This past weekend I pledged to tackle one of the tasks on my daunting To Do list. I’ve been meaning to paint the porch ceiling blue for quite some time. Blue porch ceilings are a bit of a Southern tradition that reportedly comes with benefits – they’re said to keep wasps and spiders from taking up residence in the corners of the porch (which would be awfully nice given the wildlife that seems to be attracted to our porch) and blue porch ceilings are also said to keep away evil spirits. I don’t know how much time I spend worrying about evil spirits, but if a blue porch ceiling keeps them away, then I suppose that’s an added bonus. (This is totally off topic, but not long after we moved into our house one of our neighbors asked us how we were settling in and then asked if the house was haunted. Say what?! I replied no and then asked why she had asked. She said, “No reason.” Uh, yeah, right. I’m still trying to find out what she knows about this house that we don’t.) Anyhow, the porch. I decided to paint it blue simply because I thought it would be fun and different.
I did a lot of online research trying to find recommendations for exactly which blue paint to use. I was hoping to see pictures of blue porch ceilings with accompanying notes like, “The ceiling is painted in Sherwin Williams’ Ice Blue.” Or, “I painted my porch ceiling in Olympic’s Lotsa Blue and it is stunning.” Or ideally something like, “Never use anything but Benjamin Moore’s Blue Porch Ceiling for your porch.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any guidance so I was pretty much on my own. As I mentioned in Friday’s post, to help me decide on a color, I gathered a heck of a lot of Behr paint chips and taped them up on the porch near the ceiling.
Lined up in this way, I quickly eliminated colors that looked too light or too dark. I also eliminated ones that looked too green or too gray. Mark’s input on the subject was that he really didn’t want a blue that “looked like the bottom of a pool.” Hmm, that would eliminate most of the paint options. Ultimately, I settled on this color called Serene Sky:
I’d really like to say that I wasn’t heavily influenced by the name of the paint, but I was. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want their blue porch ceiling to appear like a serene sky?
So off I went to Home Depot to get a quart of Serene Sky in exterior paint (with primer built-in) in satin finish. Several weeks passed, and I decided that this weekend would offer the fantastic weather to paint the porch ceiling. We had a glorious weekend, perfect for outdoor projects.
On Saturday morning, I gave the entire ceiling a good scrubbing with a sponge dipped in warm soapy water. I let it dry for several hours. Then I put up some painter’s tape around the edges of the porch and broke out the paint and paintbrush. It didn’t take me more than a few brushes of the paint to know I didn’t like the color. I asked Mark for his opinion and he was equally unenthusiastic about it. We decided to paint a big chunk of the ceiling in two coats of the Serene Sky just to give it a good chance to grow on us. But it was obvious that Serene Sky was just a bit too, well, cheery for us. I’m not sure how to describe it other than too cheery. It’s not that it was a bad color, it’s just that it looked completely out of place on our house.
So we gathered all the other paint chips I’d collected and sorted through them again. This time, we were drawn to the grayer blues since Serene Sky had taught us that we’re not really cheery blue people (and our house turns out not to be cheery either). We narrowed it down to two alternatives: Cool Sky and, good grief, a color called Cloudy Day.
Cool Sky was nice, but it seemed pretty darn close to Serene Sky. Over and over, our eyes kept being drawn to Cloudy Day. But could we really trade Serene Sky for Cloudy Day? Really? I am endeavoring to reform my pessimistic tendencies, but choosing Cloudy Day over Serene Sky just seemed like throwing in the towel.
In the end, I just had to admit that I’m more a Cloudy Day kinda gal than I am Serene Sky. So yesterday morning we headed back to Home Depot and bought a quart of Cloudy Day. Holding my breath, I painted a big block of Cloudy Day on the porch ceiling right next to the Serene Sky block to see how we liked it. The result: it was so much better (although I fully realize that the picture below doesn’t do justice to the incessant cheeriness of Serene Sky versus the subtle warmth of Cloudy Day).
But by the time I had painted just the test block of Cloudy Day, most of the afternoon was shot so I still haven’t finished painting the front porch ceiling. While I’d like to finish painting as soon as possible because it really looks awful at the moment with two big blotches of blue (and one of them is the way too cheery Serene Sky), I am not sure when I’ll be able to get to it. Hopefully next weekend’s weather will be as nice as this weekend’s, filled with a serene sky and not a glimpse of a cloudy day. Oh, wait.
*Photo of Serene Sky paint chip taken from Home Depot’s website, found here.