Haint Blue Porch Ceiling

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It is a tradition to paint the ceiling of a front porch this light blue as though it were the sky. Or perhaps it is to chase evil spirits away. Southerners call it haint blue. A haint is a spirit.

****Since this article first came out, I have written another article on Haint Blue and give you an expert on this color. See my second article HERE

Some think it wards off bugs. Other say it extends the days of summer when the sun starts to set low in the sky. Still others do it just to fit in.

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I am especially fond of this blue and its contrast with the red front door.

I took the first picture while vacationing in Dayton, Virginia

The second is from my Wilmington, NC album.

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22 comments on “Haint Blue Porch Ceiling

  1. My husband just told me last week that they paint the porch ceiling blue to keep swallows from building their nests. It looks like the sky. I love it though. How do you pronounce Haint? It would go well with the white washed bricked homes. I just discovered this blog and I LOVE it! Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Haint Blue Color Formula « Flowergardengirl

  3. That’s the exact color I’ve been looking for for my porch but can’t find a formula for it. Will you please let me know what brand and color that is so I can finally paint pleaseeeeeeeeeee

    Thanks
    Yes, I will find it for you! I’ll go check with my buds over on the color board at HGTV. Brb

    • Oh thanks! My new porch is almost complete. Unfortunately I’m no decorator but at least I can start with a Haint blue ceiling! I’m leaving the rafters exposed and haven’t figured out what to do with the chip board ceiling. I don’t knwo if paint covers that… If not I’ll have to think of something.

      If you have any link of ideas for a giant porch (12 x 55) please direct me. I didn’t know what I was thinking when I said I wanted it to go the whole length of the house and 12′ wide. Once it was there and I saw how really large of a space that is I was flabergasted and I am just at loss now. I don’t even know where to begin except with the Haint paint on the ceiling! Oh woe is me!
      The folks at the HGTV color message board say that Haint Blue is not an exact color but rather a term to describe what that color represents. As I said, it comes from the southern tradition that it scares away haints which are spirits. But they did tell me that one of the members , Funcolors, did an article on Haint Blue. Funcolors is an expert in her field and I found the article to be extremely helpful and offers a few authentic formulas for the color. You can see that article HERE.
      I think it will help you a lot.

      Also, I do have quite a few inspiration pictures about large porches because I too have three large porches. I’ve only just moved in my house last Spring 08 and they are still being decorated. It takes a long time to get the look.

      I’ll do a post on all the ideas in the next day or so and post it for you. When I have the post complete, I’ll send you an email. Thanks so much for stopping by and glad I could help.

  4. I LOVE Haint Blue! I live in Ohio. For Mother’s Day my husband and oldest son painted my porch ceiling haint blue. I have seen it in New Orleans, Atlanta, and now in my own home. It certainly lightens my day and makes me smile inside and out on a sunny or rainy day! Happy Mother’s Day all.
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I too love haint blue. I don’t have it yet but hoping to. Happy Mommy’s Day back at cha.

  5. Here, in New England, most of us paint our porch ceilings a sky-blue. Porch ceilings at the large house where I grew up, as well as at our camp, were all blue. As a child, I remember my mom high atop the stepladder with light blue paint. Not so different, I guess!

  6. Haint Blue…it makes me smile :). I first heard of haint blue during my first visit to Savannah. It brings back wonderful memories, your pictures are awesome as always!

    Hugs,
    Kathi :)

  7. That is a pretty color blue. I never noticed that porch roof ceilings were blue when I visited the south. I guess that I was pretty young then and it was a long time ago, I was about 8 I think.

  8. I saw the title of your post and it made me smile because ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ is one of my favourite books and there’s a great deal about haints in there :)

    That’s a very classy colour you’ve got there :)

  9. I really like that. I wonder if I could convince my husband to paint our porch ceiling. I like the idea of it extending the days of summer.
    Do it now and ask for forgiveness later! I bet it doesn’t take you long–like before he gets home from work. Poor MrD has to put up with that kind of stuff all the time. Most of the time he likes what I do but there have been times I got in trouble. I say go for it and he will like it. Men like blue and especially that shade. Men like the space to be light and opened up. Blue will do that for a porch. He’ll love it.

  10. I’ve always loved porch ceiling blue and recently had dinner at a home with the same color in their dining room! Lovely on a ten foot ceiling! gail
    I can just imagine. Sounds like a stately older home or one built to look that way. Painting a ceiling blue outside or in tells the visitors that you have a love for historical charm. I think its charming.

  11. I’ve liven the South forever (although my family’s not from the South) and I had not heard of this tradition! I have heard of haint blue and didn’t realize it was such a delicate color.
    Haint blue doesn’t sound delicate does it. It sounds like it would be more grey. It is the most beautiful color of blue and creates an atmosphere light and airy for the porch. My porch ceilings are white at the moment. Don’t be surprised if you see me painting it blue soon. I know you are from NC and just love it that you are!

  12. I have always wanted blue ceilings, maybe in a very high ceiling bathroom?

    I would love some light and airy clouds painted on my porch also. Could you imagine relaxing on the chaise lounge looking up at the beautiful ceiling……drifting away into the clouds.

    Wake up Jen, you need to go to work!

    Jen
    OH no–you got to work? That’s awful. I just had lunch with my 25yr old son. He is so much fun. He’s married, got two full time jobs, and going to school full time. So he always has a million stories to tell. He’s going to be a producer for movies and documentaries. He is taking a narrative course and loves the professor. So my son retells the entire story from his last class. I loved it. I said all that because I built this house so my children would want to come home and tell me stories. My porches just scream….sit a spell. A nice blue ceiling would make it grand.

    I do like the idea of a blue ceiling in a bath. I’ve seen a lot of them that way. Especially a 50s style home with beadboard on the walls and chrome faucets–a big old claw foot tub over in the corner. I’ve also seen blue ceilings in bathrooms of Mediterranean homes. The clouds are a really nice bonus. I can imagine taking a long hot bath in that kind of heaven.

  13. I love the history behind these old customs. Beautiful shade of blue!
    I’ve heard if you don’t ask for exactly the right color that you’ll be painting it over and over again. I would have to say I agree with that. Blue is the hardest color to paint of any I’ve done. I had to repaint my last kitchen 9 times before I got the right one. The blue I wanted was a grey. It was called Smoke by Sherwin Williams. The folks who bought my house disliked it and painted it red.

  14. If I remember correctly P. Allen Smith commented that the blue on the ceilings of porches helped ward off mud dabbers. Not sure about the facts behind the comment.
    Janet
    I got to find out if that is real. So cool if it would ward off mud daubers. My cousin has a beautiful home at the lake and she gets them all over the place. I like P Allen so if he said it, it’s got to be golden.

  15. There are many older homes around here with the blue porch ceilings, and I am thinking about painting mine that color, too. My sister, inspired by this porch ceiling practice, painted her dining room ceiling this color and it is lovely.

    Jan
    Always Growing
    I have painted ceilings in my family and kitchen areas. I choose the same color as the walls and it warms it right up. I think blue in a dining room would be awesome. Very plantation classy style and old southern. I think you should do it and me too. We need to be true to the South.

  16. I never paid much attention to the porch ceiling being painted, very interesting.
    I bet when you start noticing, you’ll find a lot painted this color. If they are in to tradition then it will be Haint blue.

  17. I was fascinated by this and saw an explanation that it is not the sky it represents but water, as spirits as not supposed to be able to cross it. Over here I think we would call it eggshell blue. Lovely whatever it is called.
    I think my answer here will be submitted twice and so just ignore the second one. I was saying that I’ve not heard the story about spirits not being able to cross water but it makes perfect sense. I like old folklore like that. Oh, so it’s eggshell blue over in the UK. Eggshell over here is a creamy white. Or eggshell can be a paint finish. It’s somewhere between satin and flat. I have it on my walls in a color called Tobacco Road, Plantation Beige, and Svelte Sage. That doesn’t surprise you does it that I picked colors that have a Southern meaning. They are golden and warm.

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