Saturday, July 9, 2011

Haint Blue

My objective this summer was to give our front porch some charm, we have a circa 1997 built vinyl clad home. Boring. Our front porch has a concrete slab. Again, boring. My wish list includes installing a brick veneer floor, but Lowes discontinued theirs and our budget won't allow for the real thing. Time to faux! Stencil that is. I digress, this post isn't about the porch floor but the porch ceiling, and before I go and create a fabulous faux brick floor I need to paint the ceiling a nice country blue first so as to keep that faux brick pristine.

In searching for just the right color of blue I discovered the specific name for porch ceiling blue is Haint blue--but the color itself is not so specific as the blues vary from light blues, to aquas, to teals.

What's behind the name Haint? Haint is a huant, and the practice of painting the porch ceiling blue came from the African-American slaves, they not only painted the porch ceiling haint blue, but the perimeter of their homes, window trims, doors and door trims to prevent evil spirits--not the friendly Casper kind, but the bone-chilling scary harmful kind--from entering their homes. The blue represented water and "haints" or "haunts" could not pass through the water. Others say the blues resembled the sky and the "haints' or "haunts" would fly away. Throughout the South, the remnants of slave quarters and old abandoned homes wear the original faded blues of this folk tradition.

The paint they used was milk paint--a mix of buttermilk, lime and blue dye (from the indigo plant)--mixed in pits on site. Since the mix would vary by site, the blue color would also vary. This original recipe for paint repelled insects, the lime kept them at bay. I'm thinking this needs to be marketed. Don't you?

Here is the color information for the shutters and the door.
Lowe's 753 Custom Colors...
American Tradition: Base 4
Blanched Thyme Exterior Semigloss
101-1Y4  107-2Y16  103-20  113-7Y40
Porch Time by DiPics
I love it! And our home has a secure feeling all of a sudden, maybe there is something about this bit of folk lore.... What do you think?

Linky Parties:

Domestically Speaking

a beach cottage
Somewhat Simple
MOUNTAIN OF ANNIE SLOAN Paint giveaway and More!


cherry said...

no mo spooks gonna bother you
I'm thinking I need to do a sage cleansing around this place !
Love the color funny how something so simple can change so much..
hugs from Savannah, Cherry

mississippi artist said...

I love a blue porch ceiling. I have also heard that it keeps wasps away, they think it is the sky and won't build nests there.

artteachergirl said...

Love the ceiling!!! Have always wanted a blue porch day! I've never heard the haint tale, but I have heard the one about the wasp. Very nice blog! Best, Vicki

Sibylle said...

The ceiling is great!

Jan@southernjunkin' said...

Pretty porch ceiling! Yes it's true in the South we do paint a lot of blue ceilings! Visiting from Wow Us Wednesday!!

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

I think its beautiful.. so many porches in the south have that color ceiling..

may I ask please what color you used on your front door and shutters.

thanks so much

Liz @ Sit With Me In My Garden said...

It looks beautiful! The color you chose is so pretty.

Six Sisters said...

The blue porch ceiling is beautiful!! It looks so nice, enjoy many summer days sitting and relaxing on your porch!! We are so glad that you linked up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday". Please come back again really soon! Thanks! -The Sisters

Anonymous said...

Love your blue ceiling!We are having vinyl siding put on our house right now and I've looked everywhere for blue vinyl beadboard for the ceilings of my porches. Found some on the internet but was way too expensive for our budget. Four thousand dollars for just two of the three ceilings not counting labor!

Debbiedoo's said...

How cool! I just did a post on this a few days ago, because we want to do the same thing! I LOVE hows yours turned out, HOW COOL! Glad I saw this at WOW!!

Anonymous said...

I never knew what the "haint" blue was about, but I noticed just about every southern home has it. I remember that was one of the first things my dad did when we moved into our family home 25 or so years ago. Is the ceiling of your front porch vinyl or metal, like mine? I'd love to paint mine the same color as yours, it looks great!!

Jenny from

P.S. Pinning your porch!!