Putty knives, brushes, trays, scrapers and stirring sticks are all tools useful in painting.
Before you begin painting proper, the putty knife and scraper will come into play on the exterior surfaces. Scrape away any bumps and fill cracks or gouges. Special putties are made for exterior surfaces. The wrong type of putty can later cause paint to crack or peel, leaving your house looking like a shedding snake.
The wire brush is used to remove loose paint chips and built up tartar. Often these come with a scraper on the head for days when you do not have time to floss.
The stirring stick is the most intriguing tool because it is the only weapon in your paint-tool arsenal you can get for free. It looks like a giant tongue depressor with a handle.
There are a variety of techniques for stirring paint. You can have it shaken at the hardware store, wait for a major earthquake, or take it for a ride down a dirt road that has not been graded for a few weeks.
To stir paint at home, first turn the can upside down. It should rest in this position for at least fifteen minutes. If the can has been previously opened, make certain the lid is secure. When you are ready to open the can, flip it right-side up and pry off the lid. You should see some of the pigmentation drifting back toward the bottom. Attack vigorously with your stick. Stir steadily for about five minutes. Every so often, lift out the stick to make sure the paint is coming to a consistent coloration. As simple as this job appears, do not give it to a child under twelve years old. You may find your walkway, the yard and the surrounding neighborhood conforming to your taste in color. The homeowners association will not be happy.