We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our pal Sipp sent us the following missive, as a corrective to this morning's link on the topic:
The recipe for barn red is right here:
-Boiled Linseed oil. (Dullards like the writer don't know there's two kinds of linseed oil. Boiled linseed oil is what's used for paints. It's deadly poison. Regular linseed oil is what Amish type people use for this and that. I had a boss in the painting business way back when that heard of all the health benefits of a tablespoon of raw linseed oil, and used to eat Boiled linseed oil until I explained the difference. Raw linseed oil never dries, properly, so you can't use it for painting a structure) -Red lead powder. This goes back to the Roman Empire. It's really cheap, and a fantastic pigment. Has a tendency to make your children into dullards, though, even moreso than TV does. -Turpentine. Just old-fashioned paint thinner, distilled from pine sap. -Japan Drier. A dash of this metallic salt makes paint films dry much faster. It's poison, too. Counter-intuitively, if you add a lot, the paint never dries.
Old-fashioned barn stain used to be called OVT. Cabot still call some of their stuff OVT, but lord knows what it is. Oil, Varnish, Turpentine.
Sugar of white lead can be substituted for red lead. It's more expensive, so red got used more. People still called primer "red lead" when I was a kid, and it came in red even after the lead was removed from it. You can still find real red lead in use in shipyards, I bet. Muffy and Biff's yacht often had a coat of it on the bottom despite their Sierra Club protestations. Barns shifted from being painted red to being painted white when the idea of a farm became synonymous with "where the milk comes from." It's just a representation of cleanliness. And colonial era barns, as well as almost everything else, were pretty much never painted in any way. If you'd have seen Salem, Mass or some such place before 1800, the whole place, every stick of it, would have been weathered brown.
Red from Iron or Lead?
I read today (lower down) that it was from Iron Oxide.
"To this oil, they would add a variety of things, most often milk and lime, but also ferrous oxide, or rust. Rust was plentiful on farms and because it killed fungi and mosses that might grow on barns, was very effective as a sealant. It turned the mixture red in color."
What's odd about this to me, a complete amateur whose only experience with red is trying to color my hair red, is that red is so hard to maintain. Red hair fades almost right away, at least Clairol #22 Cinaberry. But perhaps farmers do not care if their barns stay vivid red for more than a few days unless they buy the expensive shampoo.