old country house blog

MONDAY MAKEOVER – “HAINT” PORCH CEILING BLUE

WILLOW BEE INSPIRED
WILLOW BEE INSPIRED

     A long time ago…. LONG before I had my old country house, or a place to blog about it, long before I had a front porch…. I heard that it was good luck to paint the underside of your front porch light blue.

BLUESEAFOAM
BLUE SEAFOAM
CHARING LITTLE NEST
CHARING LITTLE NEST

I was not sure WHY or HOW a color could bring you good luck …..but I used to LOVE to be driving along and see it in action,

“HEY! There’s one of those light blue good-luck front porches!”

c9ffe288a9338db55513aa392269fb96

TEAR DROP BLUE
TEAR DROP BLUE

AS often happens in my cart before the horse world, there IS actually a name for the light blue front porches…and in fact MANY little legends about why we do the blue.

The BLUE PAINT is actually called

“HAINT BLUE”.

Apparently before you or I or even our parents and probably their great grandparents existed…centuries ago, in AFRICA, CERTAIN tribes believed that painting the underside of your porch blue would ward off the bad spirits…which were called “HAINTS”. OVER TIME… AND AS  slaves were brought to this country, and migrated around the United states… the blue porches began to appear, especially in the SOUTH.

haint-blue-ceiling-2

 

SHORE HOUSE GREEN
SHORE HOUSE GREEN

OF huge interest to me in my  BLUE PAINT COLOR obsessed world  – is that the paints were made from natural pigments which varied from place to place so naturally, geographically speaking…..the BLUE itself varied….sometimes it would be an AQUA BLUE…other places a more PERIWINKLE…

SIMPLE THOUGHT
SIMPLE THOUGHTS  – PAIGE KNUDSON
SAPPHIREBERRY
SAPPHIREBERRY

…according to one article I read, the Northwestern states tend to lean toward a more periwinkle blue…like the crispyness of a fall morning….while the Southern states are more aqua blue…like underwater blue….

haint-blue-paint-3

SUMMER BLUE
SUMMER BLUE

 “Haint blue ranges from blue-green to blue-violet but is meant to look like water to fool “spirits” because, as the story goes, they can’t cross over water.

CHARMING LITTLE NEST
CHARMING LITTLE NEST – they covered themselves top and bottom….
MISTY TEAL
MISTY TEAL 

Using HAINT blue on doors, shutters, window trim, ceilings, the whole damn building, can confuse spirits and discourage them from “crossing” into your house”.

MS MAGPIE'S DESIGNS
MS MAGPIE’S DESIGNS
JAMAICA AQUA
JAMAICA AQUA

We have tried a few different blues on the underside of our porch. It should come as no surprise that I lean toward the more greeny-aqua blues…..I love this one I found on Pinterest..but could not find the source…linky linky linky!!!!

PINTEREST -NO SOURCE?
PINTEREST -NO SOURCE?
OCEAN SPRAY
OCEAN SPRAY

ANOTHER theory, in which I do not believe because it does not seem to work on OUR porch is that Birds and Insects think the blue IS the sky and thus avoid putting their hives and webs and nests in the BLUE SKY PORCH…but our bIrds AND BEES at least are a little too smart for this theory and have made themselves right at home.

BIRDS EGG BLUE CEILING DARK GRAY FLOOR
BIRDS EGG BLUE CEILING DARK GRAY FLOOR

BIRDS EGG
BIRDS EGG

I am halfway finished putting a fresh coat of BENJAMIN MOORE ‘BIRD’S EGG” ON our porch…I do it, because it is pretty and makes me smile…and in does look like the sky and sometimes, at just the right time of day in just the right weather, and at just the exact right angle….the porch and the sky are the exact same color…and it is a thing of beauty.

ALL BENJAMIN MOORE - BLUE SEAFOAM, GOSSAMER BLUE, GLACIER BAY, FAIRY TALE BLUE, OCEAN AIR, SHOR HOUSE GREEN, TEAR DROP BLUE, JAMAICAN AQUA, SAPPHIRE BERRY
ALL BENJAMIN MOORE – BLUE SEAFOAM, GOSSAMER BLUE, GLACIER BAY, FAIRY TALE BLUE, OCEAN AIR, SHOR HOUSE GREEN, TEAR DROP BLUE, JAMAICAN AQUA, SAPPHIRE BERRY
MY OLD COUNTRY HOUSE PORCH
MY OLD COUNTRY HOUSE PORCH

PORCH1

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26 thoughts on “MONDAY MAKEOVER – “HAINT” PORCH CEILING BLUE

  1. Love haint blue porch ceilings! I grew up in my parents house, which is over 100 years old in rural northwest Florida. My great-grandfather purchased it when he moved to the area from South Carolina. We don’t know who painted the ceilings blue originally, but my parents just re-painted them! They’re awfully pretty, even if they don’t really keep the haints away!

    Natalie
    oystersandpearls.net

  2. Living in the South, we naturally have a blue porch ceiling! As you said, there are many legends as to why Southern porch ceilings are always painted blue, one of which is that it repels insects and prevents wasps from nesting {according to this particular legend, it’s because the little pests mistakenly believe the blue ceiling is actually the sky}.

    Click the links below to view our porch ceiling:

    http://pinterest.com/pin/49891508345040699/

    http://pinterest.com/pin/49891508345040704/

  3. wonderful post! we have a ‘haint’ porch ceiling and I adore it. I always heard that birds would not nest in the rafters because it appeared to be sky …. myth only!!! THEY NEST, boy do they nest!

  4. What a cool story! I don’t have a front porch but I have a mini entryway. I’m thinking it still counts and I should paint the underside blue for sure.

  5. Love this article…and “haint” blue porch ceilings! I fell in love with them when my hubby and I moved to Beaufort, South Carolina. We took a history class on Gullah Culture (Gullah Island is near there…the course teachers also had their own show later on Nickelodeon…Gullah Gullah Island). Until the 1960s, the waterways were the only way to get to Gullah Island. A researcher did a study on the Gullah natives language, and it very closely stilled resembled the African language that their distant relatives had used. Many of the legends had been handed down, like those about the “haints”. I now live in the Midwest, and have no front porch, but maybe some day…Your story brought back wonderful memories. Thanks! 🙂

  6. For lack of a proper porch on our current home, we will paint the ceiling in our master bedroom our choice of “haint blue”, so we can pretend we are sleeping on a porch. Hope it gives us a summery, outdoorsy feeling all year long!

  7. Just did our boathouse ceiling “haint blue”…so many compliments!! 🙂 ALL of our porch ceilings are “haint blue.” It just seems….right. franki

  8. The haint blue paint of the past was a milk paint that contained lye in it. That was the reason it was said it also repelled bugs and birds, the color only fools Haints. This was very popular with the Appalachia Celts (Granny Witches) but they painted all ceilings of the home.

  9. I absolutely loved learning about the backstory of Haint Blue in this great post! I am in the process of a major remodel and will definitely be painting my porch ceilings Haint Blue now. 🙂

    1. Thank you Cinde…I just finished RE reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” and had not remembered how often the children referred to the “Haints”…like boogeymen…SO very southern because so much of the culture was inspired by the african american culture which in turn became southern traditions…thank you for stopping by!

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