Matt - Describes paints that give a flat, non-reflective finish. It is ideal for walls and ceilings that are not perfectly smooth. Fortunately, you can always get your primer tinted for free. Getting your primer colored the same as your paint will save you a coat of paint. Of course, I always recommend doing a minimum of 2 coats of paint so that your finish sheen looks consistent. 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.
When you have all the tools at hand, examine your exterior. You might find exterior painting problems, which could be any of the following: alligatoring, blistering, chalking, chalk run down, crackling, dirt pickup, efflorescence, fading, frosting, lapping, mildew, nail head rusting, paint incompatibility, peeling, poor alkali resistance, poor adhesion, poor gloss retention, surfacent leaching, staining, vinyl siding wrap, wax bleed, or wrinkling. Step three: go online and study the basics of shadow and light. It's a visual thing, and too complicated to talk about here. But once you see it, it'll come to you quickly. Simply Google "shadow and light in painting" and the basics will come up. Once you know these rules, you can apply it to any shape, any form, any painting. And it'll make you keenly aware of shadow and light on virtually any object on earth. It's what makes a painting three- dimensional and expensive looking. You can also buy art books on shadow and light at any bookstore. But make sure you sit down for a couple of hours and study it. It will come quickly to you, I promise. New Paints Give You Pro's Skill. Painting your house will be easier than ever - if you get the right paint. But it's going to be harder than ever to pick it. Proper brush technique: When "cutting in" with a paint brush you should dip the brush in paint and tap the sides of the bucket on each side of the brush, leaving a good amount on the brush so you are able to minimize the times you will need to dip/load the brush. Next, take the brush and make a one foot to two foot line down the wall about an inch or two away from the trim or surface you are going to paint up next to, this is much like taking a knife full of butter and spreading it across an entire slice of bread. After, spreading the paint over the section, go back and even the paint out evenly across the section and cut up next to the trim with the brush. You want to paint up next to the trim or surfaced to be cut-in with the paint brush after you have released most of the paint on the wall, it is easier to cut in with the tips of the brush exposed and not loaded with a lot of paint.