Stirring with a paint stick is sufficient, but a small investment at the local big box store will get you a small "squirrel cage" mixer that you put on the end of a drill. It takes a lot of time and trouble off and no trips back to the paint store.
I saw those mixers but did not investigate. While we are on the subject, paint, are there any sprayers on the market for the DIY not for walls but projects like painting furniture? Nothing much over $50 - $75.??
Hate to tell you anastatia, but I've had no luck at all with inexpensive paint sprayers. I think they're a waste of money. For painting furniture, I've resorted to aerosol paints. If you can find an acceptable color, they work fine; especially if you buy a trigger adaptor to use with them. Spread a tarp outside and have at it.
Sherwin-Williams can put oil based paint in spray cans @ a cost. I considered this but after adding the $ for the 4 chairs and table decided otherwise. I spray painted the primer on the chairs using brand X from Home Depot. I have a not-too-expensive paint sprayer in my garage that worked well for 30 min. 4-5 yrs ago and was hoping there was a new sprayer out that was worth the investment. If there was no bottom line what fun I could have . . .
Every summer I pull that lousy paint sprayer out to the lawn thinking I will get it to work.
You sound like someone who likes projects. A small compressor and a jar type spray gun is a great tool for small projects. You can pick up good deals on Craigs' List for pancake style compressors or check out Harbor Freight Tools on line. It's not real high quality equipment, but for home projects they last long enough to pay for themselves if you take care of them. The pot sprayers allow you to change colors and the detailing sprayers allow you to work in small batches.
you usually add a little water or thinner to paint used in a sprayer. You should spray two or three very thin layers. Same with spray paint cans too, just light even layers. Too much will run, or look thick.
You might consider using a sponge or ragging technique if you don't like the brush strokes. You could also distress, or use a splatter pattern.
Stirring your paint w a stick is ok, but I like to put the lid on tight and physically shake it up well.