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The Ghostly Legend of “Haint Blue” Paint

Whether you’re new to the greater Atlanta metro area or your family has lived here for generations, you may have heard the term “Haint Blue” and wondered what it meant. So, what exactly is Haint Blue? At Freeland Painting, we’re always interested in fun facts about paint and paint color, and we love the story of Haint Blue.

What is Haint Blue?

Haint Blue is a term used for a range of pale, blue-green colors that remind us of the color of water or the sky. These light blue and green colors are often used to paint the porch ceilings of homes in the southern United States. The reason people paint their porch ceilings this delightful color is a charming tale of tradition from the Deep South. This tradition is particularly timely because Halloween is this weekend—and it’s a ghost story involving paint color!

Is Haint Blue Related to Ghosts?

Yes, and here’s why: The word “haint” is a colloquial way to pronounce “haunt,” another word for ghosts or evil spirits. The word comes from the Gullah, a community of people descended from central and West African enslaved people who settled on the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.

The Gullah people believed that ghosts and spirits—which they called haints—walked the Earth. Such haints could come into your home through a door or window and disturb its residents. The goal was to deter haints from entering their homes and causing trouble.

Why Does Haint Blue Repel Ghosts?

The Gullah believed that haints were afraid of water, so they painted their doors, window frames, shutters, and porch ceilings a watery shade of blue that would (hopefully!) repel any haints that approached their home with the intent of haunting it.

They also painted their porch ceilings a sky-blue color. By doing so, the Gullah hoped that haints would confuse the ceiling color with the sky and bypass their home entirely as they floated up into the ethereal blue color.

Haint Blue paint was a form of protection for the Gullah, and is such a charming tradition that Southern communities embraced it wholeheartedly. That’s why many porch ceilings throughout the south are painted a beautiful light blue-green, which has become known as “haint blue.”

Isn’t that the best ghost story ever?

3 Haint Blue Hues We Love

If you’d like to enjoy the tradition of painting your porch ceiling Haint Blue, Freeland Painting can help.

Three of the most inviting shades of Haint Blue that we use to ward off evil spirits on people’s porches are from Sherwin Williams:

Pool Blue:

The perfect watery blue.


A light blue with hints of gray.


A soft green-blue.

Added Benefit: Haint Blue May Repel Wasps

While we can’t find specific research to confirm it, many people believe that painting outdoor ceilings light blue helps to deter wasps from building their nests there. This belief may have started when paint was made from lime or lye, ingredients that repel insects. However, the paints we use today don’t contain lime or lye. If you have a porch ceiling painted Haint Blue and have noticed fewer insects as a result, please let us know!

Who Ya Gonna Call?

When you’re ready to paint your home or business, Freeland Painting is here to help! Call us today for a free, in-person estimate: 678.679.3126

While we don’t claim to be Ghostbusters, we certainly qualify as Peeling-Paintbusters!

Whether you choose Haint Blue or any other color that brings you joy, we’ll beautify your home while keeping you safe from the horrors of peeling and chipped paint.

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