Hello Gail, although painting your home is often considered a basic home improvement project, completing the job successfully does require some technique and product research. In fact, choosing the right paint, or the best paint/primer combination, can be the difference between having a adequate looking paint job that lasts for a few years and having a professional looking paint job that lasts 5-8 years.
In general, I like to work with a premium quality acrylic latex paint, because these types of paint don’t usually require underlying primer and they clean up easily with soap and water. Depending on the type and color of paint that is currently on your home’s exterior, you may need to prime the siding before applying the final coat of paint . If possible bring a painted siding sample to your local paint store and ask them to recommend the best type of paint for your specific situation. Most premium brands of paint cost between $40-$60 per gallon, which is about double the cost of some economy brands, but I have always found the increase cost well worth it when viewing the finished results.
As for technique, if you are a novice house painter, I would avoid using a paint sprayer, instead opt for a high quality brush or roller (they are easier to work with and easier to clean). No matter your abilities, take the time to protect the parts of your home that you want to keep paint free. This should include covering decks and walk ways with plastic tarps and using masking tape around windows and detailed trim work. This prep time before you begin painting can allow you to paint faster and cleaner, plus you don’t have to worry about any drips, drops, or spills. Good luck!