If you know what color "Haint Blue" is, then you may be shocked to find that not everyone everywhere knows what shade this color is, or what it can to do for homeowners today.
Haint Blue is most commonly used on houses in the southern region of the United States; however, many cultures around the world describe similar protective properties of this color.
The word "haint" is European in origin, and generally refers to bodiless spirits with a less-than-nice agenda. The color Haint Blue supposedly has the unique property of repelling spooks, confusing them by blocking their ability to gain entry into a home. There are references to "haints" being unable to cross over water, so perhaps the blue color just ticks them off by reminding them of their shortcomings as paranormal entities.
First batches of haint blue paint in the U.S. in the 1850's and were made by hand at the construction site, using raw materials such as blue-colored minerals and ochers, milk, and lime. It was noticed that bugs wouldn't land on the dried paint, quite likely an affirmation for proponents regarding its ghost-busting abilities. However, most likely, it wasn't the power of the color that the bugs were avoiding, but more likely, the lime the paint was made of.
Many cultures claim to be authorities on the exact shade and mystical properties of Haint Blue, which is also called Gullah Blue, Dutch Boy Blue, Dirt-Dauber Blue, and what they call it here in Louisiana... "That Blue Color Mosquitoes Hate." The color is quite sought after, and can be found on homes, both historic and on new construction. The color is extremely popular for the porch ceiling and under the eaves.
Regardless of the myths surrounding Haint Blue, painting a historic house with a color with such colorful past gives us a sense of continuity, a sincere gratitude for the ingenuity and perserverance of our forefathers, and an appreciation of their deeply-held beliefs.
It also gives us something to think about as we sip lemonade on a hot day, and stare up at the wasp's nest anchored to our porch ceiling coated with our largely impotent modern-day latex Haint Blue paint.
Please be advised: The actual shade of "Haint Blue" varies, as the formulas were mixed by hand with local pigments. Haint Blue can range from a pastel violet-blue, such as a periwinkle, to a rich shade of warm turquoise, and everything in between. If you believe your house is plagued with poltergeist activity, call your local paranormal investigative society to find out what shade of Haint Blue is most effective in the haints in your county.
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