Why Are Barns Painted Red?

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2 Minute Read
Posted by Karyn Moyer
Barns Painted Red

Have you ever wondered why most barns are painted red? 

Barns were not just painted red because it was the color of choice.  It was not just because red matched well with the green color of the tractor or land.  There were not a lot of color choices hundreds of years ago but the farmers chose red because it was cheap, easy and useful.

In the late 1700’s farmers were seasoning their wood to act as preservation.  It was discovered that skimmed milk, lime, and red iron oxide made a plastic like coating that hardened and lasted for years.  When they added Linseed oil derived from flax plants to the recipe it provided the necessary absorption and turned the mixture to a red (or rust) color.  Using this mixture on barns killed fungi and moss and it became a very popular sealant to protect the wood.  In the winter, the red color also attracted more sunlight keeping it warm.  As time grew on and paint became more readily available, red was the color of choice for barns to honor the tradition.

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This crimson color was chosen for more than just good aesthetics!
Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer is the Senior Marketing Manager at AgHires, with over 13 years of marketing experience, over 9 of which she has spent in the agriculture marketing industry. Growing up in a small farming town, Karyn has a deep appreciation for the importance of agriculture and its role in our communities. Since joining AgHires in 2017, Karyn has used her wealth of experience and knowledge to help job seekers and clients achieve their goals. She has a passion for learning and discovering new ways to support the industry.