Why Are Barns Red?

Traditions are typically passed down from prior generations and many times become the norm. Think presents at Christmas or cookouts on Labor Day. We do it because, well, it’s always been done that way before us. This is also why barns are red.

Let me explain.


Believe it or not, there was once no way to pick the color you desired when it came time to paint something. There was no way to run to the hardware store and asking them to mix you up a color. That meant having to be resourceful and finding ways to create color with materials you already had. Well barns, which farmers would paint to protect the wood, were usually painted red because it was the result of rust being added to other ingredients like oil, lime and milk to create paint. While the end color wasn’t the goal when creating paint, it was also one of the more affordable shades once paint did get mass produced. The end result was the rusty, red color many barns to this day will be painted in honor of the tradition.


While most farmers weren’t thinking the red color popped against their land in the background, they were however worried about protecting the dwellings wood in the best way possible.  Some even found ways of mixing ingredients to form a plastic-like coating for the wood and figured the red color was a great option because it would attract the sun and keep the barn heated as needed through the winters.

New Barns

Barns today aren’t just for farmers and storing livestock. Pole barns are a functionable way to live and work. These constructions, unlike those of the past, can be painted any color you please and include things like windows, custom stairs, garage doors, wainscotting and so much more.

Most pole barn dwellings for homes mix garage and home living space on different levels of the home and create an open layout unlike other home designs of the past. The barns can also still be built for horses, storage, or even for commercial use.

CHA Pole Barns is one of the leading pole barn builders in the Mid-Atlantic region and can construct a pole barn, horse barn, garage, storage building, commercial building, farm storage building, or even your home complete with all the features you’re dreaming of, and if you’d like, paint it red too!

Contact us today to learn more about our pole barns!

Contracting with CHA since December 2009, to have two very large buildings constructed at our farm. We have personally referred several friends, relatives and neighbors to use them and we have never heard anything but praise for their workmanship and hard work. Our experience with CHA has shown us that they are most honest, reputable building company we have contracted. Their staff is very hard working, polite and very conscientious about their work. They got the job done on time, work tirelessly and waste no time while working. At the end of the day they clean up the job site and put all their tools and equipment away leaving the job site spotless.

Carin Guelich