What Is the Best Barn Paint?

Do you need to paint your barn? We will tell you what paint it’s best to use

If you have an old barn that has been decaying for quite a while, painting it would be a more reasonable and practical decision than just staining. However, most barn owners find it rather complicated to figure out what paint to use for this kind of job.

Today, we will explain what best paint there is for barn wood. Also, you will learn how to paint your wooden barn correctly so that the fresh coat of paint lasts on its surface longer.

And of course, we will share a few handy tips on the most suitable paint colors that can be used on barns.

What Paint Is It Best to Use On Barn Walls?

So what is the best paint to use on the old barn siding? We would say that the most suitable paint to use on barn exterior walls is latex exterior paint. This kind of paint has several benefits that make it highly effective for this kind of painting project:

  • Latex paint does not fade quickly
  • This kind of paint can last for a decade or even longer
  • Additionally, the paint is very flexible

However, despite being so efficient, latex paint may still need certain improvements before you start applying it to your barn walls.

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For example, experienced homeowners often recommend mixing linseed oil with latex exterior paint in a primer. Such a mixture will be able to make the barn more durable.

But of course, you can use other paint types except for latex! Just make sure that whatever paint you use, you mix it with linseed-based oil before painting to achieve a better effect.

There is one more thing that you should keep in mind when working with barn walls. See, most of the reclaimed woods have lead-based paints. As you probably know, lead is not a safe component since it may cause serious damage to your health! It means that such paints are not safe for people.

This is why, when preparing such wood for further painting or fixing, make sure you cut off and discard the painted areas that may contain lead. As an alternative option, you can coat the finished surface with a durable polyurethane layer.

Polyurethane will make sure that the lead-based paint is shielded with a protective barrier.

What Paint Is It Best to Use On Barn Walls
Nanisimova_sell via VistaCreate

Does Barn Paint Need Priming?

One of the best things about barn paint is that using it doesn’t require a primer. Besides, the paint is designed in a special way so that it can be applied directly to the wood. Even the tools you can use for painting vary! For the application process, you can choose to use a paint roller, an airless spray, or a paintbrush, depending on the size of the surface that should be painted.

However, you should be aware of certain precautions and extra tips that come with applying barn paints!

  • Don’t apply the paint when the temperature outside is below 10 degrees Celsius
  • Remember to stir the paint before using it. It will help you avoid clumps and ensure better application
  • Before applying the first coat of paint, dilute it with at least 30% of clean water. It will enhance absorption and adhesion
  • Wait for approximately 2 hours for the first coat to dry
  • Recoat after 4 hours

So now you know what kind of paint will work better than others on your wooden barn exterior walls. And in addition, now you are aware of some perks that using this paint comes with. Now let’s move on and find out how exactly you should paint barn walls to ensure an even and smooth coating that will last for a long time.

Does Barn Paint Need Priming
zverkov30 via VistaCreate

How to Paint an Old Wooden Barn?

It may seem simple to paint a barn. Most people think it’s all about grabbing a paint sprayer and covering the structure with a coat of paint. However, barns are tricky things! You can’t just paint them this simply.

In order to end up with an even and smooth, as well as long-lasting coat of paint, you need to prepare the surface first. Below, you can find a detailed description of each step on the way to a perfectly painted wooden barn!

How to Paint an Old Wooden Barn
sanddebeautheil via VistaCreate

Examine Your Barn For Any Areas That Need Replacement

Before you reach for a paint sprayer, first of all, you need to make sure the surface is ready to accept the paint. You need to examine your barn’s actual condition and then determine the type of paint you will use.

Since you will most likely be working on old barn wood, you should start by checking for all areas that might need fixing or replacement. Mainly, you should concentrate on the rotten and broken parts.

Also, you might need to replace things such as windows, window trims, doors, and vents if they got way too old. However, if you feel they are in good condition, then continue to the next step.

Remove Old Paint and Prepare the Surface For the New Coat

After you repair the barn’s surface, it should be pressure washed. Like this, you will eliminate any loose bits of older paint that might still be there on the barn’s surface. And of course, pressure washing is also great at removing dust, cobwebs, dirt, and other debris that might prevent a new coat of paint from adhering to the walls properly.

While pressure washing, make sure you cover all the opening areas, such as the windows without glasses. This is necessary because it will ensure the water mist from the pressure washing doesn’t get into the barn. If it does, it can cause severe damage over time and you might have to struggle with mold and even rotting!

If there are spots in or outside your barn that you can’t reach to remove the dirt with your pressure washer, you might need to use a ladder. Also, it can be handy for removing the old pieces of paint that won’t go themselves.

Those stubborn pieces of dry old paint can be scraped off with a paint scraper. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like (or don’t have time for) doing it yourself, you can always call a professional to help scrape off the old paint!

While removing old paint, be careful since it may contain lead! Luckily, you can test your barn’s old paint easily: you only need a lead paint test kit for the task. Lastly, when you have washed and prepared the surface of your barn, create a seal by caulking all the cracks and openings around the doors, windows, and vents.

Remove Old Paint and Prepare the Surface For the New Coat
Kwangmoo via VistaCreate

Paint Your Barn

Before you proceed with painting your barn, calculate how much paint you need. If you use the proper application method, you will most likely use 1 gallon of paint to cover up to 300 square feet of space.

However, since each paint brand has a specified coverage area, you’d better check that in advance since you may want to buy more paint, especially if you have a large barn! Also, extra paint might be handy if you are dealing with an old barn since aged barn wood will take more paint.

For painting your barn, stick to latex exterior paint since it will provide you with better coverage and a more durable coating. As an alternative method, you can mix some linseed-based oil with high-quality exterior paint.

Like this, you will get a perfect alternative to exterior latex paint for painting your barn. Besides, such oil-based paint will work perfectly well on weathered wood that you may choose not to replace.

But you must keep in mind that latex paints are thicker than oil-based paints. Therefore, it is essential to follow all the manufacturer’s instructions precisely while thinning your latex-based paint. Also, when the first coat is applied, allow it to dry completely before proceeding with the second one.

Speaking of paint application methods, there are plenty of them you can choose from. You might want to use a paintbrush, a paint roller, or even a paint sprayer.

However, experienced homeowners suggest painting by hand. This method is more time-consuming and it requires more effort, but it will let you paint around the areas that are hard to reach.

Should you decide to use a paint sprayer, you will previously have to mask up all the areas that are not going to be painted. Such areas typically include the windows, roofing, vents, and doors.

This is how a wooden barn should be painted. Now you have a complete and detailed guide on the process from the preparation steps to the handy tips regarding the paint application techniques.

Ensure you follow all the suggestions we shared above and remember to apply the paint evenly, and you will end up with a perfectly painted barn!

Paint Your Barn
mikrokon via VistaCreate

What Are the Best Colors to Paint a Barn?

Choosing barn paint is important and now you know what kind of paint is best for this kind of paint job. However, there is another point of concern that homeowners often unexpectedly face. What color shall a barn be painted with? Does the color matter at all?

Well, the barn color you choose will depend on whether you want to make it read bold, achieve sophistication, or something in between. We would like to recommend you several most common and popular barn colors that you may opt for.

Popular Color Combinations for Your Pole BarnPopular Color Combinations for Your Pole Barn
  • Red Barn. This is the most classic color selection. Red will help your barn stand out in the background, plus, it will surely add to the value of the property!
  • White is another color option that is both practical and aesthetic. White is a clean and elegant color that goes along with many colors. Besides, it’s the practical choice in hotter climates due to its reflective properties
  • Gray is another color to go for. It’s universal and stylish, besides, you can use one of the many shades of gray to make your barn read lighter or darker
  • The blue barn might not be a usual choice but if you live at the seaside, it will incorporate into the landscape perfectly well! Or you can simply paint your barn blue to make it stand out among the neighbors’ barns!
  • Brown is also good for a few reasons. It’s one of the colors that work well in a farming landscape. Plus, you can use different shades of brown to create contrast! Moreover, brown is awesome because dirt doesn’t show up easily
  • To make your barn look bigger, paint it yellow. In addition, this sunny color will make a beautiful impression because of the way it catches the eye
  • The black barn is another traditional option just like red. Just note that black tends to attract heat, so in summer, it’s going to be quite hot inside!
  • Instead of painting your barn, you can use various wood stains to create a more natural look. A wood-stained unpainted barn looks very organic and highlights the natural beauty of the wood

Well, now you know a lot more about painting barns! We told you what kind of paint is best to be used on wooden barns and why. Also, you learned what paint colors will work best on your barn, which means now you have a varied color palette to choose from, and it contains not only traditional colors like red or black!

You also learned a few handy tips and life hacks on how to improve the paint appearance on your wooden barn walls and how to paint your barn correctly. With the detailed painting instruction and all the tips we shared, painting a barn is no longer a challenge for you!

What Are the Best Colors to Paint a Barn
ysbrand via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How much does it cost to paint a barn?

When it comes to most barns, it will depend on the ease of access. Thus the cost of painting the barn will range between $5,000 to $10,000.

⭐Can you paint over barn paint?

Yes, you can. If you do so, you’ll protect your wood from insects and water damage.

⭐Where can I buy barn paint?

Barn paint can be purchased in any hardware store where they sell other paints, both exterior and interior.

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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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