WHY BARNS ARE RED
This beautiful old Missouri barn
was originally painted red.
Look carefully under the eaves
of its 100-year-old roof . . .
and you will see vestiges
of the original red color.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries,
nearly all rural barns in the U.S.
were "painted" with a mixture
of linseed oil and ferrous oxide (rust),
which sealed barn wood against the elements,
and protected from mold and fungi.
Over the years, the brick-red color
eventually bleached to reveal that
familiar gray barnwood hue.
Once paint was developed and marketed,
specialized colors were developed
unique to the kind of farm,
e.g. white for dairy barns, black for tobacco barns.
Fact is, most old barns were red!