If you're repainting your home, there are many features to consider. Between the roof, the siding, the fascia, soffit, and trim, the color combinations could be almost endless. But what elements should match and what shouldn't? Does the soffit match the siding or the trim? We've checked with exterior painters and stylists for the official word on how to pick colors for your soffit.
The soffit can match the siding or the trim. Either option is possible. Sometimes it may match certain parts of the trim and not others. Other times, it may be a lighter shade in the same color family as the other trim. And there are even times where the siding, trim, and soffit are all the same color!
Keep reading, and we'll break down each of these options. We'll cover all the possible scenarios and mixing and matching of colors. We'll cover what you can expect from each option - the good and the bad. Then we'll cover how to paint the soffits, and what to use. So read further, and you'll know exactly what to do with your home's exterior in no time.
Should Soffit Match Siding Or Trim?
Soffit and fascia go hand in hand. The soffit is the overhang on the underside of the roof, and the fascia is the horizontal band on the front of the overhang. Typically, you can think of the soffit and fascia as what separates or distinguishes the siding from the roof.
In many cases, the soffit and fascia are a color separate from the siding or roof. That color may match the rest of the trim, such as around the windows and doors. However, there may be some homes where the soffit matches the siding instead.
There's no hard and fast rule saying that the soffit has to match either the siding or the trim. Some people may have one color for siding, another for trim or fascia, and a third, contrasting color for the soffit that makes it stand out.
What Color Should A Soffit Be?
While you might pick any color you want for the soffit, there are some things to consider first. So let's take a look at the most common options, breaking down the pros and cons of each.
Soffit Color Matches The Trim And Fascia
This is the most common style, though it can vary depending on the region. It's easy to visualize and distinguish the space between the siding and the roof this way. It's aesthetically very unifying, pleasing, and conventional.
However, that may also be the downside for some people. It's hard to make your home particularly unique or eye-catching when it looks like most of the houses nearby. If you want something that stands out, this may be too traditional for your taste.
Soffit Color Matches The Siding
If your home is a bit on the short side, painting the soffit to match the siding will add the illusion of extra height. Some homes have elaborate porches or eaves that draw the eye. Painting the soffit the same as the siding opens up those spaces a bit more. Otherwise, they may make the roofline appear too heavy.
If you have very ornate trim, this also helps draw attention to it. By having the trim its own color, while the soffit blends into the siding, the trim is naturally brought into focus.
Even if you don't have decorative trim, you can add visual interest with contrasting colors. Match the soffit to the siding, and then pick a high-energy, contrasting color for the fascia. The interplay between these two opposing features so close together is certainly dramatic.
Soffit Matches Fascia But Not Other Trim
In this case, the soffit and the fascia unify to create a clear breaking line between the roof and the siding. It's easy, clear, and harmonious.
But by picking a different color for the other trim, such as the windows and doors, you make an accent that separates it from the soffit. This can be a great choice that lets unique doors or big picture windows stand out. If you have something worth accenting this way, use it.
Just don't pick a unique trim that draws eyes when there's nothing there to see. No one wants the focal point of your hoSoffitme to be dull, plain windows. While there's nothing wrong with ordinary windows, you don't need to make them stand out. If there's no exceptional trim to see, stick to matching features.
Soffit Matches Trim But Not Fascia
This style works best in two possible ways. The first is to go with multiple shades of a corresponding color. Have the trim and soffit in a slightly lighter shade than the fascia. This accents the fascia without being too bold.
The second is to do entirely different colors, letting the fascia stand out very dramatically. For example, consider making the trim and soffit white while the fascia is black. This works exceptionally well for old Victorian-style houses, as contrasting or dramatic color choices represent the fashion of that time.
In either case, always let the fascia be the bold or more dominant color.
Some homes stick to one color for all the trim, soffit, fascia, and even the siding. This is a bit bland, but it means your rather non-descript home won't offend anyone's senses. If you plan to sell your home soon, this may be the easiest way to go.
Just make sure to paint everything at the same time. Otherwise, natural differences in the shade as the paint ages will be very dramatic.
Should You Paint Soffit Vents?
Soffit vents are an essential feature. This roof ventilation device allows fresh air into the attic, preventing mold problems. This ventilation keeps your insulation working efficiently by keeping moisture from building up.
Painting soffit vents may clog them, keeping them from doing their essential job. Clogged soffit vents may shorten the life of your roof or cause the soffit to rot. For this reason, it's better to avoid painting the soffit vents. Just stick with the finish provided by the manufacturer.
If you absolutely must paint them, use spray paint because the available colors don't match your home's decor. Don't use a roller or brush paint, as this is more likely to stick to the vent screen and clog. If you're repainting vents already on the home, lightly brush the paint on. Don't stuff paint inside, where it will clog the screen.
What Do You Paint Soffits With?
You'll need to identify the material of your soffit to know what kind of paint you should use. For example, a wood soffit is porous and will absorb paint readily. An aluminum soffit, however, is non-porous. To get paint to take, you should start with an acidic base coat that's formulated for metal surfaces.
Once properly primed, both wood and aluminum can be painted with exterior acrylic latex paint. Oil takes too long to dry and is more likely to mildew.
Soffits are relatively wide and flat surfaces. Because of this, a roller usually works fine. An airless paint sprayer can also be an effective way to paint soffits.
How Do You Prepare Soffits For Painting?
Painting your soffits is important. Not only does it make them look good, but it extends their lifespan. Still, it's not the easiest task. For this reason, you'll want to do it right the first time. This saves you from having to re-paint a short time later due to carelessness or missed steps.
- Inspect: Check the soffits for deterioration and rotten wood. Make sure the soffits are secure, refastening any as needed. Check for signs of water damage, repairing gutters or drip edge flashing as required.
- Clean and prep the surface. Remove all dirt with cleaner and a power washer. Let it dry back out completely over about two days.
- Scrape off and sand away loose paint. Sand to a feather edge.
- Caulk wood joints and gaps as needed.
- Prime and then paint! Be sure to use the right primer and paint for the surface, whether the soffit is aluminum or wood.
Most homes match the soffit to the trim. However, there's no hard and fast rule as to what color soffit should be. It may be a more traditional look, but it's not the only option.
Try matching the soffit to the siding to make the fascia stand out. Or, try using an entirely new mix of colors - you can pick contrasting colors for the soffit and fascia to enhance them. Or, you can paint the soffit to be a few shades lighter than the fascia or trim in a monochromatic color scheme. Decide what features on your house you'd like to enhance and what best shows your style!
If you enjoyed this article, try: