Category: 

Why Are Barns Red?

Barns tend to be red because of the high availability and low cost of red paint. Paint is created by combining a colored pigment, whose hue depends on the mineral that is in it, and a binder such as acrylic or oil to help the color stick. Red paint is made from red ochre, a combination of iron and oxygen. Iron is one of the most plentiful minerals, as the Earth's crust is about 6% iron. Blue and green pigments are mainly made using copper, which is much less plentiful than iron at less than 0.01% of the Earth’s crust, making those paint colors more expensive.

More about barns:

  • Barns in Europe were traditionally colored with a mixture of linseed oil and either milk or lime.

  • One theory about the origins of red barns is that farmers would add rust to linseed oil in order to avoid mold.

  • Whitewash, a combination of lime and chalk, gained popularity for use on barns during the mid-20th century and began to be used as an alternative to red paint because of its cheaper price, non-toxicity and antibacterial properties.

Follow wiseGEEK:
  twitter

More Info: scientificamerican.com

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

The Argentinian resort town of Epecuén was submerged by flooding for years; it is now populated by one elderly man.  more...
 
December 5 ,  1933 :  Prohibition ended in the US.  more...