Why Barns Are Painted Red

patterson_barn-photographerdan-johnson-1“The Archives of the Shiawasee County Historical Society explain that a week or two after a farmer would put iron scraps into a large barrel of buttermilk, that buttermilk would be transformed into a durable red paint.

That this paint was so easy and so inexpensive to make explains why so many barns were red in color.”

Source: Michigan’s Heritage Barns – Mary Keithan – Michigan State University Press