If You See a Blue Porch Ceiling, This Is What It Means

Updated: Mar. 15, 2023

There's a long history behind this tradition.

When it comes to picking colors for our homes, finding the right colors can be difficult. With so many points of inspiration and thousands of different styles, how are you supposed to pick just one? Well, if you’re looking for a color that has a unique history, listen up.

The blue porch ceiling originated in the South, and hues usually range from a light blue to a greenish-blue. If you’re not familiar, let me explain what they’re all about.

It’s not the only thing unique to Southern folk—they’re also fans of “hospitality doors”.

What a Painted Blue Porch Ceiling Means

The painted blue porch ceiling started in the American South around 200 years ago. The practice traces back to the Gullah Geechee, enslaved people living in the low country of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Gullah folklore explains that ghosts, also referred to as “haints,” were not able to cross water. In order to repel evil spirits from plantations, porch ceilings were painted a soft blue. The color was meant to mimic water in an effort to keep any haints or spirits at bay. The Gullah people made sure to cover all their bases—windows, doors and shutters were often painted the same color of “haint blue.” Even bottle trees in the front yard used cobalt blue bottles.

Learn the meanings of other Southern paint colors.

The Right Shade of Blue for a Porch Ceiling

The Gullah tradition of painting porch ceilings haint blue lives on in Southern states today. Use your best judgment when it comes to your own home, though a soft blue is typical of this spiritual tradition. Follow these secrets of professional painters to make the job even easier.

When you’re finished with the porch, maybe you’ll finally be ready to tackle the kitchen cabinets. Just make sure to avoid these colors while making your choice! If you want to add some more traditionally Southern decor, opt for a “joggling board” on your front porch.