Ever Heard of Haint Blue? Here’s What to Know About the Southern Shade

It has a spooky-cool backstory, too.

Ever Heard of Haint Blue? Here’s What to Know About the Southern Shade
Look up at the ceiling on a historic Southern home’s covered porch, and you’re likely to find a coat of light blue paint that’s as endless and joyful as the sky. Though not an exact shade, this color is broadly referred to as haint blue—a pale blue-green blend that brings a sense of optimism to the porch ceilings and trim of Southern homes.

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the shade also happens to have a pretty fascinating—and a little bit spooky!—backstory that originated in the coastal Lowcountry region of Georgia and the Carolinas. We’ll walk you through the history of haint blue and share how you too can bring the southern tradition to your home—wherever you may live.

The history of haint blue

The tradition of painting a pale blue-green shade on porch ceilings and other outdoor areas of the home began with the Gullah Geechee, who live in the southern Lowcountry region and are descendents of central and West African enslaved people.

According to Gullah lore, evil spirits, also known as “haints,” fear and aren’t able to cross over water. Bringing a splash of water-inspired light blue to the exterior of homes is said to confuse the spirits, discouraging them from entering the threshold and therefore protecting those inside.

It’s a move that’s become a classic part of southern architecture, a staple of historic homes in cities like Savannah and Charleston, and even in New England, too.

How to use haint blue at home

Incorporating haint blue on your porch ceiling (or anywhere else!) is an easy and inexpensive way to bring that happy, blue sky-inspired disposition to your space. Your room will immediately feel more expansive—painted ceilings draw the eyes up and make spaces feel taller. Plus, it’s a way to expand the beauty and hue of the sky while still sitting in the refuge of the cool shade.

Aside from covered porch ceilings, we love the idea of using it on exterior trim, flower boxes, or shutters for a splash of fresh colors. You can also bring it inside to interior ceilings, or use it to spruce up an old piece of furniture that needs new life.

And since haint blue isn’t an *official* color, any of our light blues—whichever shade suits your fancy and aligns with your style—would fit the bill. Flow State and Headspace are the lightest of our options, if you’re looking to be on the more subtle side of the trend. Frozen and Nairobi Blue are on the icier, cooler end of the spectrum, offering a fresh take that resembles the bright blue sky. Views is a tranquil blue with just a touch of green, while Summer Friday offers a more saturated, medium-blue take for a bolder look.

No matter which shade of haint blue you land on—or where you bring it to your home—it’s a beautiful way to incorporate southern tradition and style into your space.


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