Many people want their backyard to be attractive to animals, and they enjoy setting up a nesting area for them. Birdhouses are great for painting and decorating to attract birds, and it makes a great art project! But is acrylic paint safe for birdhouses? Most definitely! Acrylic paint is one of the safest paints for your birdhouse projects.
I know a few people who have a dozen birdhouses set up across their backyard fence, and a few bird families inhabit them. Not only do they get to watch the birds nest, but also enjoy the beautiful music in the morings.
In this article we will go over everything you need to know for painting your birdhouse with acrylic paint, as well as some questions you may have. Let’s get to it!
Designing Your Birdhouse
There are so many beautiful painted birdhouses in endless colors and designs, but also in simple solid colors. Choosing the right paint color and design is just the beginning for your project. For acrylic paint, I recommend this Arteza set, it’s super high quality and non-toxic.
Some birders actually make the birdhouse resemble a real home with cool architecture designs and color coordinating trims. Others do themed houses which are trending right now, and a regular birdhouse can be transformed into a dynasty palace, country tea cottage, or even a modern 5 story home.
Sport themed birdhouses are also a thing if you didn’t know. However, not all of these paint options are best for birds.
Painting your birdhouse with acrylic paint is also a super kid friendly activity that your little ones will love! My kids have painted birdhouses like these, and they come unfinished, so they can get crazy and paint as they wish.
There are a few different types of birdhouses to choose from. For example you may want a more private boxed birdhouse like this one, that only has an opening for the birds, and for your to lift up of course. Or you may want a fun home looking unfinished birdhouse such as this one.
Below in the article I have linked pictures of all my favorites unfinished birdhouses, and even some kid friendly ones, so read on!
Is Painting Birdhouses Good for Birds?
Most birds that use birdhouses to nest and live in, aren’t usually picky about their home. What they mostly care about is that it can accommodate their family and is safe in size and shape for them. When you paint a birdhouse, you must make sure you choose a non-toxic acrylic paint, otherwise it can be poisonous for the birds.
When choosing colors, keep in mind of where you’ll be keeping the birdhouse. If it will be in a shaded areas such as your covered patio, you can typically go with darker colors, but if your birdhouse will be exposed to the sun constantly, a dark color will overheat and smother the birds.
In my opinion, the best colors for a birdhouse depend on the house type and where it will be stationed. As a rule of thumb, natural camouflaged colors such as gray, dark green, brown, and even tan help the birdhouse blend into its environment to keep nesting birds safe from predators.
If your birdhouse will be mounted in a beautiful garden, you can definitely choose more colorful paints that go with nearby floral hues. White paint is recommended for common martin birdhouses because it helps reflect heat away from the open area, and as we all know, any house can benefit from that heat reflection on hot summer days.
Florescent, metallic, or iridescent paints should generally be avoided because of their overly dramatic brightness and other additives in the paint that could be harmful to wildlife.
Tips for Painting a Birdhouse
– Always use water-based latex paint, and avoid lead-based paints since they can be toxic to birds.
– Avoid painting the inside of a birdhouse or around the entrance hole. Since growing birds sometimes peck at surfaces, they could ingest paint chips, or small chips of paint could get into the hatchlings’ delicate eyes.
-Make sure that the paint does not block or seal small ventilation holes or drainage holes in the house. These holes are necessary for a safe birdhouse, and should be kept open and useful at all times.
-Remember to give the paint enough time to dry thoroughly before mounting the house for birds to use. This allows potentially toxic odors to disperse before birds inhabit the house, and will keep those odors from attracting nearby predators.
For more tips on keeping your acrylic painted projects outdoors, check out one of my other articles, that go over safety and heat related questions.
How to Seal Birdhouses
Now that you finished painting your birdhouse, it’s time to put the final touch and seal it with some acrylic paint sealant. This is important because you want to ensure your birdhouse remains safe, and the paint doesn’t wash off in the rain, or other weather conditions.
I highly recommend this acrylic paint sealant. It’s durable and protects against UV rays! Whenever you’re done with any acrylic paint project, you always want to make sure you either spray or paint on a clear sealant. Some paint sealants come in aerosol forms, while others you need to paint them on.
You’ll want to make sure you cover the area where you’ll be working with newspapers or plastic sheeting. The paint on the birdhouse should be dry before you begin to work. You can also use a paintbrush to coat all the surfaces on the birdhouse, making sure to get under the eaves and on the interior, if you can reach it.
Wait for your birdhouse to dry, and then reapply a second coat for the best protection. Wait two days for the product to dry completely before hanging up your birdhouse
Always remember to look for a product that offers protection against pests, mildew, UV rays and water. It should be clear, with no tints or finishes so that it doesn’t change the look of the paint on your birdhouse.
Birdhouse Painting Ideas for Kids
Lately I have seen a lot DIY ideas for painting birdhouses, but I also wanted to share hoe much fun it can be for kids too! It’s a great activity to keep them busy, and they get to learn about all sorts of birds.
Materials You Will Need:
- Unfinished wooden birdhouses
- Acrylic Paint for Kids
- Paint brushes
- Acrylic Paint Sealer
Your kids will have tons of fun designing their own birdhouse, and can even mount them later once they are dry. I usually set up in the patio and just have them pick out their colors before we start. They will love learning about how their birdhouse will help birds rest and also possibly nest in them.
Once they’re done, remember to let the birdhouse dry for an hour or so, and then seal it with the acrylic paint sealer.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article, and don’t forget that whichever paint you go with, make sure it’s non-toxic and overall safe for the birds. Also, check out my other articles for all you acrylic painting needs, as well as my top pick products in my Recommended Products Page.