Southern Traditions – Paint Colors

by / Tuesday, 17 May 2016 / Published in In the South

My husband and I are in the exciting stages of building a home. We get to pick out all of the details – where lights will go, how the kitchen will be arranged, what floors we will have…in the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, family room, laundry room, mudroom, deck…and the list goes on and on! My Trello board for this is a hot hot mess (wait, you don’t know what Trello is!? Next month we will get into that!!)

The ONE thing that we knew going into the house before we even had a plan on paper was that the porch ceilings would be Haint Blue. I know this isn’t a wedding tradition but this is about as southern as it gets! Haint blue is soft blue-green (it ranges based on the specific region you pick from) that you will find on the underside of most all porch ceilings in the south. It may also adorn the trim, shutters and doors from time to time, but for us – its all about the porch ceilings!

Why Haint Blue and what is a “Haint”?

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In the South, tradition has it that “Haints” are restless spirits of the dead who have not moved on from their physical world. Because Haints are not able to cross water (go figure) the blue-green color paint you put on the ceiling, shutters, trim or doors makes them think its water and will leave your home unharmed…I promise I am not a superstitious person, or that I was not hiding in my room last Friday hoping the black cat down the street didn’t come by! Along with the Haints the color kept out it was also found to repel insects and birds. The thought behind this was that looks like endless sky and it kept them from stopping off at your home. Well, that one for sure is not 100% true – that most likely came from what the paint was made of a the time. Lime was mixed with the paint which is what probably kept them away…or maybe it didn’t.

Either way, if its keeping the Haint’s away or planting a few lime trees around my porch to help with the unwanted insects you can sure bet we will be having it at our house! If you want to see it in real life, look up next time you are on the porch at the Decklan House!

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