Haint Blue is a mesmerizing and fascinating color -- a color seen on doors, shutters, entire buildings and most commonly on porch ceilings all over the world. The picture below was taken on a trip to Indonesia. Discovering this color and its mystic qualities were so far-reaching, I decided to explore in depth the legend of Haint Blue.
What is a "Haint"?
Haints are restless spirits of the dead who have not moved on from the physical world. They exist as non-physical in the space between our dimenson and what is beyond. This type of spirit is not the über friendly sort and you don't want them hanging around.
What exactly IS Haint Blue?
I learned Haint Blue is a spiritual and cultural based color especially in the southern United States. Back in the day, Haint Blue was mixed as milk paint formulas using lime and whatever local pigments were available. The color was mixed in pits dug on the properties where the painters were working. Hand-crafted Haint Blue translates into a range of colors, not any one specific color.
What does Haint Blue do?
Haint Blue is meant to look like water and keep the Haints out of your house making you safe from their influence. Speculation has it that the tints, tones, and shades from the blue-green to blue-violet part of the visible spectrum fools the Haints. Haints can not cross water. Using Haint Blue on doors, shutters, window trim, ceilings, the whole darn structure, can fool Haints and discourage them from "crossing" into your house.
It is believed that Haint Blue can fake-out insects and birds too. The story is Haint Blue looks like endless sky to the little critters and deters them from making themselves at home on your exterior. The key ingredient of lime in the milk paint formulas is what likely deterred the insects and birds, not the color itself. Modern paint formulas do not contain lime. So, I'm not convinced painting your porch ceiling blue is going to help shoo the bugs and birds -- but who's to say for sure. I do know Haint Blue is an attractive addition to most any exterior color scheme."