The first traces of ‘Falun red’ go right back to the 1500s. Timber houses painted red were a sign of wealth and status. The red brick buildings found on the continent served as models. Municipal authorities ordered street frontages to be painted red before royal visits.
The technique of painting houses red spread out from the towns. Throughout the country, elegant manor houses were built using the cross-beamed method and painted red. The fashion subsequently spread from the manor houses to prosperous mineowners’ houses, farms and rectories. At the same time it became increasingly common for buildings in towns to be panelled and painted in light oil paints.
The farmers now painted their dwellings and outbuildings. Towards the end of the 1800s, ‘Falun red’ paint reached the common people. National romanticism swept the country and in particular Carl Larsson’s Sundborn estate contributed to the dream of the little red cottage.
The homestead and ‘own-your-own-home’ movements of the 1930s contributed to an upswing in use of red paint. Other paints such as plastic paints and modern oil paints arrived after the Second World War. However, in recent years our young architects have increasingly been introducing Falu Rödfärg into modern architecture, at the same time as interest in architectural heritage has grown and with it interest in Sweden’s national colour with its tried and tested characteristics.