Years ago, while walking around beautiful Key West, Florida, I couldn’t help but notice the majority of the homes porch ceilings are painted in a variety of blue hues. I chalked it up to another unique part of Key West. True, Key West is the originator of many styles and fads but not this one!
Haint Blue, a strange and unfamiliar name that comes from a Southern Superstition originating with the Gullah people in the Southern Carolinas. The haints are the restless spirits of the dead who have not moved on from the physical world. To prevent the haints from entering their homes, the Gullah painted their porch ceilings, doors and window frames haint blue because blue resembles water and they cannot cross over water.
The Gullah also believe it acted as an insect repellant. Most sources discredit the insect repellent belief, however, it may be historically true, as lye was put into the mixture and it is a known insect repellant. This could explain why insects would avoid nesting on a blue ceiling or ledge. Others think the insects are fooled into thinking the blue ceiling is the sky so that they will not nest.
Relaxed Atmosphere & Choosing the Best Blue For You
Blue has been said to lower blood pressure, slow respiration and heart rate. It is calming, relaxing and serene. Porches and lanais are favorite gathering areas when the weather’s warm, watching neighbors go by and stopping by for a chat and some iced tea, sweet of course, it is the south, the blue ceilings add to the relaxed ambiance. With so many shades of blue to choose from, where do you start? Most painting contractors agree the best shade of blue is one that fits the look of the house. It should complement your paint scheme. On a traditional house, a softer, lighter blue would be used, on a contemporary house, something bolder might be in order.
Which shade is your haint blue?
Sherwin Williams-sw6505-Atmospheric Sherwin Williams-sw9061-Rest Assured
Benjamin Moore-2058-60-Ocean Breeze
Benjamin Moore-2050-60-Arctic Blue
All things considered, even though it has a fun and unique history, people today paint their porch ceilings blue for the aesthetic appeal. What started as a southern tradition has made its way north and is being introduced to the new generations. We find it is becoming more popular in Venice and the Southwest Florida area. If it’s haint blue you want, call at Bayshore Painting Contractors, Inc. 941-497-2494 today for a free estimate. We are your local professional painters!