Why Do They Paint Barns Red?

Lois  Bryan

Joined August 2008

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And just why DO they paint barns red? Well, I have the answer!!

From the Indiana Public Media’s, Moment of Science:


we learn the following:

“Have you ever noticed that most barns are red? There’s a scientific reason for that.

A few hundred years ago European farmers started painting their barns with a mixture of linseed oil, milk, and lime. Believe it or not, the combination made a pretty good paint that protected wood. Sometimes they’d also add ferrous oxide, also known as rust, to the mix.

Rust kills fungi and moss. When they grow on a barn they trap moisture in the wood, which leads to decay. Painting a barn with rusty paint was the best way to keep it strong and dry.

After a while, red barns became a tradition in Europe and over here in America. Once commercial paints became available, the tradition continued, since red paint was cheap.

White is the second most popular color for barns, since at some point whitewash became even cheaper than red paint. But today, you’ll see barns in many different colors."

Thank you, Indiana Department of Public Media.

This particular image was taken many years ago, October 20, 2007 to be exact, when the first blush of photographic madness was beginning to take over my life. Little did I know!!!! It was taken with an Olympus p&s and treated to much … MUCH … editing in about every program and filter that I own from Photoshop Version8, to CS4 and 5 … Adobe Camera Raw, Capture NX2, DAP and Corel Paint 11.

I have to add that I actually cut my photoshopping teeth on this very image, years and years ago … I was using PS Version 8 .. (from 2003 or 4 I think), and there is actually a big giant telephone pole at the right corner of the barn that I cloned out … not to mention electric wires running all over the place!!!! By the time I got finished with all that, I just said, forget it. Have gone back to it over the years but the quality was just not good enough to post for sale. Still, I always liked it. Got my hands on it again recently and decided to throw everything but the kitchen sink at it, and decided it was finally ready for prime time!!!

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