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Thread: best brand of red barn paint?

  1. #1

    best brand of red barn paint?

    I am residing my 1849 bank barn this spring with 1x12 white oak board and batten, and I need to buy barn-red paint.

    Anybody have opinions on the best type/brand/source of good old barn paint? I plan to paint the boards on the ground before putting up.

    Also- the siding is fairly green- about a month since milling. Any problems painting it green or should it wait until dried?

    Lastly, would there be any benefit to painting the inside of the boards as well? I am planning on either coating the end grain of each plank with anchorseal, or maybe just a lot of paint. Anchorseal more likely because I can have the guys slap some on the ends just before installation (less messy than paint). The goal is to minimize the checking as the oak shrinks.

    Sorry to have been away from the board for a while- been busy (and getting into metal machining over the winter).

  2. #2
    Paint on green wood will fail. It would be a waste of time to paint it.

    Once dry, you should prime the siding first. Priming all 6 sides before installing will help prevent cupping.

    From my understanding "barn red" paint was orginally just cheap paint; that particular pigment was cheap, and it gave a chance for puritanical farmers to show their "wild side." Like any other exterior paint, you get what you pay for, in general. 100% acrylic is supposed to be the best for exterior use.

  3. #3
    The story I remember is that the farmer painted his barn red because it was the cheapest paint. When the paint manufacturer was asked why it was so cheap, he said it was because the farmers bought so much. Go figure. Otherwise, I agree. Painted green wood is a waste. Wait for it to dry.

  4. #4
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    well I am odd man out, but I disagree with the 2 posts that said it is a waist of time... please take a look at my shop and you will see a very red barn. A lot of it was painted on green wood.

    As far as barn paint being just cheap paint, that is also wrong. good barn paint is a mixture of red oxide and some binder. the red oxide wears like iron and will not peel. I like to use a red tinted oil base primer by Benjamin Moore, called fresh start, and then use an agway or other brand barn paint that contains a lot of red oxide for the colorant. I have found that the latex works best...... but like steve said, some perfer oil base



    lou
    Last edited by lou sansone; 03-28-2006 at 4:26 PM.

  5. #5
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    Having been raised on a large farm with a bunch of big red wood barns...dad always insisted we painted his barns with a oil based paint and even added a bit more linseed oil to the paint. He said the wood needed to soak up the oil to make it last longer. Having just one barn myself, I bought some red paint from tractor supply co. (oil based, cause I listened to dad) and it is still as nice as the day it went on. But these were not green wood

  6. #6
    Lou,

    Maybe you can point to one anecdotal instance where paint on green wood worked, but there are plenty of other instances where it didn't. I don't know of any paint vendor that says it's OK to apply it over green wood, so any warrenties would be voided by such an application.

    Steve, if the wood "soaked up" the oil, and the oil acts as the solvent for the paint, wouldn't that prevent the paint from fully curing and bonding to the wood? According to paint industry experts, recommendations that prefer oil-based paint for exterior use come from "old timers" that remember back when latex paint was new, and very bad. Supposedly, 100% acrylic is flexible enough to avoid cracking under the temperature extremes encountered outside.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Mahony

    Steve, if the wood "soaked up" the oil, and the oil acts as the solvent for the paint, wouldn't that prevent the paint from fully curing and bonding to the wood? According to paint industry experts, recommendations that prefer oil-based paint for exterior use come from "old timers" that remember back when latex paint was new, and very bad. Supposedly, 100% acrylic is flexible enough to avoid cracking under the temperature extremes encountered outside.
    Don't know, not an expert by any means ...I'm just saying that my "old timer dad" (80) always believed in oil based paints with linseed oil. It may be that it was because that in the "old days" latex was bad and that the only other choice was his method. Barns are still standing with the original wood siding intact.

  8. #8
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    Suggest you consider using a heavily pigmented stain as opposed to paint.
    Only the Blue Roads

  9. #9
    Usually, paint on wet wood of any kind is a recipe for peeling and blistering paint. I'd say wait until it dries.
    Dennis

  10. #10
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    ...the story that I heard about red paint was that it was the cheapest paint because of the inexpensive iron oxides used (rather than lead oxides or copper oxides)

  11. #11
    For my barn I used a product made by BEHR and it was considered an outdoor latex stain. They will have any color you want becasue they can mix it up and I chose barn red. It also has a high warranty, I think it was 10 years.

  12. #12
    Go to a Benjamin Moore Paint store. Preferably a factory store and explain to the paint salesman your situation. You will get exactly what you need and a product that is second to none. If you call they might even have a sales rep come out and personally look at your building.
    Jim

  13. #13

    Talking New plan- install now, anchorseal ends

    Thanks for all the advice.

    Here is my current plan. Since I cannot wait around for the wood to dry before installing, I need to install it now. It is not all that green...i mean, there is no visible moisture when you nail it. And lots of people install green oak siding.

    So- given that, the question is- what if anything do I want to do to the boards before they go up?

    My current thinking is that I want to slap some anchorseal on the endgrain, with the hope of minimizing the cracking on the ends, which oak is want to do. I believe this product will even out the drying. The crew has been doing this on the oak timbers they have been putting up on the barn addition (pics forthcoming).

    Now as some may recall, I have this 55 gallon drum of linseed oil that I have been trying to come up with a use for. Don't know if it is boiled or not, BUT- it does dry decently fast. I've tried it on some oak.

    So I'm thinking, after it has been up a few months, maybe I'll take a garden sprayer and prime the oak with linseed oil- outside, and maybe on the inside as well- what the heck.

    Then, after a year or two, paint the barn with good old oil-based barn paint.

    That's my story and I'm stickin to it...

  14. #14
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    Lynn,
    I cannot speak to the finishing aspect of your question from my personal experience, but I bet that the 55 gallon drum of linseed oil you scored a few years ago could be used to advantage in your siding application. Were it me, I would spray all six board surfaces before nailing, pending confirmation from finishing pros that it would provide a good base for the finish you wish to apply in the future.

    Somewhere between thirty five and forty years ago I applied green white oak board on board siding and interior walls to an old one room schoolhouse that had been moved to a wooded hillside in SW Wisconsin. I think it was 4/4 exterior and ¾ on the interior. We nailed the boards at a substantial angle towards their centers, and did not drive the nails very close to the edges of the boards. As the boards shrunk across their width, splitting of the wood was lessened as the nails were able to bend. None of the top board nails penetrated the base boards. I think your green bats will be fine re: splitting if you keep the nails relatively close to center, but remember that the underlying boards will lose plenty of width, so allow for that in spacing.

    I lived in that house a couple of times since then, and among my memories is that it would take mosquito control about 45 minutes to exit day quarters at dusk to report for night duty.

    Also Lynn, you may be interested to learn something about the man I worked for on that job. He grew up on a local farm and farmed with horses for many years. Back in the days when pro boxers did the rural circuit, he was our local challenger; “The Kidd”. He was one of the men who helped Frank Lloyd Wright build Taliesin. He taught me how to quarry, cut and lay up our local stone. When we younguns took the horses for moonnight rides, he’d show up at our mid-ride bivouac with a bottle of whiskey and his mouth harp. I suspect he had some preternatural GPS abilities.

    In the trunk of his Olds (at 70 yrs), he carried a chainsaw and C saw, high-lift and hydraulic jacks, a block and tackle and a rope, and some tools as well.

    Gosh I miss that generation of MEN!

    Frank

  15. #15
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    The Old paint Method worked Well

    [QUOTE=Barry O'Mahony]Lou,

    Steve, if the wood "soaked up" the oil, and the oil acts as the solvent for the paint, wouldn't that prevent the paint from fully curing and bonding to the wood? According to paint industry experts, recommendations that prefer oil-based paint for exterior use come from "old timers" that remember back when latex paint was new, and very bad. Supposedly, 100% acrylic is flexible enough to avoid cracking under the temperature extremes encountered outside.[/QUOTE

    Barry, I'm sure no EXPERT on paint either, But I was taught like Steve's Dad taught him, and I can certainly vouch that the method works and works well, (better than any Latex I have ever used since that time, I might add). See my post in the thread below.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=22147

    I will say though, that I have never had any luck with ANYTHING if the wood was green or wet.
    "Some Mistakes provide Too many Learning Opportunities to Make only Once".

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