Sunday, October 31, 2010

Haint Blue?

I am mildly obsesses with this Canadian band even though they broke up in 2007.  They are called The Illuminati.  I have heard that their live shows melted your face.  Sorry I never had the chance to be melted by them.

Anyway, besides the ongoing job of always looking for new stuff to play on the radio, we have survived another hideous Texas summer and have been interviewing architects for our kitchen renovation.  Haven't been doing a whole heck of a lot around the house lately but last weekend I finally got around to painting our porch ceiling blue...something I have been wanting to do since our Spring roadtrip that took us to New Orleans and Savannah where I snapped a lot of pictures of porches with blue these:

I did some reading about blue porch ceilings.  The color is called "haint blue" but what the heck does that exactly mean? And whether you believe in this junk of not, here is an explanation.

Painting trim, doors, shutters, ceilings and even rooms this color was regularly done centuries ago in Africa as it was believed to ward away evil spirits (called "haints").  This paint was created using various natural pigments and lime, so shades of haint blue varied from location to location.  When millions of Africans were kidnapped from their homeland and brought to the States as slaves this tradition came with them, and today haint blue is found on loads of houses, particularly in the South.

Haint blue ranges from blue-green to blue-violet but is meant to look like water to fool "spirits" because, as the story goes, they can't cross over water. Using haint blue on doors, shutters, window trim, ceilings, the whole damn building, can confuse spirits and discourage them from "crossing" into your house.

It is believed that haint blue can fake-out insects and birds, too, because it looks like an endless sky...not a great place to make themselves at home.  The lime in the original formulas, it is said,  is what likely deterred the insects and birds, not the color itself.  Modern paint does not contain lime so I'm not convinced it will stop all those wasps from hooking up with my porch ceiling, but I do like the color and it ads a snazzy bit of interest to most exteriors.

Here are a variety of blue paint chips.  I taped them to the porch ceiling and contemplated them for a few days.  We decided on a color called "Winsome Blue" from Behr (3rd card from the left in the middle).

Here is the porch when I got started.  First I trimmed back this crazy vine that grows like a monster each spring.  I had powerwashed the entire house a few months ago, and the ceiling was still pretty clean and smooth, so the only prep I did was to wipe to the ceiling off with a wet cloth and spackle a few dents and cracks.

Here is the porch after the vine got a haircut and I moved all the potted plants and stuff off the porch.

Here are a couple of the cracks that I spackled.

I taped the edges with blue tape to keep the paint job tidy.

Here is the paint and a trusty short handled 2" angled trim brush.  The ceiling is only about 12 ft x 5 ft - easily covered with just a quart of paint.

And here is the actual color:

Here are a couple of photos of the ceiling after 2 coats of Winsome Blue:

And here are a couple of photos from the front yard.  I like the way this looks: a little shot of color but very subtle. 

 And that's all I have for now.  Today is Halloween so am going to go put on my white pallor makeup, tease my hair, put on my prom dress and cover myself with fake blood.  Happy Halloween!


  1. So did the "Haint blue" work out for terms of repelling insects & such? I'm lookin' to permanently put my elaborate spraying-booth out on the carport & I don't want it to fall victim to Mud-dauber wasps, carpenter bees & the like.

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