Tikkurila Paint Review
By Mike Gregory
Tikkurila is a Nordic paint brand which has been available in the UK for the last 10 years or so. In that time, they have really stamped their mark in the decorating world, particularly amongst sprayers. All the products have funny names, most are top quality, some are remarkable value for money, and a few are a little bit dodgy.
As a professional decorator I have dipped my toe in the Tikkurila pool. By and large I’m impressed, so I thought I’d write a quick Tikkurila paint review based on the products I am most familiar with. I’m sorry I can’t go through the whole range, but I will be completely honest about each paint product. If you deal directly with Tikkurila they can often match colours from other brands. Or you can pick colour cards up from in store. The range of colour isn’t vast like some of the other brands, but they still have plenty of selection.
Tikkurila paint has started to pop up at several different independent suppliers across the UK, but I have always gone direct. You will find them online by CLICKING HERE, or if you’re lucky enough to be close, they have Pro Centre stores in St Helen’s and Edenborough. I’ll get on with my Tikkurila paint review now…
Optiva Primer – Contract Matt
A bit of a basic and boring product to start with, but Optiva Primer is basically a contract matt designed to prime bare plaster. It is the perfect base for any emulsion product to go on over the top. Optiva primer goes on lovely whether you’re using a brush and roller, or an airless sprayer. It does what it needs to as well as can be expected.
Tikkurila Super White
The make-up of Tikkurila super white is similar to contract matt in that it contains very little in the way of polymer binders. However, unlike the Optiva Primer, you can use this product as a finish coat. When sprayed through an airless you’ll find this product amazing. The overall finish really is lovely and sharp, although you can’t touch it up at all so keep it away from building sites. If you’re using a brush and roller you will be better going for the Tikkurila Anti-Reflex in my opinion. I just find the Super White drags a little bit and roller marks can be visible on a big ceiling.
Tikkurila Optiva Colour – Vinyl Matt
Optiva Colour is Tikkurila’s vinyl matt. I have only used it once so I’m not going to write an essay on it. The finish is good, opacity very poor! I’m talking 3 coats over walls which had already been coated in Optiva primer. Just to put that into context, you would expect a brand like Dulux to go in 2 coats on top of bare plaster, so Tikkurila is twice the amount of labour and materials! Apparently, they have improved their formula slightly, so I may owe Tikkurila an apology. I’d avoid this one though.
Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2
From a bad product, to a great one! Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 is white, magnolia and pastel colours, but I have only used white. The overall finish is to die for! There is very little sheen to the paint, making it perfect for light critical ceilings and walls. Anti-Reflex is durable too, so you can use it on a kitchen or bathroom ceiling. You will never see roller marks or picture framing. Even blemishes in plasterwork don’t show as much. Tikkurila Anti-Reflex 2 leaves a rich luxurious finish and it was recently voted the best white emulsion for ceilings on the Decorators Forum. It’s cheap as well! The only criticism I do have is the opacity isn’t too good. Just apply big heavy coats of the stuff and you’ll be fine.
Easy 9/10, an amazing product!
Tikkurila Optiva 5 – Durable Matt
Tikkurila Optiva 5 is probably the second best durable matt emulsion on the British market right now. It outperforms Dulux Diamond and Johnstone’s Endura, plus it’s a lot cheaper. I’d probably avoid Optiva 5 in white as the finish and opacity aren’t great, but in colours, this is an amazing product! The finish is just so rich and remarkably flat for a durable emulsion. Opacity and ease of use are bang on too. I’d recommend Tikkurila Optiva 5 to anyone.
Tikkurila Multistop – Primer / Stain Block
Let’s have a look at some of the timber products from Tikkurila. Multistop is basically an acrylic primer / undercoat with stain blocking ability and some adhesion quality. Oh, it smells lovely too! I love this product, but a lot of other decorators would disagree with me. Opacity is good, ease of use is good, it sprays beautifully and there is no need to treat knots on bare timber before using it as the product does that job for you. I even use it on pre-primed MDF when using oil-based finishes from other brands. Based on my own experience, I’d say this stuff is great. It is expensive though and recoat time is 16 hours which is ridiculous for an acrylic. I have seen other decorators complaining because it doesn’t hold back stains as well as Tikkurila might have you believe.
I’ll go 7/10 for Tikkurila Multistop
Tikkurila Helmi Primer, Helmi 10, 30 and 80 – Water-Based Trim Paint
Right, let’s talk about the Helmi range, which is Tikkurila’s water-based eggshell (Helmi 10), Satinwood (Helmi 30) and gloss (Helmi 80). They are all pretty much the same to apply. The number on each product relates to its sheen level, so Helmi 30 would be 30% sheen. You should always use Helmi as a system and go with the specified primer as your topcoat will always sit nicer.
As far as water-based trim products go, Helmi is crap to apply by brush and roller. You’ll find it very loose, hard to control and you’ll have issues with brush marks. However, this is still an amazing product for one simple reason, you will not find a trim product which is easier or looks better when applied via sprayer. Honestly, if you intend to spray your woodwork you will LOVE this stuff. No need to thin it either, the product is good to go.
9/10 – don’t use it unless you’re spraying though.
Tikkurila Finngard – Smooth Masonry Paint
Another quality product, this time we’re talking about a masonry paint. Tikkurila Finngard has brilliant opacity and the ease of use is bang on, whether being brushed or sprayed. A very low sheen leads to a luxurious flat finish. Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues to report. The first is the price which is around twice that of Dulux Weathershield!! Tikkurila Finngard is good, but it isn’t twice as good as Dulux. The other issue I have is you need a separate primer called Hydrosol for bare masonry. I don’t like having to buy separate products, especially when my “finish” is so expensive.
6/10 – a good product but the price spoils it.
Tikkurila Paint Review