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Why are barns painted red?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Centuries ago, European farmers would seal the wood on their barns with an oil, often linseed oil -- a tawny-colored oil derived from the seed of the flax plant. They would paint their barns with a linseed-oil mixture, often consisting of additions such as milk and lime. The combination produced a long-lasting paint that dried and hardened quickly. (Today, linseed oil is sold in most home-improvement stores as a wood sealant.) Now, where does the red come from?

    In historically accurate terms, "barn red" is not the bright, fire-engine red that we often see today, but more of a burnt-orange red. As to how the oil mixture became traditionally red, there are two predominant theories:

    Wealthy farmers added blood from a recent slaughter to the oil mixture. As the paint dried, it turned from a bright red to a darker, burnt red.

    Farmers added ferrous oxide, otherwise known as rust, to the oil mixture. Rust was plentiful on farms and is a poison to many fungi, including mold and moss, which were known to grown on barns. These fungi would trap moisture in the wood, increasing decay.

    Regardless of how the farmer tinted his paint, having a red barn became a fashionable thing. They were a sharp contrast to the traditional white farmhouse.

    As European settlers crossed over to America, they brought with them the tradition of red barns. In the mid to late 1800s, as paints began to be produced with chemical pigments, red paint was the most inexpensive to buy. Red was the color of favor until whitewash became cheaper, at which point white barns began to spring up.

    Today, the color of barns can vary, often depending on what they are used for.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The original barns were not painted the wood was stained with what you would call a dark red mahogany stain. it kept the wood from weathering. It was cheaper than paint and barns took an awful lot of paint or stain.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Many years ago paint that didn't have any color added to it was naturally red from the lead in it. Barns were painted for practical reasons only (to protect the wood from sun and water) so the least expesive paint (which was red because no color was added) was used.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is to cover up the blood that is spewed from the animals that are killed inside.

    But that's just a hunch.

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  • clumsy
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    bulls luv red

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  • 1 decade ago

    to scare of some animals. some animals that are dangerous to others are afraid of red

    Source(s): my cousin lives on a farm...
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  • 1 decade ago

    to protect the wood

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  • 1 decade ago

    most of the above answers are here on this website

    http://people.howstuffworks.com/question635.htm

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