the history behind blue porch ceilings

the history behind blue porch ceilings

haint that clever!

One of my favorite summertime activities is lounging on a porch with a cold drink. I don't care if it's a front porch, a back porch, or a screened-in porch; I love them all. Have you ever wondered why so many porch ceilings are painted blue?

This Southern tradition of painting your porch ceiling blue began in the Lowcountry regions of Georgia and South Carolina. Many believe that painting your porch ceiling a shade of turquoise, periwinkle, or powder blue helps to make it feel as if your extending the daylight hours just a bit longer.

People will swear that a blue porch ceiling helps to deter birds, wasps, and other pesky bugs away from your porch. The theory is that the birds and the insects will confuse the blue color for the sky and fly away. There is some historical truth to this notion because back in the day people used milk paint on their porch ceilings.  Milk paint is created using a mixture of milk, colored pigments, and lime; which is a natural insecticide.

Another reason Southern porch ceilings are sometimes a soft pale blue is to ward off evil spirits, known as, "haints." Thus the term "haint blue." West African slaves, known as the Gulla people brought the"haint blue', color with them in the early 1800's.

The idea is that the blue color would protect the home from these troubled spirits, "haints," by confusing them. The Gulla people believed that the blue paint resembled the sky and would confuse the spirits into flying up and away, protecting everyone inside the home.  Seems like a reasonable idea and plan to me.

However, the best reason to paint you porch ceilings blue is that it makes you feel as if you are looking up at the sky. Studies have shown that the color blue slows down peoples metabolism which produces a natural calming effect. There are a million and one blue paint colors that you can choose from to paint to your porch ceiling. You can go extra pale, or an intense turquoise or even a deep purple. Sky's the limit!

Need help picking out a porch paint color?

I can help with that! Check out my services to see which is right for you. 

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