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My Finished Tongue-and-Groove Haint Blue Porch Ceiling

I was beginning to think I’d never get this front porch ceiling done! I generally enjoy at least part of the process of the the projects I tackle, but there was absolutely nothing pleasurable about this one, except for the moment that I put that final brush stroke of paint on it and could call it finished. I think it was a combination of working on a project that was over my head (literally, not metaphorically, and I hate working over my head day after day after day), and the over-100-degree weather.

But it’s finished. I got the tongue-and-groove pine boards installed, the ceiling trimmed out, and the entire thing painted. Here’s how it looks now…

This porch is quite the upgrade from the original porch, which looked like this…

The original ceiling sat right at the top of the doors and windows…

So when I had the new Hardi plank siding installed last summer, I had them remove the aluminum siding, shiplap siding, and needlessly low framing on the ceiling, which left a slightly vaulted look…

It’s amazing how adding just those 10 or so inches of space totally got rid of the cave-like feel of the porch ceiling.

I didn’t want Hardi boards installed on the front porch roof or on the porch posts, so I told them to leave those areas unfinished so I could do them myself. I got the posts wrapped wrapped back in March (you can see that process here), and the ceiling was the last major porch project.

I wanted the ceiling boards to go perpendicular to the boards on the porch floor, so my brother and I installed these 2 x 4 spacers between the existing rafters so that I’d have something to nail the ceiling boards to.

And then I used 2.5-inch 16-gauge nails to install the pine tongue-and-groove boards.

After all of the boards were up, I trimmed around them with 1″ x 2″ PVC boards (because they match the texture of the Hardi trim without the pain of working with concrete fiber products and without the need for the special coil nail gun that I don’t own and didn’t want to rent).

I mixed my own paint color for the ceiling, but I only had enough paint for one coat, so I had to have it color matched to get more paint. The Home Depot color matcher did a pretty good job, and this is the formula it gave for the color…

That formula ended up being just a tiny bit lighter and brighter than my original color, so I dumped the gallon of paint into a two-gallon bucket and mixed in about 6 ounces of a medium teal paint that I had on hand, and it turned out just like I wanted it.

It’s just blue enough to look blue against the white trim, but it’s not so blue that it looks like it belongs in a child’s room.

I’m so glad to have this project in my rear view mirror. Now this porch just needs a few more touchups, some cleaning, and then I can add some chairs, potted plants, and other decorative stuff give it some life and personality.

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  1. LURVE IT!!! I just lurve it!!! the perfect color blue and what a transformation…Enjoy your porch (once it cools off) 🙂

  2. What a lovely color. It must feel amazing to have this area looking so nice. Great curb appeal!

  3. Kristi, this looks amazing. Love, love, love the blue color!! You really need a line of Kristi’s Paints!!! Even though this has been a tough over head job for you, you once again have done it to perfection! Kudos to you, well done! Your front porch will be the talk of your neighbors and even more so once you’ve furnished it. I can see hours of enjoyment out on your porch!

  4. Another great job! Would love to see an After pic from the viewpoint of the Before pic you have above (2nd pic).

    1. When my porch is completely finished, I’ll try to do a much better job at taking the “after” pics from the same angles as the original pics. 🙂 I like seeing before and afters from the same angle as well.

  5. Looking GREAT! Kudos to you for working in that heat. I’m sure you and Matt will enjoy being out there in the Fall.

  6. Love the shade of blue!

    Consider painting the boards for the carport before installing them. Painting that overhead would be hellish.

  7. Beautiful ! As is everything you do.
    But question….you mentioned that the colour match was not quite right so you just added 6 ounces of another colour to get it to where YOU want it. And i know you do this quite often when you are not happy with a colour. My question….HOW do you know ‘What colour to add to get the paint to where YOU want it to be?” I have a gallon of paint that is just not quite right…it is too blue..and I would like to change it… to a grey…Is that possible? Would adding black change it to a colour that I may like. And I don’t want to buy more paints…but you can get those little acrylic bottles of paint at the $1 store….can you add just that to the paint? And, how do you know how much to add? Can you mix ‘sheens’?
    Thanks for your help and / or advice.
    Love your designs!!!

    1. It’s almost always possible to change the color of paint if you’re not satisfied with it. Now one thing you can do is just take the paint back to the store, tell them what it is that you’re not satisfied with, and have them add a bit more colorant to correct the problem. In your case, I’d have them add just a touch of black. Or you can do this yourself if you have black paint. The thing you have to be very careful about when mixing in leftover paints as opposed to the colorants that the store uses is that your mixed paints are already made up of several colors that you may not be able to see when you open the can, but when you start lightening those colors, or adding them to other colors to change those paint colors, the undertones will start to become more visible. That may or may not be desirable.

      For example, I bought an black Behr paint once, and as I painted my wall with it, the wall looked blue. Very dark blue. But then as it dried, it looked black. Well, I looked at the label and sure enough, that paint color did actually have quite a bit of blue in it. So if you were to take a color like that and add it to your blue paint that you want to turn more gray, it probably wouldn’t work out like you had hoped just because the black also has so much blue in it. However, if you had pure black (meaning that black is literally the only colorant in the can), then that would work. Your blue might still end up being a blue-gray color, depending on what color you’re starting out with, but the pure black would simply darken it and make it more of a grayed blue.

      I generally try not to mix brands if I can avoid it, but of course, sometimes it can’t be avoided if I’m going to get the exact color I want. I’ve honestly never run into any problem resulting from mixing brands. Mixing in the little acrylic paints is definitely something that I would try, but I’m kind of a risk taker. 🙂 Those are acrylic paints, and Behr paint (and several other brands) is 100% acrylic, so they should mix just fine.

      Now mixing sheens is another story. You can do it, but it will definitely affect your paint. If you’re trying to get a matte finish, and you start mixing paints in with a higher sheen, you won’t end up with a matte finish.

      As far as how much to add, just keep in mind that you can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s been added and mixed in. So just add a little at a time until you start to get the result you want.

  8. Looks beautiful!! Have you, or will you put any kind of sealer on the porch floor? We are redoing our deck and didnt know if we should seal it.

    1. Having had wooden decks for years they do need to be sealed. My suggestion is to go to a paint store or Home Depot or Lowe’s if you have them and talk to the paint experts. They can help you get exactly the type of stain/sealer you need based on the type of wood used on your deck as well as what will achieve the look you are going for. I think you will find there are more options than you ever expected. The selection has really broadened over the last decade. You will also have to maintain the deck by resealing every three years or so based on the type of sealer and the weather it has to withstand. I’m in the South and our decks here have to withstand lots of heat and humidity. You can also find lots of really expert info on the internet on how to maintain a deck included info for your specific area and climate conditions. Hope this helps some!

  9. This update really transforms your house, it is lovely. After all the hard work comes the fun part for you; decorating and adding personality. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Congratulations on a job well done.

  10. It’s nice! I like the color – not that I can tell the true shade on the computer, but what I’m seeing is a soft blue with a hint of teal. Whew! Another job done!

  11. Everything has come together so nicely. So sorry for the tedious over the head work… that would be especially unbearable in such heat. Hopefully that lovely cool blue color helped. 😉
    I know you don’t use drop cloths… but just to save yourself that tedious clean up… it would seem like it would be so worth trying. We often us the paper that you buy in large rolls to lay on the floor to catch our messes. We don’t get “caught” in them like the canvas or plastic when we tape them down. That little extra work makes clean-up a breeze.
    Looking forward to see how you style the porch.

    1. Oh, I actually did use a big canvas drop cloth while painting the porch ceiling. And even so, I still managed to get some drips of paint on the floor. 🙂 I hate drop cloths. I always trip on them, and still manage to make a mess.

  12. Just gorgeous….love it! You may have wanted an outdoor ceiling fan though. So very pretty! Have you crossed it off your “to do” list yet?

  13. It’s wonderful! I love it.

    And thanks so much for the previous information on “Haint Blue” porches. Reminded me of my daddy, a great storyteller, and the haint stories he would tell that scared us half to death.

    I had no idea about that southern tradition, I just remembered all the porches I recalled from my childhood had blue ceilings. At my previous home, we painted our porch ceiling light blue because it looked and felt right and now I know why!
    Here’s to sitting and sipping…Enjoy!

  14. Great job as usual! You may have already addressed this in another post, but I was wondering if there is a reason for the open space between the trim on the top of your columns and where they meet the top of the porch? With our famous Texas mud-daubers, that space will be filled up in no time! 🙂 🙂

    1. The actual posts go all the way up. But the Hardi boards were installed so that they have a drip edge on the front and back sides of that part of the roof, and that hangs down about 1/2-inch or maybe a little more. So that’s as far up as I could put the trim at the top of the columns. I do plan on filling it in with something, but I keep forgetting. I don’t want to provide any convenient spots for mud daubers, wasps, or bees to make their home. 🙂

  15. I love it! So happy for you to be able to cross that off your list! I would suggest a retro stand fan for the porch. We debated the expense of a ceiling fan but found that the stand fan was inexpensive and it blew on us and did not just stir the air. And it is decorative and easy to store! You could sit outside in the evening and enjoy your porch after you decorate!

    1. We do the same thing, Sheila. We can direct the air in any direction we want.

      Kristi, your porch transformation is another amazing accomplishment. Wish I had your energy and vision! Absolutely love it!

  16. Kristi,
    I love the porch and how you resolved the ends. The blue color is beautiful, and I can’t wait to see the porch all decorated. It’s amazing to go back and look at all the projects you have completed, and the changes you have made in your home. As usual, I stand in awe of your creativity and skills. Take time and enjoy your results and relax for the weekend.

  17. Kristi, the porch looks amazing! And I love the color of blue you ended up with. May I ask which teal paint you added to the paint you had color matched at Home Depot? It’s really just perfect! XO

  18. Nothing left to say except…OUTSTANDING! I believe there are no adjectives left to compliment you and all the projects you have worked on over the years! Best Wishes, Kristi!

  19. I’m so glad you could cross this off your list. What a great feeling. It looks simply beautiful.

  20. It looks very nice and I’m confident it will keep the evil spirits from crossing your threshold.

  21. Excellent. Beautiful color, amazing porch.

    I’m curious. I just painted entire inside of house including the ceilings. Was doing a touch of matching. Asked about dumping some leftover paints together for doing the inside of the garage. I was told NOT to do so. Reasoning was the chemistry and sheens of the different paints would potentially result in streakiness, differences in the result, not truly “live” well together even if I thought I mixed well.

    Have you ever had issues mixing paints? I have had great success using Sherwin Williams, have even covered dark colors in one coat.

    You have my sympathy doing the overhead work, it is so fatiguing and straining.

    Are you going to do the underside of the carport HAINT blue?

    1. i’ve never once had a problem mixing paints. Now I have affected the sheen of the paint by mixing in others, but that’s to be expected if you start with a matte and start mixing in satin paints or vice versa.

      I am going to do the carport ceiling haint blue, as well as the little portico ceiling.

  22. At first when I read, “over my head”, I was thinking you meant it was difficult. My first thought was nothing is too difficult for you! You are amazing and I love the blue ceiling. Visiting Savannah this summer, the guide told us a blue ceiling was a southern thing. I love to see the transition pictures! Can’t wait to see what is coming next!

  23. I love the colour you chose – it’s the perfect blue for a ceiling! I’ll be waiting patiently to see how you decorate the front porch now (specifically: how to tackle furniture placement on a long skinny porch). xx

  24. Kristi, its PERFECT! I think dumping the teal in it totally added that touch that is truly a “southern porch ceiling blue”. It always has that tiny touch of green that you don’t really see but makes all the difference. This is just like I grew up with and currently have on my covered porch ceiling. I love how your porch turned out. Way to go, girl.

  25. Congrats on getting it done Kristi. You have finished up a lot lately! I am sure it feels great. Working above your head is hard work. Great idea to paint the other boards on the porches before install. What a difference in the before and after.

  26. Another WOW project, Kristi! It turned out beautifully, as does everything you touch!

    That color is gorgeous. As a lover all sea-inspired colors, it is right up my alley. Since you mixed this paint up as a one-of-a-kind using your special color skills, I think a great name for it would be “Kristi’s ‘Haint-Be-Gone’ Blue.” I have every bit of faith that it will work as a top-notch haint banisher!

  27. Girl, you are some kinda talented! This whole transformation has been amazing and I have enjoyed seeing it! Love the blue ceiling and your door is gorgeous! Keep up the good work and can’t wait to see your next project!!!

  28. Kristi,
    Your porch ceiling looks wonderful.
    Did you use anything to seal your wood from knot and tannin bleedthrough? We had our upper deck updated with a roof. Just finished on Friday. The contractor used pine T & G on ceiling and sides with exposed beams. My plan was to paint it all white, but now I’m thinking that perhaps the pine was a poor choice. Seems you can`t cover/seal the entire surface with a shellac based primer as I had planned, only spot prime the knots. Found this out after doing additional research. Shellac is not recommended outside due to it’s reaction in high temps. Tried to check into other sealers, but seems as if there is no guarantee that there will be no bleedthrough at some point. That according to posts other than the product website. Don’t want that yellowish look down the road weeks or months from now, along with brown knots peeking out. Did not realize pine was such a problem tannin wise.
    Hope you used a sealer and can pass that along.

    1. I didn’t use a sealer on mine. I just used exterior paint right over the raw wood. But if I were going to prime it first, I’d use Zinsser oil-based cover stain. It’s pretty much the only primer/undercoat that I’ll use. I’ve never had bleedthrough on any project, on any wood, when I’ve used it in the past. And I’ve been using it for years.

      1. Kristi,
        Thought I’d give you an update on our deck ceiling. The painter just finished last week. Used your suggested primer and the white rafters look wonderful. Decide to stain the T & G a teak color to match our furniture. You were so kind to take the time to answer my question.
        Your website is an absolute dream! So organized. It’s a joy to page through.
        Again thanks so much for your time and kindness.