If you are grappling with the problem of choosing a woodwork colour to go with neutral walls, check out Architectural Colours by David Oliver, the founder of Paint & Paper Library. He arranged his off-whites for ceilings, cornices, walls and woodwork in chromatical groups and the concept has been so well received that chromatically arranged colours, such as soft greys, greens and pinks, have been introduced. You can use vinyl on almost any exterior except previously painted wood. It works fine on wood shingles and shakes, asbestos shingles, brick, stucco, concrete and masonry blocks. One manufacturer says you can even put it on wood clapboard if the clapboard is new and unprimed. Valspar Paint, for instance, also produces paint branded as Laura Ashley, Eddie Bauer, Waverly, and more. These separate lines, or collections, have their own color wheel displays and are usually available wherever the primary brand, Valspar in this case, are sold. Other examples are Disney Paints, currently produced by Behr, and Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart, formerly produced by Sherwin Williams.
By licensing these names, paint companies and retailers are taking advantage of the popularity of these well-known brands to attract you to these paints; that way they don't have to use obnoxious colors to bring your attention to their color wheel. If you look at the colors in these displays you will notice that they are generally missing those bright, saturated tones. Instead, most of the colors are more neutralized. Naturally, these colors are much more attractive to paint on a wall in your home. Now, decide WHAT you want to paint. Very important...you do NOT need to know how to draw. That's the great thing about painting, you can create even if you've never had a lesson. Don't get me wrong, art school is great. But don't let the lack thereof deter you from creating. You do not have to have a teacher to tell you how to create. You do need to know a few basic techniques, but from there let your imagination fly! When deciding what to paint, go to some websites about artists or Google famous artists to get inspired. Again, do not let a lack of training deter you from painting! Many of the great artists of the past had no training either. Many can't draw stick figures, but they can paint because the colors give you amazing options of expression! You may also go to my websites mentioned below or Google me to see all the crazy work I've created. My personal preference has been to create a large variety of work to keep it interesting and versatile. I did not want to be that artist who only painted one thing over and over. To me that's boring, and it should be boring to you too. Any known artist of the past has a vast variety of work. You'll also find that it makes it more interesting to you while you're doing it, because you won't ever get bored, you'll always be wondering how it'll turn out. Materials and their application, every paint manufacturers paint will vary. If you are freshening up old walls and painting back to the existing color, the product doesn't have to be high end or have good coverage. If you need to paint a dark color over light color or light color over dark, you may want to consider purchasing a top quality paint to avoid multiple coats. I suggest Valspar, Pittsburgh or Benjamin Moore top of the line wall paint. These brands work well for straight out of the bucket use and are application friendly. Sherwin Williams is not my first choice because the coverage is poor and you will have to apply multiple coats but, it does apply, fluently. If you find a product does not apply well, maybe it is to heavy and/or sagging on the wall, you may need to thin the paint with a little water, this will reduce the coverage but make the paint flow better and lay down nicer on the surface. I do recommend latex paints for all applications, these days a good high end latex is as good as oil paint and your tools clean up much easier, it will also be less harsh on the respiratory system. The only situation I recommend oil paint, is as a primer/stain blocker over stains that "bleed" through the paint. You can get a stain blocking oil primer in a convenient spray can and spot prime any trouble areas before painting and in the case you need to prime all of the wall due to smoke or water damage, I recommend getting it in gallons and rolling it on where the stains are present. Don't forget proper ventilation and/or a respirator when using the oil based primers! Even if you don't need to apply a coat of primer before your new coats of paint, doing so will always save you money. Whether you use white or tinted primer, a coat of primer is always more cost effective for one simple reason: It is cheaper! In fact, primer may cost as little as half as much as standard paint. If you get it tinted the same as your paint, then it is cheaper by the coat. If you use white, as in the first scenario above, it will also minimize the number of coats of paint you have to apply. Either way it reduces how much paint you have to buy. Do you want to learn more about maximizing your paint color coverage, minimizing your paint usage, optimizing coats, and perfecting your primer?