Paints in powdered form require the addition of a liquid to prepare them for use. The manufacturer's directions as to the amount of oil, varnish, water, or other vehicle required should be followed. Paint & Paper Library arranges its colours in five shades from light to dark to help select coordinating colours for ceilings, cornices, walls, doors and woodwork. If you are decorating around bold furnishings, such as a sofa or curtains, look at paint colours from the same fabric house as they are most likely to be sympathetic. Note: How to use an airless paint sprayer. I'm sure the guy at the rental store showed you how to use the airless (typically with his limited experience of actually painting a house), so hopefully I can offer you a couple new ideas on how to paint your home using an airless paint sprayer. When you first get the airless home, set it in the middle of the area that you would like to start painting. Typically the length of the hose is around 50'. Stretch out the hose prior to painting so that you don't have to worry about unraveling it while you are painting on a ladder. It is a good idea to have a 100' extension cord so that you can bring the airless anywhere you wish to paint without any restrictions. Tip: before you plug in the airless into the extension cord, MAKE SURE THE AIRLESS IS OFF! You don't want the airless to start pumping without paint! Now, when you go to set up the airless, before you turn it on, it's a good rule of thumb to have a second empty bucket next to your bucket of paint. I'll explain why in a second. Place both buckets side by side and place the intake hose (with the wire mesh filter end) into your 5 gallon bucket of paint while the primer hose (usually a lot smaller, about the size of a pencil'ish) is placed in the empty bucket of paint. Before you turn on the machine make sure that the airless is set to prime the machine first. There is a primer valve that you can rotate between prime and paint. A good way to see if the valve is set to prime or paint is to try this little test prior to turning the machine on. While turning the valve clockwise a couple times you will notice that the valve handle will separate from the machine in one position (leaving a slight crack between the valve and machine) while the other position the valve is close to the machine. The position in which the valve is separated from the machine is considered the primer position. Do this multiple times to see what I'm talking about. Don't worry if you keep on spinning the valve, you can spin it a million times in one direction and it won't hurt it.
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. The second part of preparation is surface prep, it addresses covering the surfaces you do not want to get any paint on. A little plastic sheeting will go along way to keeping paint off of floors, window coverings, handrails, cabinets, counter tops, etc... And, if you are not confident with your ability to paint a straight line next to door casing, baseboards, cabinets or hardware protect these surfaces using masking tape. There are two basic types of masking tape white/yellow and blue. The white tape sticks to surfaces better but, can pull off finishes on cabinets or stained woodwork. Blue tape usually will not pull off finishes but, does not stick as well, this will probably be the tape to use for most applications. Always wipe down or dust the surface you will be masking to assure the best tape adhesion possible. If you use blue tape you may need to re-rub down the tape before painting next to it, only mask off areas with blue tape that you will be painting for a given day. With either tapes, do not assume the are a force field that paint will not penetrate, use them as a reference and dry brush the paint next to the edge of the tape and avoid soaking the edge of the tape with a lot of paint, this will cause the paint to "bleed" through giving you an undesired look. If you will need to apply multiple coats of paint, on the first coat, paint as close to the tape as you can, not really getting paint on the tape. With the second coat or a one coat application, you can use the tape more of like a paint barrier and get a little more paint on the tape if you immediately remove each section of tape after painting the section, this will keep the paint from sitting on the tape and "bleeding" behind it. Also, if you get a lot of paint on the tape it is not good to let the paint dry on the tape because some paints (especially the glossier paints) will peel if allowed to dried, with the tape when it is pulled off. White tape should not be left on for longer than a couple of days and I suggest not leaving it on more than a day in areas that receive long periods of direct sunlight. Blue tape can be left on for days, if it will stay on, there again it does not stick as well and may need rubbed down again immediately before painting up next to it. Today, it is increasingly easy to source ecologically sound paints, as most specialist ranges, such as Ecos, Earthborn, Georgina Barrow and Auro are available via mail order. There is a wealth of colour options in these pre-mixed ranges that include lush shades and muted palettes, reflecting their natural ingredients. Ecos continues to lead the field. It has recently developed Atmosphere Purifying Paint, which absorbs and neutralises volatile chemicals, solvents and VOCs from the atmosphere in a home. 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?