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If you love history, home decor, and porches then you will love learning about the haint blue paint colors that people for centuries have put on their outdoor porch ceiling. This post is a list of popular sky blue paint colors and a touch of history behind why this tradition became so favored.

Best haint blue paint colors featuring Blue Heron by Duron Sherwin Williams

Haint Blue Paint Colors

Before we jump into some history let's talk about the best haint blue paint colors. Most paint companies have a few great sky blue paint color formulas but Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have many favorites.

Blue Heron by Duron at Sherwin Williams

Best haint blue paint colors featuring Blue Heron by Duron Sherwin Williams

In this photo of our screened in back porch, I found the perfect color by Duron which is a Sherwin Williams paint for our porch ceiling. This is from the Charleston Collection and the ceiling color is Blue Heron DCR 054.

I love the soft blue tone that mimics the sky and matches just about everything. I have decorated this room for holidays like the 4th of July and Christmas and still, the ceiling color is a great match.

This color also doesn't scream that there is a blue on the ceiling. It blends in with the sky outside and lifts the porch ceiling up so that when you are sitting there it doesn't feel like there is a ceiling at all.

To see more photos of our back porch check out my screened in porch decorating ideas post.

Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore

Best haint blue paint colors featuring Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore on a front door porch

If you are a fan of a more blue-green tone for a porch ceiling look at Wythe Blue HC-143 by Benjamin Moore. I used it on my front door which you will find more photos of in my Spring porch decorating ideas post.

This color looks fabulous on a ceiling. It has a smooth blue tone with a hint of green. It was Benjamin Moore's color of the year several years ago.

Atmospheric by Sherwin Williams

Best haint blue paint colors featuring Atomospheric by Sherwin Williams on a front door porch.
Simply Southern Cottage

Another beautiful haint paint color is Sherwin Williams Atmospheric SW 6505. I think the name explains it enough.

Just like my back porch color Atmospheric has a light and airy feel. Look how lovely it is on this porch ceiling. It is just the right amount of blue to give you that illusion of the sky.

Can you tell I am giving clues to why people a long time again painted their ceiling blue? Well, hang around to see why at the end of this post but for now let's look at more ideas.

Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams

Best haint blue paint colors featuring Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams on a front door porch.  This porch is from the color concierge. Photo by M. Camilli

Did you know that the Sherwin Williams color Sea Salt SW 6204 is a great deal like Wythe Blue in that it has some green undertones? This is a fine color for a porch ceiling, exterior, and front door.

Sea Salt is such a popular color that it made my Popular Sherwin Williams paint colors post and the best Sherwin William Exterior paint colors. It really is a great color and perfect for coastal homes too.

Window Pane by Sherwin Williams

Haint blue porch ceiling in color Window Pane by Sherwin Williams

Here is another fabulous sky blue ceiling color called Window Pane SW 6210 by Sherwin Williams. Again this name lends to the feeling of a beautiful southern home. Can you imagine the sky reflecting off of a window pane? This ceiling color is just the right amount of blue to ward off any pests.

I have one more color idea to share and then we are on to a little history lesson.

Harbor Haze by Benjamin Moore

Haint blue porch ceiling in color Harbor Haze by Benjamin Moore

Now if you want a little more pizzazz to your haint blue color then Harbor Haze BM 2136-60 by Benjamin Moore is your color. This rich blue sky kind of day ceiling will really show off your porch to travelers and friends.

There are so many options for Benjamin Moore haint blue colors but this one is a personal favorite if you like a brighter blue sunny day look.

History Behind Haint Blue Porch Ceilings

Now for the fun part. Well, actually this whole post has been fun but which color are you going to pick out? I will help with that in the conclusion but let me share with you why blue porch ceilings are so popular in the south.

If you ride around Savannah, Georgia or Charleston, South Carolina you will see loads and loads of old historic homes with blue porch ceilings. You will also see many different shades of blues.

Well, from what I understand the “haint blue” porch ceiling tradition was brought over by slaves. We do not know for sure why but according to history there are two possible reasons.

The first reason has to do with spirits. You see people used to believe that spirits could not pass over the ocean. So slaves painted their interior ceiling, porch ceilings, exterior door, shutters blue to keep bad spirits from crossing into their homes.

Haint blue ceiling in the Owen Thomas home.
Owen Thomas House

The other possibility had to do with insects. The blue porch ceiling would confuse the spiders, mosquitoes, bees and such from building their homes along with the porch ceiling. This theory doesn't seem to work now so we believe that maybe the lime in the paint long ago is why the insects didn't make a home on the porches. But again it seems confusion is a key part in sky blue ceiling color.

If you want to know more about haint blue porch ceilings then check out my friend Mary's Haint Blue Porch Paint post. She has some great details about why there are different colors of blue and a little history behind each color.

How to Pick the Best Haint Blue Color

Now that I have given you some colors to choose from and a little history, which makes this haint blue ceiling thing even sweeter, let's talk about the best color for you.

Just about any color house will match any of these sky blue colors. So, picking the right haint blue paint color is a matter of personal preference. Go outside your home and look at the sky. Do you tend to see more blue sky's or are you near the ocean where you might see a little green in the blue?

I suggest depending on the kind of sky in your area will depend on the blue. Where I live in the south and not to close to the ocean I see more of a rich blue blue tone. If that is the case for you then narrow down the blue colors.

Next, let's talk about your porch. My porch is closed in on three sides. So I went with a light blue tone. To refresh your memory it was Blue Heron by Duron. But if your porch is open on three sides then you can go brighter or deeper in color.

The main thing is to think about your space. What color will fade away into the sky and almost disappear?


Let's wrap up because I can imagine you are getting excited about painting your porch ceiling and want to get started.

What is the best paint for porch ceilings?

Here is a last minute tip. I am a fan of Sherwin Williams and since it is time to repaint my porch ceiling I asked for the best paint that will also help keep mildew away. They recommended Resilience exterior acrylic latex. I recommend a satin finish that gives you a matte look that is still washable.

Occasionally I have to wipe down my ceiling and I use a little bleach and water on a rag. It works like a charm and removes mildew. But for the most part, this paint helps keep the mildew at bay.

Update: Last summer I visited Charleston, SC where there are many haint blue porch ceilings. Here are a few porches I added to my Instagram stories. There are many more photos of houses if you would like to see them in my stories.

Haint blue porch ceiling in Charleston South Caroline
Sky blue porch ceiling

Sorry for the filter on the photos but I think you will enjoy seeing more in Life on Summerhill Instagram stories hightlight.

I hope this post has helped and encouraged you to add some architectural history to your home. If you're looking for ideas on how to spruce up your porch ceiling, check out my post on the best porch ceiling ideas. I would love to hear which color you selected in the comments below or which porch inspired you the most.

Happy Decorating!

Tonya Morgan

Wednesday 24th of November 2021

Hi, I am planning to use the Blue Heron color on my screen porch ceiling. Can you tell me what your porch wall color is? I really like that.

Linda McDonald

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

If my memory serves me correctly the color is Extra White by Sherwin Williams.


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

[…] This simple white hanging bed swing is accented with rope that twists up the chains that hold it. If you follow the rope up toward the ceiling, you'll notice the beautiful blue hue that the ceiling has been painted. We did the same on our porch and wrote all about it over on this post. […]


Wednesday 25th of September 2019

Hello! I was looking on the Sherwin-Williams website and I am not able to find the Blue Heron paint color. Am I missing something? Thanks!

Linda McDonald

Thursday 26th of September 2019

This is a very good question. Blue Heron is a Duran paint color and Sherwin Williams carries Duran. Look for Duran paint colors and you should find it or go to Sherwin Williams and they will pull it for you. If you still have trouble let me know.


Sunday 23rd of June 2019

I appreciate this post, Linda. It's nice to know that there's more than once choice when it comes to choosing a blue porch ceiling paint. But as you say, just about any shade of these blues will go with anyone's home because it's like matching to nature.

Linda McDonald

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

Thank you Mary! I am glad you like the post. Thank you again for letting me share your link and all its wonderful history about haint blue.

Carol A Akers

Saturday 15th of June 2019

The blues are so pretty! I never knew the tradition. When I get my house, shortly, this will be on my list!

Linda McDonald

Tuesday 18th of June 2019

Awe! I love that you are going to do a blue ceiling on your porch. I would love to see a photo after it is finished. Thank you for sharing!