Don't under estimate your ability, grab a paint brush this summer and get out there and paint your house. Over the years I've been tempted to pay someone to do the job but after getting their estimate I decided real quick to do it myself.
If you have vinyl siding painting the windows, trim and doors will give you a chance to be creative. You can design a color scheme by using colors that complement your homes exterior siding.
Below I will give you some pointers on how to go your project.
The time it will take to complete varies on your skill level, size of your home, how much help you have and how many coats you apply.
Beginners will take about 8 to 10 hours
Intermediates will take about 7 to 8 hours
Advanced will take about 6 to 7 hours
When painting trim always use a higher sheen than the exterior siding to help them stand out. Semi-gloss or gloss for windows, trim and doors will look best against a flat exterior. Remember, oil-based paints may have local government restrictions check to see whether there are restrictions on using oil-based paints in your area. And always avoid breathing oil-based paint fumes for long periods of time.
The materials you will need is a good trim brush, tape, paint bucket, ladders, drop-cloth, mineral spirits for clean up, paint and stir stick. Note, you can match latex primer with latex topcoat, and oil-based primer with oil-based topcoat and it is possible to apply fresh latex topcoat over old oil-based topcoat if you sand the surface first, or use a dulling chemical agent. A helpful tip is to mask off areas that are not going to be painted, such as siding , or porch surfaces under railings. For windows, mask off the glass in each pane when painting the dividers. If you don't take the time to mask off areas not being painted you will spend hours cleaning up the mess.
This is obvious but worth mentioning, never paint when it's raining. If the surface is wet let it dry for 2-3 days . Always apply a coat of primer to areas of bare wood; this includes new construction, repaired areas, or areas where you've removed the paint. Nylon and polyester bristle brushes work best with latex paints. Natural bristles work best with oil-based. One thing that irritates me the most is getting bristles in the pant, so remove loose bristles out of a new brush before you begin painting with it.