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Primer, brush and Mylands Wood and Metal Eggshell

Listed under Blog, paint, Ron Taylor Posted Aug 22 2013

Traditional Painter for Warwickshire, Ron Taylor illustrates the importance of matching primer, brush and paint. In this case the first attempt with Mylands Wood and Metal Eggshell in white wasn’t great, but but he looked at the combination of primer, brush and paint that didn’t work, and changed a couple of things, with success.

Mylands Eggshell, Kenilworth

Mylands Wood and Metal Eggshell is a product recommended to me by Sarah Moseley of Brewers at last years P&D Show in Coventry. I must admit the brand was totally unknown to me before that. I recently got some literature and decided to give the Eggshell a go.


The tins look classy on first viewing, but suffer, in my view, from all being the same across the range ie there is one style of sticker on the front stating the product inside, in the same way Farrow & Ball market their products. This may be more cost-effective for the manufacturer, but makes it very easy for us end-users to mix up products in day-to-day use, especially if you have tins of different product in the same colour.

Zinsser Cover Stain not best Primer for Mylands eggshell

I spoke to Mylands technical department and they recommended their primer under the product for bare wood and as an adhesion promoter for existing oil painted finishes. I hadn’t ordered any of that, so I decided to prime with tried and tested oil-based Zinsser Cover Stain (a high adhesion stain blocker) on a previously painted panelled door.

With the primer dry, I chose a Proform Picasso to apply the Mylands Eggshell. The results weren’t good! The product was dragging and drying out on the primer and leaving visible brush marks. I thought it could either be the paint, the primer, the brush or a combination giving the disappointing results.


I know the Picasso is a great brush but it doesn’t work well with this eggshell. Cover Stain is a bellweather primer but I know, for instance, that it does leave a very dry finish and isn’t compatible with some acrylic topcoats which are sucked into the primer and dry out too fast. So I changed my thinking for the rest of the room and applied Johnstone’s Trade Ultra Primer, another reliable high adhesion primer, to the remaining trim.

This primer dries with a slight sheen and doesn’t dry out acrylic paint prematurely. For the topcoats I also changed the brush to a Corona Tynex/Orel Ontario, my favourite brush for acrylic trim paints.

The results were a total revelation, like I was using a different paint entirely.

The paint layed on fast and flowed out well. So well, I would put the finish in the Sikkens BL Satura league.

The finish dried extremely smooth

It could easily be mistaken for an oil based product.

Open time is good Though the room was fairly cool, I had plenty of time to paint panels and window sills without dragging.

Mylands eggshell needs a sheeny base

I revisited the door I had previously primed with Cover Stain, with disappointing results. After a good sand of the topcoat, I repainted it as above and achieved the same finish on that.

In summary

Mylands Eggshell 2, KenilworthThe product seems to be a hybrid, ie acrylic with a small amount of oil added.

It shows none of the sticky application traits of Johnstone’s Trade Aqua or Sadolin Superdec.

It seems thick in the tin but flowed off the Corona Ontario onto the Ultra Primer with ease. I didn’t add any paint conditioner during this test either.

As I say, I didn’t use Mylands own primer, so results with that may have been different from the outset. But if there were ever a case study for matching brush, primer and paint, this is it.

Did I like the product? You bet. And I will definitely be ordering more Mylands product, Marble Matt and Wood & Metal Eggshell, on this showing.

See below in the comments, feedback I have had about the Mylands primer and the eggshell in colours other than white.

Ron taylor hand painted kitchens warwickshireRon Taylor, a specialist painter and decorator based in Kenilworth, is the Traditional Painter responsible for hand painted kitchens throughout Warwickshire.

Ron is one of the UK’s leading authorities on the specification and application of water based and waterborne paints.


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20 comments to “Primer, brush and Mylands Wood and Metal Eggshell”

  1. Andy Crichton

    Speaking to other decorators, some of the feedback confirms Ron’s findings that when it goes on well in white it is a good option and tough too.

    But in different colours, there seems to be inconsistency with the body of the paint, affecting the flow and coverage, and not in a good way.

    With drying, it depends on how much woodwork you have to paint, but an idea to allow for overnight drying between coats.

    And the primer seems to have a question mark over it, for drying time and coverage.

    I believe it is a “new” paint so maybe these negatives are known to Mylands and are being ironed out.

    It does sound like they have gone the “Farrow and Ball” hybrid route, no reason why it can’t be a top quality coating like other hybrids. Just needs to be consistent if the trade are to pick it up and use it big time.

  2. RJ Taylor Decoration

    I haven’t used any colours yet, but have had great results with both the Mylands Eggshell and Gloss in white recently.

    I painted the exterior of a cottage in Scotland where time was of the essence, and used the gloss over the dedicated primer/undercoat. I put 3 coats (1 primer, 2 topcoats) on the windows and door frames, over existing weathered oil paint, and was impressed with application and opacity.

    The paint is formulated with 2 topcoats in mind and I think it does need this to achieve the best shine.

    I haven’t, as yet, sprayed the topcoats but I did put the Mylands Primer/Undercoat though my Graco HVLP. I’ve found in the past that HVLP isn’t really compatible with hybrid products, but the primer sprayed and levelled brilliantly.

  3. Charles Budd

    Thanks for posting this – good insights from Ron as always. I’ve been using Mylands Eggshell in a cream colour. I used it undiluted on Mythic primer which had primed bare wood and MDF. I also used a Picasso as the paint seemed to be fairly thin and did get brush marks at first as it dried so quickly on the very matt Mythic. But after a sand and recoat with the same brush I thought it gave a very good finish. I’d happily use it again. I found that prior to rinsing a good spray of Krud Kutter Original – worked into the bristles – helped with brush cleaning.

  4. Charles Budd

    I’ve been thinking more about this article as I’ve worked today and I’m wondering about brush choice. I know, Ron, that you understand a huge amount about how different brushes work in different paints. Could you please explain in this case whether you think changing the brush as well as the the primer made much of a difference. What differentiates the Picasso and the Corona Ontario?

  5. RJ Taylor Decoration

    I would say changing the primer would make the biggest difference.

    As you say you used Mythic Primer, great product but dries much to flat for brushing on acrylic topcoats smoothly. I don’t think it’s particularly suited to brushing Mythic topcoats because of this.

    I think primers that dry with a sheen allow acrylics to flow on better, dry slower and give a better finish. Johnstones’s Ultra and Zinsser 123+ are ideal. They don’t sand as well as the Mythic though.

    Flat primers and undercoats are fine under oil as you don’t have the drying constraints.

    Johnstones’s Ultra isn’t a patch on Mythic for opacity but I’m convinced using Ultra under acrylic topcoats will improve the final finish, if you are using a brush or roller. If you are spraying thats different as there is no chance of the paint dragging. I’ve recently purchased a 5 gallon bucket of Mythic primer just for this purpose.

    The Corona Ontario is one of a range of brushes made with their Tynex/Orel filaments. It’s also refered to as the red/gold range, but I can’t see why as it’s neither red nor gold. The fill is soft and the bristles thin but this doesn’t stop the paint being moved around by the brush. It leaves the best finish I’ve ever had with acrylic trim paints. They aren’t the cheapest but they’re well worth the investment. I know Brewers in Stratford are selling to order.

  6. Charles Budd

    Thanks for explaining that in detail Ron, that’s all very useful stuff.

  7. RJ Taylor Decoration

    I have spoken to Scot Hindley since I wrote the article and he says that if you sand the Mythic primer thoughly with abraney 240 (or higher) prior to applying the topcoat application is much easier of acrylic topcoats. He found it gives the primer a shinier finish.

  8. Charles Budd

    Another good tip! I tend to sand between coats anyway but I can see how that would help.

  9. mick downie

    evening fella”s
    need some advice on acrylic interior woodwork paints.as not used before. the spec is: previous doors an frames,spindles,banisters ect. painted 6 yrs ago in oil based dulux satinwood ( starting to yellow)I was thinking of prep, gloss off(krudkutta)then 2 coats of mylands waterbased in white. or do you think it needs a shiny u/coat first….please advise. mick

  10. mick downie

    finish will be eggshell mylands

  11. RJ Taylor Decoration

    I dont use a primer or undercoat under Mylands Eggshell, it sticks ok without it.
    Just a good sand, a wipe over with Gloss Off and 2 coats of paint.

  12. Charles Budd

    That’s really good to know. I would have probably used a coat of Coverstain first – but if Mylands will stick and has the opacity to block any further yellowing of the satinwood, then that’s good news.

  13. mick downie

    thanks ron for your advice

    happy new year


  14. Helen

    Hi guys, I have a laminate & pine wardrobe to paint. I wish to match the colour to the walks which are painted in Mylands Chaterhouse.

    I hope to use the Mylands acrylic eggshell.

    Would you recommend the johnstons ultimate primer or Classidur Universal Primer you recommend for laminates elsewhere?


  15. Andy Crichton

    Classidur Universal Primer is now Extrem. That works in the scenario you describe. Make sure it is thoroughly degreased before priming.

  16. Helen

    Thanks Andy, much appreciated. Will take a look at getting the Extreme.

    The other items I am struggling to buy are the brushes. Where can I buy the Corona Tyne Orel Ontario?

  17. Julian Hills

    I have been using Mylands for quite a while now and would like to share what I have experienced.
    The combination of Mylands wood primer and either Matt or Eggshell is the way to go. The matt finish especially is fantastic and beautifully smooth and is the finish that one would actually see on an eggshell as opposed to ‘eggshell’ which is a slightly higher sheen level. Their colour cards have a sheen level chart in the back. Always try tester pots as their colour card appear to be way out.
    The Mylands primer behaves as one would expect from a primer/undercoat costing what it does and seems to allow the top coat full advantage of its levelling properties.
    I have experimented using Leyland water-based ‘quicker drying’ primer and came to the conclusion that for sheer quality of finish stick to Mylands buying cheap doesn’t work.
    On the subject of brushes corona ‘Archer’ from Brewers available in a 1″,1.5″ and 2″ pack is the perfect partner. I used to always use Purdy but now believe Corona Archer to be superior in finish and paint holding.
    I use Harris mohair 4″ rollers for laying paint on as well as the Jumbo Kote sleeves which Wooster have pioneered for larger surfaces. These larger 7 and 4.5″” mini rollers together with 10 inch trays are a great combination for getting the paint on fast especially with panelled doors and then order the paint with a brush.
    The open time on Mylands is just right and their gloss finish looks excellent too but not as high as Johnstones Aqua system which is equal to oil base in reflectance but tends to destroy brushes.

    Although not related to the above thread I have also extensively used Mylands ‘marble’ emulsion with is around £75.00 for 5 litres.
    It is like no other paint I used and seems to be the only emulsion i know you can use internally and externally.
    It is tricky to use in it has to be carefully smoothed back after initial rolling any track lines or thick paint will stay and it is so tough that you will find it difficult to rub down.
    The covering power is brilliant but be careful thinning down as there does seem to be separation of pigment if too thin.

    I use Leyland vinyl matt from Screwfix for white ceilings as the reflectance is the same as Mylands and is also excellent at obliteration and dries very even with no smell and amazing value considering the quality.

  18. Andy Crichton

    Very informative, thanks, you seem to have cracked a few good systems there.

  19. Marina hughes

    Would you still use a harris mohair with the mylands wood & metal flat matt, Or do you have another recommendation?

  20. Corinna

    Hi am just about to change the finish on our pine wooden staircase ( which we be previously varnished 10 years ago
    Am wanting to use the myland floor paint in chambers grey ….
    Any thought s on whether I should use the myland s grey primer or one from screwfix ? – – we ve previously used a ‘special primer ‘which you could just paint directly onto varnish on some exterior patio doors and an indoor staircase and it seems to be standing the test of time ! But am just wondering if we could use the same under mylands floor paint ?

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