as it goes. Click here to see online prices.

My favourite brush for Tikkurila Helmi is the Purdy Monarch Elite XL. Again, it holds loads of paint, lays it off well, and keeps its shape. Click here to see online prices.

As for the sash Brush, the Hamilton Perfection Sash Brush is awesome! Very well made, very easy to control, and will last for years. Click here to see online prices.

Updated May 17, 2024 | Posted Apr 9, 2019 | 3 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Gregory is a Professional Painter and Decorator who works in the Northwest of England. He mainly sub-contracts for large decorating firms and works on a wide variety of projects.


  1. Paul Oakes

    Did a hall stairs and landing in it , had to do it all again in Dulux trade oil satin🙄 clients said it wasn’t white enough

  2. Tomcio

    All Tikkurila water soluble woodwork paint gets soft from the skin grease. I have numerous jobs where it failed.
    Helmi, Everal Aqua, Betolux Akva, the last one is the only one that has incredible stain resistance.. Helmi and Everal Aqua is absolute rubbish on the kitchen units and it’s hard to understand that many brothers are still recommending this crap for painting kitchens.


      I’ve heard a few people say this..What would you.recommend for kitchen units..thinking of trying their “Empire”


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