Mythic Paint is a relatively new player in the UK market, and they offer a selection of water-based paints for both the interior and exterior of your home. Okay, nothing too exciting in that introduction, but where my interest certainly began to perk up was when I noticed that all their paints contains zero VOCs (nasty chemicals), zero carcinogens (very nasty chemicals), are completely non-toxic, and have literally no smell. Now, there are other ‘user-friendly’ paints around, but none that have stirred up this amount of interest in the ‘trade’ marketplace. Therefore if the ‘trade’ like it, then in my view, it will almost certainly be suitable for the DIY market.
I have to thank one particular tradesman on the Ultimate Handyman Forum who wrote a review on Mythic Paint, which certainly brought the company to my attention – make sure you read his review here, which also contains some excellent photos uploaded by another forum member, giving a very good idea of the paint ‘in action’. My own review is based on a kitchen re-decoration (mine actually!), and so I chose the Mythic Interior Flat Latex for the ceiling and walls, and the High Gloss for the woodwork. I also got a can of the Multi Purpose Primer to check out its stain blocking capabilities and whether it is an effective primer for use on melamine-type surfaces.
Interior/Exterior Multi Purpose Primer
This was the first can I opened, and I don’t want to get too engrossed in viscosity and appearance, but the paint, along with the others I tried, does look ‘ready-to-go’. In other words, not stodgy like many water-based paints, or covered in an oily film like solvent-based paints, but don’t be fooled, you need to give it a seriously good stir. I soon discovered that what I term the ‘good stuff’ is sitting in the lower third of the can, and you really need to give it a very good stir to ensure the paint is perfectly mixed. I applied it on a couple of walls, and the ceiling, as I wanted to check it firstly sorts out any residual post-preparation stains, so that when I came to applying my flat latex, I wanted to know if there was going to be any finished colour difference between non-primed walls and primed walls. To be honest, it went on a dream, brushed out beautifully, and provided a great base coat. I also used it to prime two oak effect end panels (i.e. melamine type stuff), and it covered well for a primer.
Everything great so far, except there was clearly something missing……..and then it hits you, or rather it doesn’t hit you, as there is literally no smell – this is seriously low-odour paint. Like most water-based paint manufacturers, Mythic recommend using synthetic bristle brushes for application – personally, I didn’t find any marked difference between using good quality pure bristle compared to good quality synthetic bristle brushes, although the latter probably did win by a nose.
Interior Acrylic Latex Flat
With all going well so far, I couldn’t wait to crack on with the flat latex. Again, very good stir required, and then out with some medium quality brushes and a medium quality, medium pile roller. With the cutting in around the edges of the room (i.e. all the brush work), I found the flow from brush to surface excellent whilst still giving very good coverage, and minimal ‘laying off’ was needed to achieve a practically brushstroke free finish. The roller did give a bit of texture as one would expect, but this certainly levelled off appreciably once dry. One coat covered well, the second coat provided a professional finish, and there was no difference in colour or depth of finish on the wall and ceiling surfaces, whether they had been primed or just painted direct. To me, this showed the primer worked, but also that the latex going onto unprimed walls was still excellent in terms of the opacity achieved.
Also, I have no scientific test to prove this, but it did feel like I was getting excellent paint coverage per metre – maybe my judgement was getting slightly impaired by the “blimey, I like this stuff” feel-good factor at this stage, but this judgement certainly wasn’t impaired by the effects of any paint fumes, as there still was literally nothing – bizarre!
Interior Acrylic Latex High Gloss
For me, this was the crunch area. Basically, I can’t stand water-based gloss, I’ve never used one I like, I’ve never found one that I think compares favourably to a good quality oil-based gloss, and so I was ready for disappointment.
I applied it (again, very good stir first) to a prepared door, window, skirting, and my primed end panels. Went on okay, but for me there was no huge difference to any other good ‘quality’ water-based gloss (bear in mind my aforementioned cynicism here), but having loved the wall and ceiling paint, I suppose I was now expecting miracles. Actually there was one miracle – still hardly any smell – yes a gloss – with a barely perceptible smell – very weird. After a very light sand, and wipe down, the second coat did start to get me more interested to such an extent that I thought, that although it was never going to achieve the look of a good quality oil-based high gloss, it wasn’t a million miles away. I then wondered whether a third coat would lift the finish further, so using the highest quality synthetic bristle brush (a Purdy Monarch Elite), I applied another coat, and as one might expect, the best quality brush provides the best finish, and indeed it was very impressive – good shine – and indeed glossy.
I think that Mythic Paint have got something truly revolutionary here. Yes, I have some small niggles – I had to use some solvent based stain blocker (Zinsser BIN) to cover a couple of tiny stains that bled through the finished wall coats – so maybe the Multi-Purpose Primer won’t deal with that 5% of stains that really do need the heavy duty treatment that still comes in the form of something that smells horrible and is certainly not VOC free. However, as a wood primer, knotter (yes it knots as well!), and general primer inside and out, I’d say it’s as good, if not better than any similar product on the market.
The Flat Latex, in terms of both coverage and depth of colour, is also at least as good as the best flat matts out there. This is also a flat finish that is wipeable – not a characteristic that many other flat finishes can boast of (successfully). I also think that if you were a traditionalist who doesn’t like rollers, then if you used a good quality brush to paint entire wall/ceiling surfaces, you’d get an incredibly flat and brushmark free finish.
The High Gloss is quite clearly the best water-based option on the market, and although I would still drone on that it’s not as glossy a finish as the old style glosses, it’s certainly the best of the new style.
I’m normally a traditional pure bristle brush man but for the Mythic range, I’d definitely go for some quality synthetic bristle brushes. Purdy brushes are the best for me, and its always worth checking for a good deal on Amazon, although you will find most good trade supply outlets will stock Purdy. Yes, I know they’re expensive, but you’ll save money on the number of coats you apply, and therefore paint costs, plus the finish you achieve is so much better.
Oh, and one other thing I may not have mentioned before – it really, really hardly smells. Once it dries, there seemed to be absolutely no smell. So, we have here a paint that could definitely be argued to outperform its marketplace equivalents, doesn’t smell, is lovely to apply, comes in a huge range of colours, and has all the quick drying attributes of a good water-based paint. I will see how it wears over the coming months, but I’m pretty confident it will perform as promised. Although I hate the phrase, it really is a ‘no-brainer’, and I’d encourage anyone to give Mythic paints a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Like many great painting products, Mythic paint is an American invention, so you do need to get your head around quarts and gallons, and pricewise, yes marginally more expensive than equivalent paints, but as mentioned above, it does seem to go a lot, lot further. At the moment you need to buy Mythic paint through their UK website www.mythicpaint.co.uk or through one of the limited list of suppliers they have on their site branch locator. Yes, this could be seen as a small problem in availability, but to be honest, I think we’ll start seeing their paint cropping up all over the place in the not too distant future.