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In this article, you will learn about Barn Red and Fire Brick Red colors including a side-by-side comparison. If you are considering either of these colors, the following information will help you make the right decision.

barn red and fire brick red artwork

Barn Red vs Fire Brick Red

Red outbuildings on farms have long been a tradition in northern Europe and in the United States. If you’re thinking of using a red paint in or on your home, make sure you carefully consider the chemistry.

Red barn paint is formulated to go on more thickly and cling with more strength than a standard exterior paint.

While that may be beneficial outdoors, this paint does tend to outgas a bit more than traditional indoor paint. It may also take longer to try and be much harder to cover when you redecorate.

Barn Red

The tradition of painting barns red was actually born of a need to protect the wood of the barn with the cheapest product possible.

barn red color artwork under lights

Farmers of the 18th century in the United States created a coating of

  • red iron oxide (harvested from the soil)
  • skimmed milk (from their cows)
  • lime

Other farmers coated their barns in linseed oil, which gave the wood a warm, coral color. Over time, farmers who used these colors found that plants along the foundation lived longer in cold weather because the wood gathered and held warmth from the sun.

Barn red is a bold shade that will serve to either contrast with other pure shades or completely overpower other colors.

If you want to paint an outbuilding barn red, make sure that the trim color you choose will be just as strong, or it may look faded the day you apply it.

A cheery barn with white trim looks tidy and clean in no small part because the two colors create a strong, though balanced, contrast.

Should you try to use a gray trim, the intensity of the red can make this gentler trim color appear dull. If you use ivory trim paint, it will probably read yellow.

barn red color infographic

This shade of red features a bit more green than blue; this means that it will lean more toward orange than cherry. However, the red will likely stay strong because barns tend to stand in contrast against

  • blue skies
  • green grass
  • golden grains
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If you look out on a gray, cloudy day and realize that your barn is looking more rust than red, this dulling of color is likely more due to the change in light than any fading of the paint.

Modern barn red paints are seldom milk or casein-based anymore. If you find a supplier that offers barn red paint with a milk protein base, do your best to use up all the paint.

If you want a spare can for touch-ups, buy one from the same lot and leave it sealed. Under the right conditions, the casein or milk base can rot once exposed to air.

Not only will you be unhappy with the consistency of your remaining touch-up paint, but the smell of rotten casein paint is unbelievably nasty; in conditions of extreme heat, the rotting paint can cause the can to bulge and smell even if you don’t open it.

Buy the synthetic.

RGB: 124, 10, 2
Hex Code: #7C0A02

barn red color artwork over a computer desk

Fire Brick Red

For such a strong name, fire brick red is actually a beautifully balanced color. Yes, it’s red. However, the even pairing of blue and green in the mix means that this red will, in the right circumstances, step back a bit and play nicely with other colors.

fire brick red color artwork under lights

Take care with

  • the expanse of fire brick red you cover
  • the colors you pair it with
  • how you light this shade

If you want a red accent wall, try not to give it a lot of shades to rub up against. Light wood tones, such as a yellow oak or a pale maple, will stand out nicely against this shade.

If you try to put fire brick red beside a glossy cherry floor or furniture finish, you may create a visual contrast that won’t settle.

Should you choose to use black or white against a fire brick red wall, you may create a theme you don’t want. Red and white works well on stop signs because the contrast draws the eye.

It also brings barns to mind, which may not be the touch you want in your family room. Red and black will likely create a sense of the 1970s, which may or may not be what you’re going for.

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You can also make this shade a bit more elegant by toning down the sheen. Blending in silica sand with this shade will add a texture that can create a velvety, shadowed look.

Lit gently and from below, this could create a very elegant feel.

As a choice in fabric selection, this color could give you a lot of options. Bold fire brick red drapes may not suit a small space, but using this color in cushions, throws, and accent pieces could be a wonderful way to draw the eye across a room.

fire brick red color infographic

For example, if the walls in your home are ivory and you want to experiment with this color, consider mounting some black and white photos in fire brick red frames (or using fire brick red matting) to draw the eye across a room.

If your home is on the small side, using this color in an accent piece can lead guests to want to get a bit closer. This creation of a visual pull can make a small living room feel more spacious.

Like any other saturated shade, this color will push back if you use too many primary shades against it. Jade green will cause this color to stand up and fight, but an olive or deep mossy green will not.

Blends may be tricky with this color; if you love teal or purple, look for smoky shades of these two colors to pair with your fire brick red pieces.

Nearly all shades of red will also not be kind to pastels. If you choose to cover a large piece of furniture, all of your windows, or a long wall in this color, just know that you are probably committed to other saturated colors in the space to create visual balance.

Finally, if and when you do choose to redecorate, make sure that you buy a good quality primer and plan for lots of drying time. Even if you go darker, the red will be hard to tame.

RGB: 178, 34, 34
Hex Code: #B22222

fire brick red artwork over a computer desk

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