It’s summer in Texas and everyone is thinking about long evenings on porch swings with a glass of something cold. This post has been making the rounds on Pinterest all over again so I thought I would update it with some of my favorite paint colors and a little more history on the tradition of painting porch ceilings blue.
Punny title, I know. This post is all about that elusive porch ceiling color: haint blue. The weather here in Houston is getting HOT and summer is in full swing (aka Jasmine is blooming and flash flooding occurs just hours after you were tanning by the pool) and what better time to talk about Wrightwood's pretty porches.
As southern as sweet tea and gumbo, haint blue has a colorful history that reaches beyond our shores and has a rich tradition in cultures outside our own. Some say painting porch ceilings blue keeps wasps from nesting (and that actually used to be the case, back when a toxic additive was mixed in with our paint colors), other say it keeps evil spirits at bay ("haint" is the Guhlluh pronunciation of "haunt" - and these haunting spirits couldn't cross water - often in the Caribbean you might even see door frames and window frames painted blue as well), or that a sky blue ceiling prolongs those warm southern evenings - tricking your mind into thinking the sun isn't sinking quite so fast at dusk. Whatever the reason, those who grew up in the south have learned to associate a pale blue porch ceiling with hospitality, charm, and southern comfort (the feeling....and possibly the liquor...).
As with all things at our flip house (belovedly known as Wrightwood), we tried approximately 2,518 different options or at least thats what it felt like. In reality, after scouring paint books, we settled on four blues, something just short of a miracle really. The best part was that one of those pretty blues had a very special name (I can hear my Dad still "Do not pick a paint color based off of it's name." ) And while I'm the first person to tell you picking a color simply because of it's fantastic name isn't the best idea, I know all the women in my audience have picked a nail color because the name made you picture a beautiful sunny day at the beach. No harm, no foul - but you also know, just because it makes you happy doesn't mean it looks great with your skin tone. Therefore, I did my due diligence and tested out each of the colors on the ceiling of the porch.
This is without a doubt an incredibly important part of the process - colors change entirely on the horizontal surface of a ceiling. The light bounces in unexpected ways. I was looking for a color that was subtle; fresh and bright without being overpowering, though still very clearly blue. Lucky for me, the color that turned out to be perfect, also turned out to be the color with that very special name: Lauren's Surprise! (Hey Dad! It was meant to be!). I'm proud to announce that the ceiling color adorning the Wrightwood porches is named after me. Thanks Sherwin Williams!
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when picking a porch ceiling blue. Haint blue is a tricky color, but the simple answer is to pick something that goes with your house and your personality. If you love looking at it when you sit on your porch swing in the evenings with your sweet tea, you can't go wrong.
We're one step closer to being done with the house - or at least getting to the fun part. Keep checking back, things on the inside are moving fast now.
These are some of my favorite blues to paint a porch ceiling - I can’t stress enough testing out a few options on your own before making a decision but this is a great place to start whether you’re looking for subtle or bright!