You’ve seen countless red barns along the countryside, but have you ever wondered why are barns red? There are a few urban (or rural?) legends that attempt to answer the question, our favorite being that barns are painted red to help lost cows find their way home. (Cows are actually colorblind to the colors red and green so that…would not help.) But really, the answer is pretty simple: Red paint was cheap.
According to This Old House, most farmers in the days of old didn’t paint their barns. However, they learned over time that the harsh elements exposed the wood to rot. Farmers needed to find a way to protect their barns, and paint seemed to be an obvious solution.