Blue-Green Barnwood Porch Ceiling; Our Twist on 'Haint' Blue

4 Materials
3 Days

Starting with a blank slate — literally no ceiling at all after removing the lath on our Victorian porch — we've now built a new ceiling with barnwood planks painted sea blue-green with one-coat chalk paint. See our longer video here on our YouTube channel.

The longer video link is above

We have a lot more work to do on this gingerbread porch, but we're so happy to have the ceiling installed and painted a wonderful shade of blue green like a stormy version of the classic 'Haint Blue'.

Here's how the new ceiling looked before we attached a new light fixture.


Here's how it looked before. You can see some of our test patches of paint on the boards holding the old light fixture.

We used Kilz Complete Coat® (primer and paint in one) in a flat finish. to which we added Waverly® chalk paints until we'd created a turquoise or antique copper, sea-green blue. We tested the paint over a couple of days on one of our Barnwood planks. We wanted it to be just right!

Popular Paint Brands and Blue Green Tints

You need not mix your paint from scratch. There are great paint companies with thousands of colors from which to choose, above are just a few. You can mail order paints in small test sizes. It may take hours or even days to choose a color, but once you've nailed it, it will have been well worth the time — especially if you're going to paint a ceiling.

Another way we determined which shade of blue to use, was to scan a photo of the ceiling into our computer and use a digital brush to make a new layer of color. We used Photoshop® and the Hue/Saturation window shown on the right to look at different colors on that layer. You could also use PicMonkey® on the edit color tab (shown on the left). Any good photo editing program will do.

You can also use an online paint visualizer like the one from — we like Kilz Complete® in particular because it has a primer built in to make sure that stains do not penetrate your finished work. The visualizer is easy to use (unlike other companies), plus you can purchase eight-ounce sizes, various finishes, and chalk paints. Complete comes in 700 colors. You are sure to find the right shade of blue for your project, and the eight-ounce test sizes are great for crafts and smaller projects. We don't receive any compensation for the recommendation.

We searched high and low for light weight wood to create the ceiling. We finally found 5-1/2" x 6' x 1/4" planks in a stone-washed barnwood finish at Lowes® for about $6.00 each. The planks were thin enough to cut with a coping saw to fit around our columns and light weight enough to be comfortable nailing overhead.

If you're using planks for any project, make sure your first plank is as straight as you can get it. We took a lot of time aligning our first plank and the rest of the planks were relatively easy to nail. We nailed five planks the first day, seven the next day, and the final eleven on the final day.

We strongly recommend a scaffold for doing ceiling work. We found ours on CraigsList® for $300. We can put it together in less than two minutes working together, and it stores away in five pieces flat against a garage wall. Work on ceilings at your own risk.

We used a Senco® nailer to attach the boards and a Ryobi® drill to make a hole for our new light fixture.

It's a good idea to know what kind of fixture you'll be using if you are planning to install a new one on a ceiling makeover.

Introducing Our Original Pendant Light Idea!

We brainstormed many ideas for a custom pendant lamp and finally figured out that we could re-purpose a table lamp. The brass and crystal shade are almost complete too at this writing and we'll be featuring the project soon. Be sure to follow us here on HomeTalk and YouTube so you don't miss the fun!

We have additional photos and tips on our blog post! See you later!

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Stephie McCarthy
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