Painting Fascia Boards and Soffits

Painting fascia boards and soffits can have a drastic impact on the look of your exterior. Whether you have plain-looking uPVC fascia boards and soffits that could do with a makeover or old wooden fascia boards and soffits that need a new lease of life and some added protection from the elements – painting them can do just that.

Why Paint Fascia Boards and Soffits?

Considered by many to be to be one of the most neglected parts of an exterior, painting fascia boards and soffits has a variety of benefits including:

  • Bringing the look of your exterior up to date and potentially increasing the value of your property
  • Protecting the surface from the elements (especially if your fascia boards and soffits are wooden
  • Making dirt and stains look less visible

Choosing the Right Paint System

If you want your new paint job to not only look good but actually last for years, then choosing the right paint system (not just the paint) will make all the difference. Below, I’ve listed the paint system I use when painting wooden and plastic fascia boards and soffits.

Paint System for Wood

There’s nothing complicated about painting wooden fascia boards and soffits and the paint system is similar to other exterior woods.

Here’s what I would recommend:

Primer – Aluminium wood primer

Undercoat – Oil-based gloss

Top coat – Oil-based gloss

Paint System for uPVC

Painting plastic fascia boards and soffits is a little bit more complicated than wood but is doable all the same with the right paint system.

Here’s what I would recommend:

Primer – Adhesion primer

1st coat – Multi-surface paint

2nd coat – Multi-surface paint

Best Primer for Wooden Fascia Boards and Soffits

The best primer you can use in my opinion is Dulux Trade Aluminium Wood Primer.

Aluminium wood primer is a solvent-based metallic primer and is perfect for sealing weathered surfaces and providing the top coats with something to adhere to.

It also seals bitumen-coated surfaces as well as wood that has been treated with preservatives meaning that whatever was used on your soffits and fascia boards previously, this primer will get them ready for a brand new lick of paint.

To be honest, the specific product you use isn’t incredibly important because they all, near enough, do the same thing. I use Dulux Trade because it’s always served me well and thus I’d recommend it to you too.

The only downside to using aluminium wood primer is that it can have a slight sheen. Depending on what paint you ultimately opt to use, you might find that it will take 3+ coats to cover. However, read on to see which paint I use to cover this primer in just 2 coats.

Best Paint for Wooden Fascia Boards and Soffits

When it comes to painting wooden fascia boards, soffits and bargeboards nothing beats Crown Next Generation Gloss.

Whilst Crown aren’t necessarily known for having products that are world-class, they have released plenty of products recently (such as Clean Extreme) that are making professional decorators flock in droves to them. Next Generation Gloss is just another example of how their formulations have vastly improved in the last few years.

The main issue with oil-based gloss is that it yellows, and when you’re painting exterior wood, you don’t really have any choice but to use oil-based as it is much more hard-wearing than water-based.

And this is the very reason I would go with Next Generation Gloss over comparable products such as Dulux High Gloss.

Whilst Dulux High Gloss admittedly has a nicer sheen and overall look, it does typically yellow in a much faster time than Next Generation Gloss which, whilst still looking fantastic, can take years to yellow.

Best Primer for uPVC Fascia Boards and Soffits

Whilst some decorators tend to scuff uPVC before applying 2 coats of oil-based gloss, I would recommend using Tikkurila Otex as a primer if you want a long-lasting finish.

Plastic is a non-porous surface and that makes it difficult for paint to adhere to it. Otex has been specifically designed to adhere to problem surfaces such as plastic whilst providing top coats with a base to stick to without failing in the future.

In all my time using Otex on surfaces such as tiles and plastic, it’s never failed me so if you want to ensure you redecorate your uPVC fascia boards and soffits to their full potential, get on Otex!

Best Paint for uPVC Fascia Boards and Soffits

As mentioned above, uPVC can be a problem surface to paint on but once you’ve primed it with Otex, Bedec MSP (multi-surface paint) will go straight on without any issues.

Bedec MSP is far superior to similar brands and what makes it really stand out is how easy it is to apply. In general, I find multi-surface paints to be quite thin and almost watery in consistency which can result in defects such as drips and splashes onto adjoining surfaces which can be a nightmare to remove.

Bedec MSP doesn’t have this issue. The consistency is spot-on which means the finish never looks cheap. Furthermore, it actually dries, unlike some other all-surface products I’ve used.

When using an alternative brand on uPVC soffits, I found that even after a week the paint could be rubbed off with a cloth. Apparently, it was designed for lower temperatures and shouldn’t be applied in direct sunlight – hardly ideal when painting exteriors!

How to Paint Wooden Fascia Boards and Soffits

With the right preparation, priming and application technique, you can give your wooden fascia boards and soffits a new lease of life. Here’s the method I use, including the tools for the job to help you on your way.

Tools for the Job

  • Scraper
  • Clean water
  • 120 – 140 grit sandpaper
  • Dulux Aluminium Wood Primer
  • Crown Next Generation Gloss (or similar)
  • ProDec Ice Fusion 4″ roller
  • Paintbrush

Step 1: Prepare the surface

When it comes to preparing surfaces, wooden surfaces are perhaps the most problematic so you should really pay attention to the preparation phase.

First of all, inspect the surface for any flaking paint or defects. If you come across old defective paint, use a scraper to remove it. Wood can also be heavily affected by the elements so make sure the surface is still sound by having a general inspection and poke around.

If your old paint looks like this, make sure you scrape it off!

If you find there are any cracks or gaps, you’ll need to make good the surface by using a wood filler.

Using a wood filler is a fairly simple process, all you need to do is dig out any loose wood, apply a wood filler, wait for it to dry and then lightly sand it down with a fine abrasive.

Step 2: Sand the surface down

Using fine-medium sandpaper, give the surface a good rub down, preferably in the same direction as the wood grain. This will ensure the primer keys to the surface without any issues.

Remember to give the surface a good dusting down after sanding to ensure there are no residual specs left behind. If painted over, residual specs can cause defects such as flaking hence the importance of ensuring their removal.

Step 3: Apply the aluminium wood primer

Once your surface is sound and sanded down, you can apply the aluminium wood primer. I typically use a good quality synthetic paintbrush to apply primer and would recommend you do the same.

Give your primer a good stir and then start applying it to the surface. Make sure you periodically give the primer a stir so that the heavier elements don’t settle.

You should only need 1 coat but if the wood is highly resinous, it might be a good idea to apply a second coat the next day. Allow a day for the primer to fully cure before moving on to step 4.

Step 4: Apply first coat of gloss

When the primer has fully cured, load up your roller with your chosen coating and spread it evenly across the surface. I like to work in 1-metre sections and then lay off using a brush. This eliminates any orange peel effect and really brings out the pristine gloss finish.

Step 5: Apply second coat of gloss

Allow the first coat roughly a day to dry before applying your second coat of gloss. Once the first coat is dry, simply repeat step 4.

How to Paint uPVC Fascia Boards and Soffits

Find out everything you need to do, including the tools to use, to ensure your uPVC fascia boards and soffits look fantastic (and make the neighbours jealous).

Tools for the Job

  • Plastic cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Clean water
  • 120 – 140 grit sandpaper
  • Tikkurila Otex primer
  • Bedec Multi-surface Paint
  • 4″ mini roller
  • Paintbrush to apply primer

Step 1: Clean the surface

If you have uPVC fascia boards and soffits, the good news is that the preparation phase is much quicker than if they were wooden. All you need to do is ensure you remove any dirt, stains and grime that typically builds up on exterior plastic.

With that in mind, grab your uPVC cleaner and, using an old cloth, apply it to the plastic. I tend to use Everbuild’s PVCu solvent cleaner as it only takes 15 minutes to work its magic. After those 15 minutes are up, grab a second cloth and wipe down the surface.

After you’ve given the surface a wipe down, wash away any remnants of the PVCu cleaner with clean water and allow the surface to dry.

Step 2: Lightly sand the uPVC

Once the surface is clean, I like to give it a light scuff with medium-fine sandpaper. Somewhere in the 120-140 grit range will do.

The light abrasion roughens up the surface and means any coatings that are applied should key to it more effectively.

Step 3: Apply the primer

Using a paintbrush, apply a single coat of primer to the surface. I like to use Tikkurila Otex as it’s an adhesion primer which means it easily sticks to problem surfaces such as uPVC.

Tikkurila Otex is solvent-based so therefore you will need to wait until the next day before moving on to step 4.

Step 4: Apply your first coat

After waiting a day for the Otex primer to dry, your soffits and fascia boards will be ready to receive their first coating.

Bedec MSP is my go-to paint for exterior plastic surfaces and I’d highly recommend you use it for this job.

You can use a paintbrush or roller to apply the paint. I like to use a mix of both. Grab yourself a 4″ mini roller and load it up with paint. Apply it to the surface 1 metre at a time before using a brush to lay it off.

Laying off with a brush means that you won’t be left with a cheap-looking orange peel effect. Of course, the orange peel effect probably won’t be visible from the ground if you don’t lay off but I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?

Step 5: Apply your second coat

Being a water-based paint, Bedec MSP is re-coatable in just 4 hours. So, repeat step 4 and you’re essentially done!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Pressure Wash Fascia and Soffits After Painting?

Yes, you can pressure wash your fascia and soffits after painting but you’ll need to wait at least a month to allow the paint to dry to full hardness. Even after a month, it makes sense to only use a low-pressure setting to ensure you don’t damage the paint film.

What Colour Should Fascia Boards Be?

The colour of your fascia boards can essentially be anything you choose! Most people opt for white because it looks cleaner and contrasts well with exterior walls but the downside to white is that when it collects grease and grime it can look off-putting.

Black is another timeless option and has recently come back in style.

Perhaps the most popular colour choice in the past couple of years has been anthracite grey. With its ability to match and complement any exterior colour, it looks super modern and can certainly have passersbys falling in love with your home!

Will Paint Last on uPVC Fascia boards and Soffits?

Assuming you prime the uPVC fascia boards and soffits properly and use the highest quality multi-surface paint, your new paint job should last at least 5 years.

When Will You Need to Redecorate?

The paint will likely lose its durability and aesthetics by the year 5 mark so it’s recommended to give them a fresh coat at around that date.

Can You Paint Fascia Boards Without Removing the Gutters?

Yes, you can paint fascia boards without removing your gutters but you’ll need to be extra precise when working around the holds that keep the gutter in place.