What colors are prevailing - tonal or local, warm or cold? 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. 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.
"Boxing" is a good method of mixing paints. Since paint is a mixture of solids and liquids, it is important that it be mixed thoroughly before using. To do this, the greater portion of the liquid contents of the can should be poured in a clean bucket somewhat larger than the paint can. Then, with a stiff paddle, the settled pigment in the original container should be loosened and any lumps broken up. After this, mix the material in the container thoroughly, using a figure 8 motion, and follow with a lifting and beating motion. Continue stirring the mixture vigorously while slowly adding the liquid that was previously poured off the top. Complete the mixing by pouring the paint back and forth from one container to the other several times until the entire amount is of uniform consistency. Practically every manufacturer has a "color system," a fat book of color chips with instructions for duplicating each chip. This is accomplished by intermixing cans of colored paint, by adding a concentrated color to a can of white or colored paint, or by adding concentrated color or colors to a can of neutral "base" paint. And for those who don't want any guesswork there's the Color Carousel that mixes the paints right in the store. Whatever the method, the result is a range of colors such as no amateur painter has seen. Use Tinted Primer for Dark Paint Colors.In our second case, suppose you want to apply a deep, dark blue to a beige wall. The good news is that it will be easier to darken a light color than it was to lighten a dark color. In fact, it may only take 2 - 4 coats to get total color coverage in this scenario. The bad news is that if you start out with a white primer you are already moving in the wrong direction. Doing so could increase the number of paint coats you need to 3 - 6... plus the coat of primer! That's a lot of painting! You're not looking for perfection here, but you do want to eliminate every shiny spot of paint. When properly scuffed the paint should have a smooth, but dull matte finish.