Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

If It Haint Blue, Don't Paint It

"I want the body & trim white, the shutters
that very dark green that's almost black,
the front door mumble-mumble-mumble,
and the porch ceiling painted in
Benjamin Moore's Morning Sky Blue."

(Now why does this remind me of that famous scene
with Myrna Loy choosing colors in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House?)

And so began the painting of That Old House, 8 days ago. 

Update as of Friday --
Sanding and scraping: done!
Priming: pretty much done.
Painting: first coat of white on about 80% of the house.

Which is all pretty exciting, but what tickled me pink today was something very blue. 
Yesterday, the porch ceiling was primed, and looked like this:
Today, it looks like this:

It's blue!

Why blue? 

My mother thought all porch ceilings should be blue because of the legend that blue ceilings
fool bugs into thinking that there is just sky -- air -- above the porch, and they don't nest there.

In the South, there's an old custom of painting porch ceilings haint blue to keep away
or evil spirits -- haints can't cross water, and apparently aren't the brightest bulbs
in the porch lights if they mistake a blue ceiling for a body of water.  Duh.

Third reason?  That's just my personal one.  Blue is pretty, and calm,
looks like the sky (even if you are not a bug) and helps to make a front porch
the perfect spot to relax and have a morning cup of coffee or an evening apertif.
 It's just one coat so far.  But I love it.

It wasn't until after I'd chosen Morning Sky Blue for the porch ceiling that I realized
we'd used that same color out at the beach house for one of the bedrooms upstairs.
Former sewing room at beach house, now a guest room.  In Morning Sky Blue.
 A good color's a good color, you know?
 As for the color of the front door, I'm going to make you wait for that, for a full reveal.
I hope you like it; I've managed to convert my artist daughter Anne to my side.  Kind of.  Almost.

As for using haint blue paint to keep spirits away from
That Old House, we don't need to do that.
As long as they stop stealing our silverware.
More on that in another post. . . .
Have a wonderful weekend!
You won't believe what our calendar looks like for the next week, as we approach
The Wedding Day on June 25th.  That Old House is going to be crawling with workmen,
and Howard and I have our own projects in the works; check back to see if we get it all done!
   It's a good thing we work best under pressure!  -- Cass


  1. Hi Cass!!!!
    oh how I do love "visiting" with you!!
    always something happening!!
    am loving the porch..
    aaah that sky blue ceiling!!
    the grand lady is looking mighty spiffy..
    don't know which will be beaming the most..
    the house or the lovely bride..
    I shall return..
    bearing either morning coffee..
    or evening apertif..
    your choice!!
    warmest hugs..
    laughing smiles too!

  2. "That Old House" is going to be so "spiffy" looking in her new dress for the big day. :-D
    Enjoy your weekend.

  3. Exciting! I love the haint blue porch ceiling. I first heard about the tradition of painting the porch ceiling blue not that long ago and I've been wanting to that to ours. Ours is white. :-(

  4. I love blue ceilings -- our porches when I was a kid always had a blue ceiling and Linderhof's ceiling needs to be painted . . . and guess what color that's going to be!!!!

  5. I love the shade of blue for your porch. :)

  6. I love blue ceiling porches. Very southern of you too.

  7. I've heard this about blue ceilings and it makes perfect sense. And it looks wonderful, Cass! I can't wait to see the whole house when it's done! Hang in there! :-D


  8. It's such a calming color, and I like all those reasons to paint the ceiling blue ....
    It's going to look perfect for the wedding, and afterwards you can enjoy staring upwards, maybe even paint some darker blue stars for that evening effect !

  9. I love that pretty blue for your ceiling (and the room!). If I had a roof over my deck/porch I'd do that too. I'm looking forward to seeing the house all done. Have a great weekend!

  10. It's not the silverware in our house that disappears... it's the tupperware containers for leftovers. Where do they go for heaven sakes?

    I am in love with your blue ceiling... It's very calming and makes me want to sip on some ice tea with you while sitting there.


  11. There are about 8 million Haint Blue Porch Ceilings in the reason it can't look great in New Jersey too!

  12. I love that blue porch ceiling and will start worrying The Great Dane about re-painting ours....he's looking too settled!

  13. Looking forward to reading more...and what color will the door be?

  14. Case,
    You are just having too much fun. That Old House is looking marvelous and I love the blue ceiling. All of us in blogville are waiting to see the finished look.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. What great progress you are making!! It must feel as if you are living in an ant hill. Your porch ceiling is perfect ... it will reflect the color of the sunny sky into your interior rooms. You are keeping me motivated to push on with the design of my own porch.

    One week to go until Wedding Day. Breathe, Cass, breathe ... and enjoy the ride.

  16. looks fantastic! My neighbor always says she is going to paint her porch ceiling blue..

  17. Your wonderful, grand lady will be looking so good for Alida and Josh's special day. You've chosen just the right blue for the porch ceiling.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the new front door colour - am guessing it wont be luminous green or orange!

    Do please look after yourself in all the busy times you have just now, sending care and gentle huggles to you all (with big, soft pats for darling Dion),

    Michelle and Zebby Cat, down-under in New Zealand

  18. Looks like what we have been doing on our vacation!! Painting & painting & painting some more & just when you think it is all done painting some more......
    Come on over to my blog as I am having a Southern Belle Giveaway!!

  19. Love that blue porch ceiling! I heard that same reason except I heard birds, which doesn't make as much sense as bugs! Oh well. Can't wait to see the finished product!!

  20. Still love your old house (one old house owner to another). I always heard the blue ceiling stories here in the south too. Love your new blue ceiling. Looks cool and calming and restful, like a porch should, a place to sit and relax, read, visit, tell stories, have weddings... Hope you get done all you need before the great day!

  21. I just love blue porch ceilings. My house has siding (gasp!), and the porch ceiling is siding material too, so no blue ceiling for me. Unless I paint the siding. I'm thinking the husband would not go for that.

  22. That blue is pretty. May I ask what specific colors the trim (white) and siding (yellowish) are?

    1. Hi -- Both trim and siding of our house are just plain old White. I just told our painter, use whatever Benjamin Moore exterior white you choose -- and he did. The yellowish color of the siding in the pictures is actually the primer, with some of the deeper yellow of the old color of the house glowing through.

      I just had to paint this house in pure white -- it was as if I wanted to get down to her bone structure! Plus, we discovered that her original paint job was white, so it's a bit of a restoration as well.

      Thanks for visiting!

  23. I love the blue ceiling. It must make a lovely reflection inside.

    Another wedding!!! Oh, the blessings continue.


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.