This Is the Perfect Haint Blue for Your Porch, According to Our Home Editor

If you are in search of the perfect haint blue for your own space, we've got you.

When it comes to design, there's no denying that Southerners love a classic. And haint blue? Well, it's definitely one of many Southern classics.

The tradition of painting your porch ceiling this cool, green-tinted shade of blue can be traced back to the enslaved African people of the coastal South, who used the color on windows, shutters, and porches to keep away "haints" or spirits. They believed these evil spirits were able to shed their human forms in order to terrorize innocent victims at night, injuring or even killing them. The use of haint blue was an attempt to trick the evil spirits into thinking they'd happened upon a body of uncrossable water or the sky. This would disorient the spirits and prevent them from capturing another victim. Moreover, trees were adorned with empty blue glass bottles, which enslaved Africans believed would trap the spirits.

In addition to folklore about its usefulness in warding off, trapping, or disorienting evil spirits, the color is also rumored to trick wasps and other insects into thinking the ceiling is in fact, the sky, and therefore luring them up, away from porch loungers. No matter its origins or bug-zapping abilities, it is a gorgeous hue and a staple for Southern porches.

Like white paint, or pink, or gray, it can be hard to pick the one that's just right. Luckily, we see quite a few blue porches every day, and have even tapped the South's experts on their favorites too. But there's one blue that just takes the cake.

Sherwin-Williams Waterscape (SW 6470) is a dynamic, perfectly soft-but-bright blue infused with hints of green. Haint blue in general can be tricky because it will depend on several factors, like the natural light on your porch, the other colors present, and the amount of greenery surrounding your house. But this one blends seamlessly and brings out the blues and greens around it.

This blue has just enough green in it to pick up accent surrounding greenery (which hopefully your porch has, even if just a little!) but retains an undeniable watery blue-ness. And don't just take it from me, see it in action (below); One of my favorite houses, a sweet 800-square-foot cottage outside Tallahassee, Florida, has porch ceilings washed in the cool blue.

Brandon Ingram Florida Cottage
In keeping with Southern traditions, Ingram opted for a "haint blue" ceiling. He used Waterscape by Sherwin-Williams there and complemented it with a soft gray (Samovar Silver by Sherwin-Williams) on the floor. He left the porch unscreened to allow for maximum sunlight. "No matter how good the screen is, it will always cast at least a little bit of shade. Here, I wanted the shadows and the sunlight to play on the front," he says. Hector Manuel Sanchez

In keeping with Southern traditions, designer of the Oakleaf Cottage, C. Brandon Ingram opted for a "haint blue" ceiling. He used Waterscape by Sherwin-Williams there and complemented it with a soft gray (Samovar Silver by Sherwin-Williams) on the floor. He left the porch unscreened to allow for maximum sunlight. "No matter how good the screen is, it will always cast at least a little bit of shade. Here, I wanted the shadows and the sunlight to play on the front," he says.

Notice how the paint's various hues play up the blue in the hydrangeas and the otherwise gray floor. It feels crisp, but not blunt or overwhelming. A few other favorites? Palladian Blue, by Benjamin Moore; Tropical Mist, by Valspar; or Borrowed Light, by Farrow and Ball.

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