Blue Doors of Taos

I’ve been collecting “blue door” photos since I moved to Taos last spring. The Taos Pueblo is a dream place for this and I made a special trip there expressly to take photos last October. It’s not news that there’s a tradition behind the blue doors and windows panes, gates and shutters. Old grandmothers (abuelas) will say they are meant to keep out evil.

This blue door is a landmark for finding my house. It faces the turn onto Maestas Road in Talpa. This door was my color reference when I decided to paint my doors early last summer (w/landlord’s permission, of course). And that brings up the question of getting the blue color right. Paint stores are not much help but if you take a photo of a door you like and submit it to them they will match it. Researching this blog on the internet I found that in Santa Fe there is a paint store that will sell you “Azul de Taos” paint, Big Jo True Value Hardware. They claim to supply the blue paint for the downtown historic and government buildings in Santa Fe.

Here’s a snapshot of my painted blue doors. For privacy I painted on the inside of the glass panes also, using the same paint for one of my colors. This is done with acrylic or latex based paints that are water soluble.

Also, I forgot to say that the owners of Big Jo in Santa Fe recommend that the blue paint be a matte type so the painted surface is not shiny. A technical detail, but one that this blog welcomes. We aim to cover the topic thoroughly. And by the way, I got this info about Big Jo from an online article taken from SuCasa magazine. They are experts on traditional design for New Mexico homes I believe.

This is the top of a door in downtown Santa Fe, the entrance to Father Sky & Mother Earth Gallery and Espresso. I would patronize them just to walk through this door and I also love the business name.

Also while scanning the internet for insights into the “blue door” mystique I found a blog by a man from New Mexico (now living abroad). In his 2008 blog on the same subject he claims that blue doors are a “tradition brought by the Spanish, originating in the Middle East, India, or further abroad.” They’re…”meant to keep the home free of malignant spirits…” A comment left on his blog from a reader said she had seen a lot of blue doors and shutters in Morocco while there.

I believe this was taken last summer on traditional Ledoux Street in Taos. I love the way the blue gate offers a view into the courtyard, letting you see the beckoning blue door beyond.

Well, needless to say I like blue doors. Some will even suggest that their sky blue color is associated with the Virgin Mary and offer her protection as well. One thing we’re all in agreement on is that the sky at high elevation places like Taos and Santa Fe is intensely blue. I’ll only add that the blue color looks aesthetically pleasing next to the warm tones of adobe. Amen.

6 thoughts on “Blue Doors of Taos

  1. Wonderful photos, Kate! I also love “Mother Earth, Father Sky & Espresso.”
    The last photo looks like the cover of a greeting-card.
    I didn’t know the blue color used on doors had significance. It is reminiscent of Morocco or Greece—

  2. Amen to you as well, Kate.
    Thank you for sharing your photos and perspective on this most wonderful area. I have enjoyed your blog very much.

  3. In the 90’s, I walked the French-owned Carribean island of Guadelupe photographing doors, so this blog was especially interesting to me. When I look back on the doors I photographed, most were blue. I’ve since discovered that the French paint their doors blue to honor the Virgin Mary, patroness and protector of fisherman. I read too that in feng shui, blue doors are associated with new growth, new beginnings, and strong vitality and health and energy here is wood. So if Taos had no blue doors at all, you’ve still chosen the best color for yours.

  4. Pingback: Micromovements: » Blog Archive » Taos Mountain Welcome

  5. So glad I found your blog on Blue doors. I too love the look and have had no luck at paint stores finding a suitable color, I would have thought any paint store in a big city like ABQ would have known the color considered Santa fe Blue. They have offered many shades of turquoise but never quite the right shade. Love the pic of your doors. I hope to someday find the shade I want.

  6. Great site, thanks! I was raised in Taos all summers, an archaeologist, and for income…a paint color consultant now. The original ancient color of this particular blue was ground azurite, of which I keep a rock on my desk. It assumed the properties of the rocks, protection from all evil, human and spirits. The Taos blue doors we are familiar with since the 1940’s was the Sears paint ‘Turquoise’, of which I have an original paint chip and matches exactly out on the reservation. It is more blue than the stone turquoise. They no longer make this paint, and it was outdoor enamel, which dulled with sun and time. Fun to know, and it can be replicated.

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