top of page

To Falu red or not ?

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Anyone who has ever visited Sweden or seen a programme or movie on the TV will have seen the very beautiful red wooden houses that dot the countryside and punctuate the long stretches of white landscape in the snowy winters.

These little wooden buildings are like a thing of fairy tales and spark imagination and ideas of magical stories and creatures, surrounded by swaying grass, wild flowers and tall, pine trees in the summer months.

Wooden houses are intrinsically linked with Scandinavia and appear both in the countryside and the cities too ... not all of them are red of course, they can be painted yellow, white, black, blue, green and even pink ! But undoubtedly the most popular colour is red ... Falu red.

This red has become a staple for the majority of houses and barns in rural Sweden.

The paint originates from Falun in Dalarna which homes what was once Europe's largest copper mine. A by product of copper mining is a red pigment that gives the paint it's wonderful colour. Cheap and easily accessible this paint quickly became very popular with Swedish folk as it also provided protection and nourishment for their wooden homes.

But that was not always the case. In the 1500's castles and large manor houses were painted red to emulate the wealthy cities of Europe and later this spread to noble houses and royal palaces to emulate french red brick grand buildings.

Churches were also painted in the eye catching bright red paint too as it helped to maintain the wood and didn't need repainting all too often.

Lastly, farmers and village folk took to the red paint also as it became more available.

Later, yellow houses became fashionable with those wanting to show off their wealth in the middle classes, with white houses being the most distinctive as owned by very wealthy people...

these colour paints were much harder to make and therefore a lot more expensive to buy !

We are planning on repainting our own home this summer ...

Our house is yellow and hasn't been painted for around 20 years. Two of the walls are in pretty good shape as they are fairly protected from the elements but the other two are flaking paint and look really tired and in need of some serious TLC.

Our house and summer house are yellow, while the barn and garage are Falu red.

The task ahead is an arduous one. It involves using a small metal tool to scrape off the old loose or cracked paint by hand ... a whole house worth... from top to bottom ! Then, once that joyous backbreaking task is complete, you need to brush oil around the bottom of the house and under the windows where water is likely to splash back from the weather etc before you then paint on a primer... then a couple of coats of your chosen colour.

Foolishly we thought we would have it done last year, we got nowhere near and not from a lack of trying (although I must admit that I was much more defeatist then Jonathan when it came to the scraping !!) and so it runs on into this year ... harrumph !

I thought I was decided on a colour too but now I am not so sure... I know that I don't want to keep it the same shade of yellow that it is now, and we had thought a lovely soft cream colour with white trims would look nice and fresh but now I wonder if I might like the traditional red with white window frames and a sage green door... hmmmm decisions, decisions.

What do you think ? What colour would you paint your house ?

57 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Oh, your house would be fantastically beautiful in red! So old fashioned yet modern! I really vote for red! ❤️ /The Wallgren Neighbours 😘
Mar 29, 2023
Replying to

I just can't decide !!! I better make my mind up quick !!! I also quite like the sage greens too :)


As you know, our house it grey with white trimmings. I initially really wanted a "red" house but at least we have a red barn. The more I am looking at other houses, the more I am falling for the yellow: there is something about it being surround by lush green grass in summertime and the snow during the winter. The white/cream combo really does work nicely (our neighbours have it) and, I would agree, it does looks luxurious. Good luck on the decision making. 😊

Mar 29, 2023
Replying to

Hi Laura, I am still none the wiser when it comes to a colour decision lol !! Hopefully getting some quotes to have it painted by someone else... it is a killer job !!

bottom of page