Our Review of Soot by Benjamin Moore

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Dark, moody hues are all the rage on home exteriors. Rich, bold shades of black and gray create an impactful statement from the street and can emphasize striking features of your home’s façade. However, diving into the dark side can be intimidating, especially with so many black paints on the market. Here at brick&batten, we love working with Soot by Benjamin Moore. Read on for our review of this stunning, on-trend shade.

For a bold, beautiful home, rich black paints can transform your exterior. But if you find yourself puzzling over how best to make a splash, reach out to the virtual exterior designers at brick&batten. Our team of experts will create a fully customized design plan to give your curb appeal a dose of drama.

Before and after of a rustic style home painted in Soot by Benjamin Moore

Say It With Soot

Whether you’re ready to douse your entire exterior in an inky black shade or you’re looking to accent some of your home’s best features, Soot by Benjamin Moore is a universally loved paint. With a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of 4.11, it’s close to the true-black side of the spectrum but is light enough to let some of its cool blue undertones shine through.

Soot is a saturated black. Its RGB values are 85, 94, 95, meaning it leans slightly blue. The cooler undertones shine next to bluish-gray hues, and this paint looks extra crisp against a bright white. Soot is slightly higher on the LRV scale than true blacks. It takes on a charcoal-y appearance, which can be inviting for those who don’t want the intensity of a full-bodied black.


A before and after of a home painted Soot by Benjamin Moore

How Soot Stacks Up

Black paints are perfect for home exteriors and accents. Three of the most popular true black paints have neutral undertones: Tricorn Black, Black Magic, and Caviar, all by Sherwin Williams. These dramatic paints can make a big impact but are a little more intense than lighter shades of black, like Soot.

Benjamin Moore’s Soot takes on a slightly gray appearance, making it easy to pair with other colors, and creating depth and visual interest when painted on large areas. If Soot is still a little dark for your liking, here’s are a few other popular dark gray paints that might be better suited to your tastes.

We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.
Traditional Ranch with Updated Curb Appeal, painted in Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron

Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron

Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron is a warm, soft black that has strong gray undertones. It’s often compared to Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore. Both of these muted black tones take on a charcoal appearance, and with LRV values hovering around 6, they’re lighter than Benjamin Moore’s Soot.

Benjamin Moore’s French Beret

Leaning firmly into navy territory, Benjamin Moore’s French Beret is a dark gray color with strong blue undertones. With an LRV of 7.11, it’s significantly lighter than Soot, and its blue cast gives it a maritime feel.

Virtual exterior design of a home painted in Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze

If going all black is too much of a leap, Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze is a warmer, lighter charcoal alternative to the darkness of Soot. With brown and green undertones, Urbane Bronze is a great choice for homes with that want to pick up on naturally lush surroundings.


Virtual exterior design of a home painted in Soot with Seapearl trim and accents

The Bottom Line on Soot Paint by Benjamin Moore

Dark paint colors like Benjamin Moore’s Soot can give your home an instantly upgraded luxurious and dramatic appearance. Black and dark gray paints pair well with any palette for a timeless color scheme. Revel in contrast by using Soot as an accent color against crisp, bright whites and lighter grays. Or, give your home a modern look by using Soot as your base color with even deeper, darker accents.

No matter where you decide to break out the paints, talk to a virtual exterior designer — like the team at brick&batten — before diving into the dark side. Using our years of industry expertise, we can guide you to the most impactful usages of this year’s trendiest colors. Get started.