General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

Why are barns painted red?

Asked by AstroChuck (37438points) January 14th, 2010

I know not all are red but, like fire engines, at one time nearly all were. Anyone know what’s the reason for this?

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18 Answers

grumpyfish's avatar

(From a quick read of Wikipedia) Ferric Oxide (Red) paint is very cheap, and provides very good protection for the wood—also, due to the similar color of wood under, doesn’t look so bad when it needs a new paint job.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Red paint was made by oxidizing iron in heavy cream. Most farmers couldn’t afford to buy paint so they made their own in this manner

wilma's avatar

What @grumpyfish and @Adirondackwannabe said.
Also, tradition, farmers are usually pretty big on tradition, so once barns are red, they stay that way.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My fountian of useless knowledge becomes something. Cool

grumpyfish's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Indeed! I hadn’t put it together that, of course, what diary farmers had a lot of was milk, lime, and iron, so of course they’d paint their barns with it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yeah Paint was a luxury way back when. I live not far from a hamlet called White Store. Back in time, it was so unusual for anyone to afford paint that the hamlet became known for its “White Store”. See more goofy knowledge.

janbb's avatar

To distinguish them for newspapers – which are black and white and read all over. Didn’t know that? I’ll never send you to the store to buy a barn!

Jude's avatar

Could be the cold meds that I’m taking, but, for some reason this question made me smile. Old, red barns make me happy. Heh, like I said, cold meds.

wilma's avatar

@jmah They make me happy and I’m not on any cold meds.;)

augustlan's avatar

<< Loves old, red barns, too! I sure am glad they couldn’t afford other colors. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What is it about barns that everyone likes? I have a sad story about barns if you’re interested.

Jude's avatar

I’m not interested. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jmah Okay. Happy thoughts only.

asmonet's avatar

I’m interested. :)

Jude's avatar

Ah, @as wants to read it. Go for it, then, @Adirondackwannabe . :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Okay, I sent this privately to wilma and I sent a happy story as well. Can you forward these Wilma, or do I need to retell them?

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