5 Best Porch Ceiling Paint Colors, According to Interior Designers

Plus, why so many porches are painted blue—especially in the South.

Light blue painted porch
Photo: Evan Sklar / GETTY IMAGES

Painted porch ceilings are as southern as ice-cold sweet tea. And if you've ever sipped tea on a southern porch, you may have noticed the playful blue ceiling above you. This unique home detail is a long-standing tradition—one that's been practiced for generations. But it wasn't born out of a popular exterior design trend: Painted porch ceilings are actually rooted in superstition. As the story goes, homeowners would paint these overhangs "haint" blue to scare away spirits that couldn't cross the water-like shade.

Today, families keep the tradition alive, not because they're afraid of ghosts, but because they love the light, airy vibe and interest it lends the entrance of their homes, says Virginia Cheek, interior designer and owner of Virginia Cheek Designs. Plus, it doesn't cost much to execute, and when it's done right, notes Cheek, the colorful ceiling looks like an intentional part of the home's design. "Coordinating the porch ceiling color with furnishings and fabrics creates curb appeal and offers a welcoming spot to unwind with guests," she says.

"Your porch is an extension of your home, so I always approach the design of a porch in the same way I would a living area," says says Grey Joyner of Grey Joyner Interiors, based in Wilson, N.C. "Painted ceilings, window frames, and doors are all fair game—I love to play off of the colors of the furniture, surroundings, and interior of the home when considering the outdoor paint colors."

Regardless of the color you choose, it's important to use a high-quality exterior paint; porch ceilings are well protected from the elements, but they are still susceptible to moisture and debris. Tackle the process with the best possible formula and you'll be able to enjoy the overhead view for years to come.

White painted front porch
Robert Daly / GETTY IMAGES

Popular Porch Ceiling Paint Colors


Historically, light blue is the go-to porch ceiling paint color—and for good reason. It mimics the natural sky and makes a covered porch feel open and inviting. However, it's important to find a shade that speaks to you and your house's locale.


Second in popularity to blue is white, which allows homeowners to create a seamless look, especially if the walls and trim are already cream-colored. If you choose to go white, select bold furniture and let those details make a splash.


Cheek recommends connecting the ceiling's paint color with your surroundings. "In a wooded mountain home, a gray-green color like Benjamin Moore's Army Green (2141-30) would be beautiful," she says.


If you want to step outside of the box with another earth tone, consider terracotta, like Farrow & Ball's No. G15. The richer the hue, the better, says Joyner. This type of color is calming, yet eye-catching in contrast to a white exterior paint. "It's possible to infuse bold color into a space without making it feel too busy or overpowering," says Joyner. "That's the beauty of design!"


Consider a bright hue for the front porch ceiling that makes you feel welcome and at home, says Alexandra Peck, the owner and principal of Alexandra Peck Design. "If your home is primarily white, applying pale yellow paint, such as Benjamin Moore's Lemon Glow 2025-60, on your porch's ceiling would make for a lovely accent," she says. "Yellow, being the color of the sun, makes us feel happy, easy-going, and warm."

Don't Forget the Floor

For a cohesive look, paint your porch's floor, as well. Though your floor will likely require more maintenance over time—the space is, of course, a highly trafficked area and is prone to wear and tear—the result is worth it.

Don't want to handle that upkeep? Cheek actually prefers a more muted, natural look below. "If you're going to paint the ceiling, I'd recommend keeping a natural wood tone on the floor," she says. "A painted ceiling with wood floors and white trim is a great combination."

Accessorize Your Space

Design the rest of your porch the way you would your living room, and consider incorporating a rich mix of materials within the space. Combine wood, metal, and wicker outdoor pieces for a collected look, and add a textural rug to anchor the color up above. "A nice outdoor rug can really elevate the look of a porch," Cheek says. "I recommend a durable indoor-outdoor rug that will look great from season to season." Pair the rug and furnishings with a few throw pillows (dressed in durable fabrics) for polish.

Updated by
Nashia Baker
Nashia Baker, Associate Digital Editor for Martha Stewart
Nashia Baker is a skilled writer and editor in the journalism industry, known for her work interviewing global thought leaders, creatives, and activists, from Aurora James to Stacey Abrams. She has over five years of professional experience and has been a part of the Martha Stewart and Martha Stewart Weddings teams for the last 3 years.
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