Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Haint Scared of No Ghosts

From the beginning I have called our sun room the solarium. Sun room and solarium mean the same thing, but solarium just sounds so much fancier and pretty. The problem is, for 9 months the solarium has been a dirt pit, a construction zone and a storage area, basically the complete opposite of fancy and pretty.

With our deck now so inviting and awesome thanks to our new outdoor kitchen and TV additions, it was a shame to have the bridge between our deck and our house be such a blah space. So, we decided project-solarium was up next.

Let me re-acquaint you with the space: 

The sun room sits between the living room and the deck. The room is airy and bright and full of light thanks to all of the windows. While I love white, this room needed some color. Lucky for us we'd had a partial plan brewing for this space for sometime and this plan involved using Haint Blue, ever heard of it?

Haint Blue has a rich history here in the south. If you've ever visited the south, specifically coastal towns like Charleston or Savannah you may have noticed a light blue/green/aqua color painted on the front porch roofs of many of the homes - that color is Haint Blue.

Haint Blue was created by African slaves known as "Gullah people"who worked in rice fields in South Carolina and Georgia. These Gullah's were fearful of haints (or haunts), which were spirits trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. The only defense they had against the evil spirits was the haints' inability to cross water. So, to protect themselves and their families, the Gullah's would dig a pit in the ground and fill it with milk, lime and whatever other pigments were lying around.  This mixture would create "milk paint". Once all the ingredients had been added, the mixture would be stirred around, creating this light blue color, and then applied to every window and door opening of their homes. The idea was that the haints would be fooled by this blue paint, thinking it was water and poof they would leave.

And that's not all... Haint Blue has even more mystery in it's origin. It has been commonly believed that the blue color keeps bugs away. As I researched Haint Blue and it's history, I found that it's not the color that deterred the insects but the ingredients in the mixture. As the Gullah's would make their Haint Blue in pits in the ground, the mixture often contained lime which is a common ingredient in insect repellent. Because the milk paint would fade over time it would have to be touched up every year or so, which is why it did in fact help keep away the bugs. However, today most of us rely on our friends Benjamin and Sherwin for paint mixing and lime is no longer included, thus, Haint Blue sadly does not possess the power of bug repellent. However some may still argue the bugs, much like the haints, may also confuse the blue ceiling with the sky and decide to hangout elsewhere...That theory is still up for debate...

Southerner's love tradition and the history of Haint Blue is no exception. The Haint Blue legend has been passed down  from generation to generation. Today, you will see porch ceilings, door frames, window sills, shutters and front doors displaying the Haint Blue hue.

.... And that was my long winded way of telling you that the first part of our plan was to paint our sun room ceiling Haint Blue. I mean, it was kind of a no-brainer. The room came with a bead board ceiling and with all this new found Haint Blue knowledge it just seemed like the perfect way to add a little southern charm to our home.

There is no one paint known as Haint Blue, there are a lot of options out there. As I mentioned above, the color is anything from a light blue to an aqua/green. After a little research, we settled on Martha Stewart's Aegean Blue MSL118. 

Photo from Google.
When we closed our eyes and thought of Haint Blue this is the color we saw - a nice light blue. Martha's Aegean Blue fit the bill so the choice was easy.

If you've ever painted a ceiling you know what a pain it is. Constantly looking up with your arms extended really starts to ware on the body. Let's just say it will give you a new found respect for Michelangelo ASAP. This was our third ceiling we've painted in this house, but our first textured one. I can now say textured = WAY harder. 

I got things started by going along all of the edges with a brush, while Brent went over the rest of the ceiling with a roller. One would think this was enough, but no... I had to go back over the entire ceiling again to fill in all of these little gaps.

Oh and there was a fan. My patience was shot at this point so Brent took over...

When it was all said and done, we were really happy with the results....Voila:

Now that's a happy ceiling! We have some other plans for this space but we thought it made the most sense to start at the top of the room and work our way down. Good thing we got this painted before Halloween. I don't need any evil spirits visiting my house! 

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own.

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