Wednesday, June 8, 2011

did you ever wonder

why so many barns are painted red?

29 comments:

Cezar and Léia said...

Because it's "fashion"! :) just kidding! In fact I have no idea. In our farm in Brazil, the barn was not painted,it was the natural color of the wood.Ah but it was a little barn.Nowadays we don't have barn neither animals unfortunately.But the old place for the fruits ( trees ) and vegetables is still working! :)
Hey, I'm curious now, I will be back late to read all answers!
Léia

MaCoBra said...

I guess they follow the Swedish example. I learnt there that houses are red (or a color red colled cow-blod) because it was a cheap leftover from the iron industry... And it is a good contrast with nature-green?

Jack said...

I knew the answer to this once. It is something like the availability of the pigment (iron oxide) back when the farmers began painting barns.

Malyss said...

In France, barns are "natural", made of wood or stones , depending the place.
But I've read somewhere that this red painting has something inside that helps fighting against small beasts , bugs and insects..It could be to help to find the way to the barns,in red they're easily seen. Maybe it's only because it's beautyful...:)

Birdman said...

I had a good pun lined up to go, but these responses look serious and knowledgeable this morning. I think I'll sit back and learn a bit about barns today.

brattcat said...

Oh, Birdman, please don't censure your punny nature.

Don't unplug your hub said...

If the barn is made of corrugated iron it always used to be the practice to paint them with 'red lead' paint which is a good protective on metals. When I was at sea on oil tankers, painting the steel decks with red lead was a never ending job. I think the answer to your question might be: because the paint is cheap and effective

Jacob said...

Well, red is the color of the old gray barn. That's like asking why the sky is blue. It just is, that's all. Ask any ol' cow.

Kind of a "fishy" question if you ask me.

But the barn is quite beautiful. I'm thinkin' Vermont's gotta go on my bucket list!

Jacob said...

You asked what lurks beneath the waters of the Withlacooche...I think you know, but you can be sure there are fish and turtles and snakes and probably a few gators. Might even be some manatees, but I'm not sure about that.

I don't think I'd swim in the area pictured.

Margaret said...

We used to visit Kentucky frequently when I was a kid and there we saw many barns painted black. I believe they were tobacco barns. My uncles told us they painted them black so the lightening couldn't find them at night. Of course we believed him.
He had no explanation though for red barns.

Leif Hagen said...

Fleet Farm had a big sale on red paint?

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Let me first say that I enjoyed your photo with its red barn surrounded by glorious green...

I read that it may have had several origins but the most likely is the use of ferrous oxide in the oils which prevented mold and decay..

I love what Margaret said about the black barns in KY - hah!


Bises,
Genie

Sharon Creech said...

No idea, but I'm hoping you'll tell us.

Jilly said...

Well I didn't know they were painted red. In America I recall old barns in Kentucky of natural wood - perhaps they were painted one time. There's something about barns I just adore. This is a lovely photo.

magiceye said...

tradition?! :)

Sharon said...

What a beautiful farm scene. I noticed driving around Wisconsin that many of the barns were painted white while almost everywhere else they are red.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Lovely image Brattcat, and like you I would really like to know what Birdman was going to say haha!

Butch said...

Black barns for tobacco curing, white barns for the reflection of the heat where hay etc is stored and red barns for equipment.

That's all I've got and it is my best guess.

Must I google it?

Small City Scenes said...

Wharever the color I like all barns.

Sorry I have been missing for awhile but I am back. Scrolled through you blog and found many amazing pics---thanks. MB

JM said...

There are no wooden barns in my country, but I've been asking myself why are they red in yours everytime I see one! :-)

cieldequimper said...

I bet it's because in Scandinavia and northern Europe, colour is nice to have around in the long, dark winters. The red got exported somehow... :-)

Julie said...

They are not painted red here in Australia. They remain the colour of the original material, be it timber, metal or stone. The metal rusts. The timber weathers and splits. The stone chips and sprouts moss.

But we do not paint them. If we were to paint them, they would meld in with the colour of the landscape ... and be hard to locate.

Irina said...

So beautiful.
I steal this photo as reference for future art. Promise to half the profit when sell the masterpiece.

Giorgio said...

Maybe because red is the complementary color of green. I guess that when it all started, way back then, they were already thinking about us photographers!

Virginia said...

I'd love to think they are pour moi! :). BTW, Paris Rouge is under a redo. It may be available for sale soon but nobody will want to pay the price I fear.

Maybe we could do a USA Rouge together! :)
V

Bob Crowe said...

In fact, I have.The barn on my wife's family's farm is red. I think they do it for photographers.

Amin said...

I have no any idea...

Kate said...

Haven't a clue, but I know that I like the photo very much!

VP said...

I have already read the answer, but I was curious about the post I missed!