Paint it Haint: A Paint Color with a Colorful Past

Home Stager with FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor

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.Abbeville Hainted House Porch Detail



 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.

Abbeville Hainted House

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.

~Michelle Molinari

For more unbelievable curb appeal tips, join our Active Rain Group: Curb Appeal 101.


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Louisiana Lafayette Parish Lafayette
Stage It Forward...
Real Estate Staging Association
Stager's Coffee Clutch
Curb Appeal 101
haunted house
gullah blue
blue porch
traditional porch color
haint blue paint color

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Nicola Lindsay
Nicola Lindsay ReDesign and Home Staging - Saint Stephen, NB

Interesting article. I never heard of this before but I am on the east coast of Canada. Things are so different as to areas.

May 11, 2008 12:47 AM #1
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

I've heard of Dutch Boy Blue but never Haint.  How interesting, especially the "mystical" properties.  I will continue to stop in for my color education!  Thanks Michelle.

May 11, 2008 07:25 AM #2
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Yes, I found it very interesting, also. There are several articles on this topic if you google "haint".


May 11, 2008 09:48 AM #3
Lori A. Sawaya, Architectural Color Consultant

I would be very interested if you have a source for lime being responsible for repelling insects as opposed to the actual hue of blue.


Oct 03, 2008 03:01 PM #4

Hi Lori-

I hope you will remember me... we spoke at length on the phone before I penned this blog, as your article in squidoo fascinated me so.

Here is an article referencing lime and it's insect-repelling properties as a building material. There are footnotes from several books at the end of the article:

Lime is produced by bringing calcium carbonate (CaCO 3 ) in the form of limestone, shells or coral to a high temperature.  The heat drives off carbon dioxide (CO ) and produces calcium oxide (CaO 2),  or lime, also known as quicklime or lump-lime.  The next process required to turn lime into useful building products like mortars, plasters or paints is called slaking.  To slake here simply means adding water to the lime and make lime putty or calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)  2).  Left to age, the longer the better,  lime putty is then mixed with various components like sand, fiber (straw, saw dust, hair), color pigments, oils and other additives to create plaster, mortar, or paint.  Once applied to a building, the lime "product" begins to slowly absorb carbon dioxide from the air (carbonizing) and transform itself back into calcium carbonate or limestone, thereby completing the cycle (see chart).  The resulting finish is hard, weather resistant, inhibits mold and mildew growth and repels insects.

~Michelle Molinari

Oct 04, 2008 04:06 AM #5
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Hi Michelle, I read this on your website the other day, thanks for the history lesson & great pictures!

Oct 06, 2008 03:54 AM #6
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Thanks Cynthia,

I wrote this blog in May, and it has driven quite a bit of trafffic to my website. I had no idea about this practice of painting porches blue until I moved to the South. It is interesting stuff. Most people with a vintage, or reproduction vintage-look home, follow this historic tradition, at least, here in my area of Louisiana.

Turn of the century houses sport a haint blue porch more often than not, and just trying to count them all while riding thru the historic neighborhoods can be a challenge at 15 mph. Although I must say that most homeowners have no idea why it is the rule of thumb to have the sky-blue porch ceiling.

If you aren't familiar with the tradition, it can seem a little wierd, because it is used here without regard for the rest of the color scheme, and seems to make no sense. As a paint color consultant, this constant color-quest for the argueably perfect shade of pale blue paint used to irritate me to no end. After doing a little research, it seems a quaint custom with cool paranormal overtones, which is always more interesting than the mundane reasons.

I love history, architecture, color, and ghost stories, so this blog topic hit ALL my hot buttons. Thanks for going to my site and reading it.





Oct 06, 2008 07:33 AM #7
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Michelle Molinari

Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information