Swedish Falu Red

As you drive through the Swedish countryside, you can’t help but notice how many houses and barns are painted the same shade of red. Well, that red has a name – Falu Red or Falu Rödfärg – and historical significance.

Falu Red is named for Falun, a small town outside of Stockholm. NCS S5040-Y80R  – that’s what you’d ask for in a Swedish paint store – was created from the red pigment byproduct of the Falun copper mines. These mines were an early source of wealth for Sweden and a graveyard for too many Swedish miners. It’s Falun Mine that you see pictured in our header and the first photo below.

Falu red offered a protective coating to its buildings and was seen to mimic the expensive brick houses of more wealthy landowners. In Swedish folk songs, ‘the little red cottage’ symbolizes a simple, happy country life.

You’ll also see Falu Red in the paintings of well-known, historic Swedish painters.

Hanna Hirsch-Pauli. The Farm. 1887

Anders Zorn. The Mora Fair. 1892


Jenny Nyström. The Broken Doll. 1874

Jenny Nyström. Getting the Christmas Tree.

Carl Larsson. Gården och brygghuset. 1897

Carl Larsson. Frukost under stora björken. 1896

Anders Zorn. Midsummer Dance. 1897

Written by Elizabeth Newton



Lynn Sea


Miriam Gittens

Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton