November 19, 2007

Beyond repair?

Filed under: Homes — lessie @ 1:06 pm

Walking along River Street, I passed this old home. The front is not terribly impressive, but the details caught my interest. For example, the porch ceiling is painted blue. A traditional accent — the why of it has slipped my memory. Does anyone know? More details are here.


  1. I hope it is not beyond repair. Also, I will check back to see if a reader responds to why the porch ceiling is painted blue. You have my curiosity aroused.

    Comment by Denton — November 19, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

  2. It has been a tradition to paint porch ceilings blue to give the feeling of openess in imitation of the sky. This technique was also done in interior rooms.
    Just from the photo, I would say that the structure may be sound by the fact that there is no sagging evident, but it appears that some trim/fascia boards may need to be replaced. To test this, try seeing if a screwdriver sinks into the wood with a light push. Is that a gutter on the building? It may not be getting water away.

    Comment by frankschulteladbeck — November 19, 2007 @ 8:27 pm

  3. It’s a tradition to paint them blue because… and this is most likely the actual reason, the particular color being called Fly Blue.. supposedly it keeps flies down/away that would normally cluster on the ceiling- the blue makes the bugs think it’s open sky, which apparently doesn’t interest them as much as being under a roof. I painted my porch ceiling this color last year and can report that it actually SEEMS to work.. not scientific proof, but there did seem to be fewer bugs hanging out. It’s a lovely house- i hope someone can fix it back up to what it once was. Reminds me of the This Old House magazine back page feature, which is usually a photo of a grand old place gone to disrepair and being sold for $1 to whomever can move it somewhere so whatever town it’s in can use the space for something else..

    Comment by annie — November 20, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

  4. I think you may be right about the exterior porch and the fly blue. My information came when I was exploring some old homes in the Texas Hill Country, and this was the answer I received. I know that this practice extends throughout the South, and I thought that I saw it in New England. I am glad it works. I like the old fly jars myself; they seem better than many of the alternative methods for insect control.

    Comment by frankschulteladbeck — November 21, 2007 @ 11:41 am

  5. Oh I hope someone restores it, love the pictures on here.

    I had two homes that I painted the porch ceilings blue, I always heard it was so bees would think it was the sky and not build their nests there. But on my last one which was not screened in they made their nest there anyway!

    Comment by Vickie — January 21, 2008 @ 5:09 am

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