The whole Haint Blue thing passed right by me. As a child, I was not sent the memo about the protective power of color. I grew up in brick houses with no porches. I know! Somehow I survived this outrage.
And the Universe, being a benevolent force for good in spite of appearances, sent me a client last week who wanted soft earthy colors for the the trim and stucco of her stone house and a Haint Blue for her big front porch ceiling. She had to spell it for me.
It turns out that Haint Blue is the color one paints on their porch ceiling when protection from evil spirits, zombies and gnats is required. Mosquitoes, too, were said to be repelled by the color blue on a ceiling.
Paint repelled insects in the past when paint was made using smelly natural ingredients like lime, slime, rancid milk and crushed poisonous blue flowers or whatever. I’m not sure if acrylic and latex have the same affect on bloodsucking insects, but even modern day paint in a Haint Blue protects against the malevolent spirit world because the color blue is too over-the-top beautiful for them to abide.
(If blue on your ceiling is just not your speed, do something else gorgeous with it. There are no throw-away surfaces on a home. Make it lovely to look at.)
There is controversy in certain circles about which shade of blue in the true Haint. The good news is that one’s favorite light blue or aqua seems to work. The other good news is that a pale blue porch ceiling is charming and beautiful. It brings some sky onto our earthy stone, brick, stucco, adobe and wooden structures.
It seems that Haint Blue is often associated with porch ceilings in the more southerly locations, but there are many blues that work north of the Mason-Dixon line. Here are my recommendations for a few old-timey traditional blues that definitely qualify as Haints and that can work at any latitude: Galt Blue CW560, Ewing Blue CW585, and Chesapeake Blue CW595.
If you want a 21st Century update, try a sophisticated light-grey-green-blue: Nelson Blue CW635 or cooler mid-tone Greenhow Blue CW655.
Two other historic colors that may have been Haints back in the day: Yarmouth Blue HC150 and Palladian Blue HC144.
Other lovely Haints: Skylark Song 778, Morning Glory 785, Dolphins’ Cove.
On the aqua/teal side: Blue Seafoam 2056-60, Jamaican Aqua 2048-60, Seagrove 653.
I don’t know why a light rich periwinkle wouldn’t work: Jet Stream 814, Swiss Blue 815.
More about Haint Blue here. And here.
In New Mexico, there is another protective blue known as Witches Blue. Forget about soft and pale. Witches Blue is a take-no-prisoners bright, rich cobalt —the color of the sky at 7000′ above sea level. All the doors of my adobe house were painted in Rocky Mountain Sky 2066-40. Sigh.
One thought on “Haint Blue and Witches Blue”
Barbara, I had heard years ago that a blue porch ceiling warded off wasps wanting to build nests there. It seems they might believe it was the sky… Cheers!
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