Have you ever visited Savannah or Charleston and noticed porches with blue ceilings or blue front doors? You may have even noticed homes outside of these cities with a blueish-green color painted somewhere near an entrance to a home. Though people may now use this blue color just because they like it, the origins of the color go back hundreds of years. Though starting as an old wives' tale, this trend has morphed over time to fit practical and aesthetic needs. But how exactly did "Haint Blue" come to be? What does it mean? Why are homeowners still painting their porch ceilings, doors, and window frames blue to this day? Here are four reasons people are painting their porch ceilings – historically and presently.
How it Got Started
This tradition started hundreds of years ago with the Gullah culture and their fear of "haints" (haunts), also known as, wandering spirits or ghosts. These haints weren't able to cross water, so many people painted their porch ceilings blue to try to bring good luck to the home and keep the haints away. They were so confidant in this paint color that many would even paint their doors and window frames Haint Blue to further keep any wandering spirits away from their home. Interestingly, Haint Blue isn't actually a specific color but rather refers to the general blueish-green color desired for porch ceilings, doors, and window frames. Though some northern homes adapted Haint Blue porch ceilings, you will primarily see them in Savannah, Charleston, and other southern cities located in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina as this was where the Gullah culture was the most present.
Modern Day Reasons for Haint Blue Ceilings
Ward Off Insects
If you have ever spent a summer in the south, you know just how crazy insects can get when you're trying to enjoy the last light of day on your porch. There were rumors that painting your porch ceiling blue would prevent insects from congregating in the covered area because they think the ceiling is actually the sky. Wasps specifically are said to have an aversion to blue. Though it hasn't been definitively proven that Haint Blue wards of unwanted pests, many homeowners have tried the method and swear by it.
- Attractive. Many people paint their porch ceilings with Haint Blue as a style choice. Many are drawn to that color and paint parts of their home this color with no prior knowledge of the origins or benefits of the color.
- Calming. Blue is known for being one of the most calming colors and is frequently used to create a more relaxing and creative environment.
- Lighter, Longer. On the other hand, some are attracted to Haint Blue on their porch ceiling because it seems to keep the porch lit for longer. It catches the final light of the day which can make your porch feel more illuminated as the sun is setting.
Get Ready for Next Summer
This is a trend that has already lasted hundreds of years and probably isn't going away anytime soon. Even if you're not trying to ward off haints, you can still paint your porch ceiling blue! To have your porch painted, contact us!