Haint Blue for the Porch Ceiling

While vacationing recently in Savannah, Georgia, we saw many beautiful, historic homes with wonderful front porches. It was not unusual to find the ceilings of the porches painted a color often referred to here in the south as “haint blue.”

Back in the day, folks could be pretty superstitious. Many believed if you painted the front ceiling of your porch haint blue, it would look like water and keep the haints, (restless ghosts and bad spirits) from entering into your home, because as everybody knows, haints can’t cross water. What? You didn’t know that? ;)

Well, I’m not really the superstitious kind (knock on wood) but I love tradition, folk lore and just some old fashioned, southern nonsense from time to time. It’s fun and keeps life interesting, if you know what I mean.

I almost painted the ceiling of my front porch blue when I added it to my home a few years back. In the end I decided it might not work so well with the Benjamin Moore, Heritage Red paint I had chosen for the front door, so I ended up going with white.

 

Let’s take a look at some homes with ceilings painted haint blue. This grand home in Savannah was sporting a blue ceiling. Let’s cross the street and take a closer look.

 

Do you see the blue?  You can tour the inside of this home in THIS post.

 



Definitely a haint blue ceiling if I’ve ever seen one.


Remember this home I shared in Isle of Hope a few days ago. Yep, a blue ceiling?

The porch ceiling of this home in Grant Park was painted a pretty shade of haint blue.

 

When we toured the beautiful homes and gardens in Greenwood, SC we saw more homes with blue ceilings.

 

If you’ve been reading BNOTP for a while, you may remember the tour we took of this Second Empire (Mansard) historic home on the Newnan Ramble.

 

We get a glimpse of the ceiling here and it’s a pretty haint blue shade. So, you may be wondering, how do you chose the right blue if you’re going for a haint blue porch ceiling?

 

After I posted about so many porch ceilings being painted haint blue here in the south, someone sent me samples of some of the blues that are considered historically correct haint blue colors. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to post the formulas here on blog, but hopefully if you show this post to your local Benjamin Moore paint store, they can help you.

I scanned the samples sent into my computer and I’ve posted them below in case you are looking for that perfect shade of haint blue. All colors below are Benjamin Moore Paint Colors. I think my favorites are Ohio Haint Blue-Light and La Maison Bleu-Light.

First Set:
All Benjamin Moore: Top: La Maison Bleu-Dark; Middle: La Maison Bleu-Light; Bottom: La Maison Bleu-Medium

 

 

Second Set:
All Benjamin Moore: Top, Savannah Haint Blue-Light; Bottom: Savannah Haint Blue-Dark

 

Third Set:
All Benjamin Moore: Top: Ohio Haint Blue-Dark; Bottom: Ohio Haint Blue-Light




 

While in Savannah, we had to go on one of the many ghost tours offered in this city that claims to be the most haunted city of all. Yup, that was our tour mobile.

 

One of our stops was the Warren A Candler Hospital, the very first hospital in the state of Georgia. This hospital is believed to be the second oldest general hospital in continuous operation in the United States. During the War Between the States, the hospital was used to care for Confederate soldiers, so this building has tremendous history and supposedly a lot of ghosts.

 

It has long since been closed and unfortunately left to fall to ruin. Of course, our tour guide said no one will touch it because it’s so haunted. (Cough, cough) Our guide dared us to set foot on the balcony and I couldn’t resist a little ghostly fun.



You can click on any of the highlighted links in this post to see tours of more beautiful homes here in the south.

Also, there’s a great article HERE in the Washington Post about painting porch ceilings blue. They mention some other great colors you may wish to consider. One is Benjamin Moore’s, Caribbean Breeze.

See you this evening for Tablescape Thursday!




Comments

  1. Hey Girlie:
    Love the beautiful blues, so coastal…sigh. Don't you look adorable? I would love to see pics and hear the ghostie stories. What a wonderful tour?
    Hugs, Lisa

  2. ❀ⒹⒺⒺ❀ says:

    I loved seeing the porches. Here in Jersey we also paint the ceilings blue.

    Dee

  3. Well you just educated me! I never heard of this "haint" blue concept! It is pretty anyway! The hospital looks interesting! You look and sound like you had lots of fun!

  4. Barb@curlywillowdiy says:

    Thanks for the haint blue education. I plan on painting our Florida lanai ceiling blue and will reference the color samples.

  5. hope
    hope
    hope
    that by this Autumn our porch ceiling is completed with haint blue paint!!!

    Enjoyed your post today,
    d from homehaven

  6. How funny. This Southern girl has a blue porch ceiling in Oregon. Love it. Haint blue. Then again, that's the color of our whole house.

  7. I had never heard about the 'ghost' story behind the blue ceiling. I was always told to paint the ceiling blue on the porch to keep the insects away..for some reason they don't like blue either!

  8. Vintage Charm says:

    Great pictures. Savannah is one of my favorite places to visit. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  9. Love the pics! When I told our builder we wanted a blue porch ceiling, he looked at me like I was crazy. I guess it's not that common in the Midwest. But it's blue and I love it! Hopefully I'll be unpacked soon and can show some pics!

  10. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Foley, Yep, I've also heard insects think it's the sky and will not land. In Lori's article, she said it was probably the lime that used to be in the blue paint that kept the bugs away.

  11. Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien says:

    Very cool! I had never heard of "haint blue" before…..and amazingly I see that's even what the paint colors are called!
    I did almost paint our porch ceiling blue a few years ago, not to keep away 'haints', but someone suggested it to me that it might keep a robin from trying to build a nest in the fanlight above our front doors (which had happened the previous year and we had bird poop all over the front doors..ugh!). This person said that if the ceiling was blue, it might fool the robin into thinking the porch ceiling was 'open sky' and they wouldn't want to nest there. I did not end up painting it blue then, but I think next time we need to paint the porch, I will!

  12. Ann from On Sutton Place says:

    OK…you've got me totally wanting to paint my porch ceiling blue. I use Sherwin Williams paint so I'm going to have to try and figure out a color…I just added this to my already long list of summer projects! Thanks for a great post…~Ann

  13. Ashleigh@Sincerely says:

    Ahhhh someday I would love a pretty porch with a blue ceiling. Such beautiful pictures.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  14. Graceful Moments says:

    Thanks for the haint blue info! I like the Ohio Haint blues the best. I would love to go on the ghost tour…especially with that tour mobile. Thanks for all the great photos of the fabulous houses!

  15. martinealison says:

    J'aime l'ensemble de vos photos et de ces belles propriétés…
    J'ai appris grâce à vous ma chère la signification des plafonds…
    Gros bisous.

  16. Carol E. in AZ says:

    Beautiful trip! LOvely pictures. Would love to see some of the haunted places too! :)

  17. Susan, not sure about ghosts and spirits, but here in TX it was always thought that the blue kept insects from making a home up on the porch ceiling. Supposed to trick them to thinking it was the sky. Not sure it actually works, but lots of country homes have blue porch ceilings.
    Would love to see a post on the tour. ;-)
    ~ Sarah

  18. Hi Susan, I love the blue ceilings. It makes me look at my porch and think..hhhmmm Loved this post thanx. Sunny109

  19. Mellodee says:

    I've heard both theories as to the "reason" for the haint blue ceilings in the South, so I choose to believe a little bit of both!

    Of the colors shown I think the Ohio Haint Blue – dark would be my choice. (The very last color in your samples.) It's a color that could be either sky or water, so you're covered both ways! LOL!

  20. Dawggone Cute Creations says:

    When we first built our home a few years ago, I had our porch ceilings painted a light blue, which didn't keep the birds and mud daubers away. So when it was time to repaint, I went to a darker blue (more of a gray/blue) on the ceilings and it worked this time! It's funny that the mud daubers build their little "mud huts" at the very edges of the ceilings where they meet the walls. They don't build on the exposed rafters. And the barn swallows have gone on to other areas to build their nests. So…I believe it really does work much to the dismay of my pessimistic husband! :)

  21. FABBY'S LIVING says:

    I love this tour of the gorgeous homes with the blue ceilings. Wow, just learned something about a color that keeps ghosts away! I'll keep it in mind…just in case I need to paint it for SOME REASON, yeah, "nock on wood"! Lots of hugs.
    FABBY

  22. Makes me want to paint with a "haint" blue!

  23. The Dragonfly On Iron Gate says:

    I bought blue paint for my indoor porch. We started painting it blue. I had the painter stop to give me a day and we ended up with Benjamin Moore CC-428 Cucumber (green) no one was surprised that I chickened out on the blue. I love the blue on all the houses shown too. But I'm a greenie !! Jules ♥

  24. claudia b says:

    I love the top color in the third set, I am addicted to turquoise right now and that would look so good with my gray house!

  25. Loved the photos! You are brave to step out on the balcony. A friend went to Savannah, stayed in an Inn and had the scariest thing happen to her and her family there! I'd still love to hear the stories!
    Ann in CA

  26. Thanks for the cool info. Actually, as I sat here reading it to my husband, he reminded me that the porch ceiling of the first home in which we lived upon marrying in 1988 (at the time an 80year old family farmhouse)was painted blue prior to our remodeling it. Come to think of it, the house was always thought by older members of the family as haunted. I guess the blue didn't work on it. lol

    Again, thanks for the neat post.

  27. I love seeing these most beautiful ceilings in blue!! The stories behind Haint Blue are fascinating.

    I am hosting A New very Exciting $250 Giveaway from Tracy Porter

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  28. That's on my list of things to do this summer — paint the porch ceiling at Lnderhof — Haint Blue — thanks for doing the legwork for me!!!!!

    Don't you just love Savannah — daughter and I were there last November — love the old houses!

  29. Miss Char says:

    I wanted to paint my back porch ceiling blue but other colors on the long expanse just made unlikely. I did add a little light blue paint to the porch overhang on our little barn in the back. I love blue ceilings but didn't know the history. Thanks Susan.

  30. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful southern homes and gorgeous shades of blue!

  31. Mid-Atlantic Martha says:

    So pretty — and I was reminded that my grandparents painted their porch ceilings blue on their old farmhouse outside of Chase City, VA.

  32. Mid-Atlantic Martha says:

    Love this post — it remeinded me of the farmhouse where my grandparents lived right outside of Chase City, VA. They painted their porch ceilings blue too.

  33. Jessabells says:

    Wow, isn't it funny how someone once said paint the porch haint blue to keep away ghosts and they are still doing it today? lol. I honestly don't think it looks all that bad painted blue. I am loving all this talk of Savannah and the great pics that go along with it. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Jessica

  34. Pat@Back Porch Musings says:

    I love the shot of you on the balcony, Susan. I would have had to go up there also.

    My grandparents porch ceiling was blue. I've thought about painting the back porch ceiling blue. I think it might work.

    Would love to see more photos of Savannah…haunted or not.:-)

  35. Love the Haint blue stories!

    I am so glad you included your brave porch picture. You are too precious!

    Thank you for this fun post.

    Mary
    From Virginia

  36. I adore porches, and especially those with blue ceilings! When we built our current home, I painted the ceiling blue. I, too, had always heard it was more to discourage insects — not ghosts. Thanks for the education!

  37. Bonnie Bee says:

    Susan, I painted our porch ceiling *Benjamin Moore™ AF-500 Atmospheric* a few years ago, NOT to keep the SPIRITS away, but to keep the birds & spiders away…It was a constant battle to keep creatures from nesting at our porch ceiling….. BLUE PAINT WORKED… and hopefully it will keep the HAINTS away, too!!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Love your blog. Haints and all! It was fun reading about all the blue painted porches and I will remember the haint colors for future repainting projects. Many of my older family members believed in those Haints also.
    Stella Boatman

  39. Wow I just learned a few things with this post and the many comments wish I had a porch ceiling to paint blue
    So cool looking is what i first thought cool as in temp and in snazzy
    KAT Griffin

  40. Stephalicious says:

    I would love to see the haunted places photos! I never knew the story of haint blue ceilings.. I know now that I will definitely paint my ceilings haint blue, just because I love the story behind it and I love the color anyway :)

  41. Beachside Cottage says:

    Savannah rema;ins one of my all-time fave cities – BUT I didn't know abut the haint blue! Thanks and I LOVE your royal rich red front door – how lovely to come home to that….

    Best-Linda

  42. Rita May says:

    I love the Southern story of the blue ceilings. I've painted my front entry and back patio overhang ceilings both blue. I've always heard that it keeps the bugs away and hornets will not nest because they think it's the sky. Key West also has lots of blue ceilings. I loved the idea and so far no bugs! and no ghosts either!
    Loved the tour!
    Rita

  43. Susan I don't know if I could have resisted photoshopping Casper into your balcony picture :). I would love to see your other ghost tour photos. I was in Savannah for a week on a training course of few years ago and was in love with the architecture. Such a beautiful city.

  44. Wonderful post, Susan! I enjoy ghost tours very much, please show us more pics! Our porch ceilings are painted blue but the reason I was given was so that the bugs would not come because they think it is the sky. But I wouldn't mind your reasons either…Christine

  45. When we went to Savannah a few years ago we stayed at The Marshall House, also supposedly haunted. Fortunately, I didn't see any spirits!

    We also took a trolley ghost tour which included a nighttime tour of a cemetary and dinner at a haunted inn which dated to the 1700's.

    Love Savannah and can't wait to go back!

    Judy

  46. Autumnthe2seasons says:

    I just painted the ceiling of our new mudroom in our new place Iceberg blue by Sherwin Williams. The ceiling is 10 feet tall, and the color is great!!!

  47. My grandmother had her porch ceiling painted blue (she lived in PA). I always thought I'd like to paint mine blue…maybe I will now. I love the Savannah light blue color.
    My daughter used to live in Savannah and I always loved visiting her there. The homes are absolutely gorgeous. Please show us more ghost tours!

    Donna

  48. sueputman says:

    Just returned from a trip to Mackinac Island, MI. The Grand Hotel has the worlds largest front porch and I noticed the beautiful blue ceiling, now I know the story behind it! The Grand is a wonderful place to stay and lots of beautiful Victorian homes on the island.

  49. Well, I learned something new today! I didn't know the background of blue porch ceilings, but I sure do love how they look! I, too, have a red front door, so I'm not sure I could do it.

  50. Scribbler says:

    When I lived there years ago, that house on Victory Drive at the top of your post was really something grand. Last summer, I was a bit sad to see how the area had declined, but that house is still a beauty. I love antiquing in Savannah.

  51. Jemsmom says:

    I love it! We are about to paint our front porch and back screened in deck a very light haint blue. It is very common here in Charleston also! I have also heard that birds won't build nests there because they think it is the sky. Who knows! I just love old traditions and superstitions! My BFF comes a couple of times a year and we always go on ghost tours here! They usually aren't very scary, but are really informative!

  52. People here on HH island say it is to keep those pesky birds away. Wish there was a color to keep the mosquitos away:-)
    Joyce

  53. Queenie says:

    I love the house tour and those beautifully colored blue ceilings. Interested to hear the superstitious info behind why some folks used to do that. I have heard it said that people paint the porch ceilings blue because it's less likely for wasps to build nests because they think it's the sky. I don't know if there's any truth to it, but it sounds good to me. Great post…I really enjoyed it.
    Q~

  54. My husband & I love the Charleston and Edisto Beach areas and are familiar with the 'haint blue' porch ceilings. Even though we live in Tennessee, when I had the porch repainted last year, I chose a very pale blue for the ceiling. It makes me remember wonderful days vacationing in South Carolina. Love it!

  55. Kimberly says:

    I had to check this out when I saw "Haint blue." Have you read BLOODROOT, by Amy Greene? She talks about having haint blue eyes…I'm sending her a link to this post :) love it.

  56. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Kimberly, those would be some interesting eyes!!! :) Thanks for the link!

  57. The first house you featured is for sale. The renovation is too modern for my taste but it is pretty.
    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/920-E-Victory-Dr_Savannah_GA_31405_M53047-96039

  58. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Lydia, I think I remember seeing a real estate sign out front…I'd forgotten about that. Thanks for sharing the link. Huge house!

  59. elizabeth says:

    What great homes! I love a good haint blue ceiling. Several of the homes you posted are in my neighborhood! They were listed under Greenwood, but are actually in Columbia, SC (the Elmwood neighborhood). Fun to see those houses on your site though!

  60. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Elizabeth, we toured both Greenwood and Columbia that weekend and when I got home and downloaded them onto my computer, I was afraid I'd gotten the locations mixed up on some of those. lol Which ones are Columbia and I'll go in and change that. :)
    Thanks!

  61. Did anyone ever use the Savannah Haint Blue Light for your porch? I cannot find it on their website and was wondering if anyone had the “recipe” for me to get a sample to try. TYIA!

  62. I am looking for the La Maison bleu-light and I can’t find that one either on their website can you tell me that number too please.. Thank you too!

    • Maureen, I’m not sure what it is either. The best thing to do would probably be to call them and ask since it isn’t on their site. Wish I had that info. Also, you can click on the link to Lori with Color Strategies that’s about part way through the post. I noticed that link shows where you can buy the paint and I think you’ll find her contact info there. I just clicked on it and found her website: http://thelandofcolordotcom/ She should be able to tell you where you can buy it.

  63. I to have a red front door but and wanted to paint the ceiling blue. Wish I could find some pictures. I still might try it I could always paint it back.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] building nests on your porch ceiling, try painting it aura blue or in the south “haint blue” http://betweennapsontheporch.net/haint-blue-for-the-porch-ceiling/  or any other sky blue color. This fools the insects into thinking it’s the sky and they won’t [...]

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