Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Birdhouses? 8 Key Factors To Know

Birdhouse is an excellent way to welcome birds into your home. They not only provide shelter to birds but a charm to your backyard as well. These miniatures can compel various species of birds to visit your home and stay there permanently if you decorate them with the right paints and colors. 

There are many paints to use for birdhouses, but I suggest acrylics. The reasons will be discussed later, but the main concern is picking bird-friendly paint.

So is acrylic paint safe for birdhouses? Yes, it is safe, but applying it the wrong way to these mini houses can be harmful to the birds. Read the post to learn more about painting these bird shelters safely. 

Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Birdhouses?

Yes, acrylic paint is water-based, doesn’t produce poisonous fumes, and is odorless, which makes it safe and non-toxic to the health of every kind of bird. Moreover, it is a perfect choice to decorate birdhouses as it dries quickly and lasts longer.

8 Things To Consider For A Safe Birdhouse While Painting

Birds are quite sensitive and alert as compared to humans. They would never inhabit a place where they feel danger or unsafe. Moreover, it’s our moral duty to provide them with a safe environment in our homes. So how can you assure them of secure surroundings? Well, some factors need to be addressed in detail, which is as follows.

  • Colors That Prevent Bird Predators

The first thing is to paint the mini houses in a way that they match or blend with their surrounding. The step will prevent predators and make it difficult for cats, eagles, snakes, chipmunks, etc., to find these bird shelters. In this way, you’ll be able to provide a predator-free environment to the guest birds.

Let me give you an idea of how you can do that. Paint the house with light colors matching the surrounding. For example, paint them with green, brown, and yellow colors if situated in your green and floral backyard. You can paint them dusky and grey if they have to be hung on the back wall of your house. 

In short, no matter where you put these birdhouses, it should be taken into account that they integrate into their atmosphere. 

  • Colors That Affect Birdhouse Temperature 

Make sure you choose the colors wisely while painting birdhouses. Dark colors like black, red, blue, etc., absorb sunlight leading to increased temperature. So if the mini houses have to spend much of the time in daylight, paint them with light-repellent colors like white, yellow, sky blue, and others to avoid enhanced temperature inside the house.  

On the other hand, paint them with dark colors if you’re living in a cold area or if the houses have to be in the shade. Shortly, provide a balanced temperature for the birds in the birdhouses by selecting the right colors. 

  • Avoid Odorous And Fluorescent Paints

Decoration of birdhouses is done either for fun art or to invite the birds. You would never want to repel these flying guests. So avoid paints having irritating odors as it can not only disturb the birds but compromise their health as well. Oil-based paints have A sharp smell and are not ideal to be used across the birds.  

Moreover, fluorescent paints like metallic ones are not a good idea to be applied over the houses. The shine can make the birds feel insecure. This is why I prefer acrylic paint, which is perfect in many aspects. It doesn’t release smell or fluorescence.  

  • Don’t Paint Birds Feeding Cups

I usually put mini feeding cups for water and food inside the birdhouses. It is an excellent way to help these noble creatures quench their thirst and appetite. Moreover, it helps you attract more birds to your home, especially those searching for food. 

Avoid painting these cups as the birds come directly in contact with them. The paint may make its way to the bird’s mouth and prove deadly. So you better remove the cups and paint the houses separately. 

  • Don’t Close Ventilation And Drainage Holes

There are tiny holes in the birdhouses. They are made for ventilation and drainage during manufacturing. So make sure you don’t clog them during painting. Acrylic paint is thick and has good coverage making it suitable for filling gaps. But here, we don’t want to fill these holes. So what should you do?

One way is thinning acrylic paint by adding paint thinner. But it may reduce vibrancy and opacity. Another way is tapping these holes to prevent the paint from clogging them. 

  • Let The Paint Dry Before Installing 

The paint needs to be dried entirely over the surface of the birdhouses before you go and install them in your backyard. The reason is wet paint is soft and can be removed easily, and it is still a hazard for birds. So I think it’s not a big deal if you wait a while and let it get cured. Acrylic paint is fast-drying and will not take more than a few hours to get dried and cured. 

  • Use Lead-Free Paint

Some paints come with Lead in their composition. Lead is added to speed up the drying process and provide durability. But at the same time, the metal (lead) brings health hazards to the community of humans and animals. 

The metal is released from the paint due to certain conditions in the environment. The free-floating Lead may be ingested or inhaled by the birds. So avoid using paints having this heavy metal. Fortunately, acrylic paint is lead-free and safe. But still, you better confirm the composition before buying.  

  • Avoid Painting The Entrance And Interior

Birds enter the birdhouses through a small hole in the front of the shelter. They sometimes sit there and look around for making sure the environment is safe. Avoid applying paint to this entrance or hole. The reason is if the paint is chipped, birds may ingest them, which is harmful to their health. 

Moreover, never paint the house’s interior, as it can be a risk too. The bird’s eggs or newborn babies may face trouble. Acrylic paint peels if not sealed. The birds may eat this chipped paint which can be proved to be toxic. So either avoid coloring the spots where birds are in direct contact with the paint or seal it well. 

Seal Paint To Make Birdhouses Safe 

Acrylic paint adheres well to the wood, metal, and plastic birdhouses, but sealing it, is not only good for your overall artwork but safe, too. It prevents the paint from peeling. Otherwise, there is a chance the birds will ingest the chipped paint. 

Now the question is how to seal the paint on the birdhouse and what type of sealant you need. Well, it depends on the surface of the birdhouse if it is wood, metal, or plastic. For wood, a polyurethane varnish is ideal, while for metal and plastic, acrylic spray sealant is a good choice. 

How to seal acrylic paint on birdhouses? It is simple, once the paint is dried, apply the sealant with a brush in thin and multiple coatings or use a spray sealer for convenience and fast processing. Let the surface dry in the air for a few hours. 

Paints For Birdhouses Other Than Acrylics

Acrylic paint is not the last option to be used on these bird shelters or bird cages. But it’s the best one as far as I know. I’ve been using the paint for a long due to its non-toxic, fast-drying, and durable nature. However, there are other options you can go for to give a fetching appearance to these mini houses. Read below to learn about them. 

  • Watercolours For Birdhouse

They are very simple to use as they don’t require extra preparation. In addition, they can be handled and managed even by a beginner. Being non-toxic, you can select them for your birdhouses. But the downside to using them is that they are less resistant to harsh conditions like light and rain. Which means you can’t expect them to live longer.

  • Latex Paint For Birdhouses

Latex paint is safe for birds but not ideal for surviving longer. It fades sooner of the environmental conditions. However, it is affordable and very common at any hardware store. In addition, it is easy to apply on wood surfaces. But still, it’s not as durable as other paints.  

  • Oil-Based Paints For Birdhouse

Oil-based paints are the best choice to extend the lifespan of your artwork. In addition, they require low maintenance, provide rich colors, and cling to any surface. But I suggest you don’t use them around birds since they have a strong odor and consist of heavy metals along with poisonous chemicals. 

So which is the best paint for birdhouses? The best paint for birdhouses is acrylic paint as it doesn’t consist of any toxic substances and is good to last longer on the surface. 

How To Make Birdhouse Your Own? DIY Project

An average birdhouse costs 30$, which is an affordable and reasonable price, but why don’t you make it your own? If you’re fond of art and creativity, you’d love to design a bird shelter. Here is how to make a DIY birdhouse.  

  • Take rough paper and draw a design you want to construct using a pencil. You may choose architectural designs like a palace, tea cottage, or modern home.  
  • Now take flat wood pieces and cut them according to the structure you have on paper. Shape the wood pieces accordingly. 
  • Connect these cut-out wood pieces using keels and hammers. Some parts would need glue to be attached to the structure. 
  • Once the structure is prepared, color it using acrylic paint. You can go for multiple colors to give a catching appearance to the prepared birdhouse. 

Birds Safe Paint For Metal 

Water-based paints are safe to be used on metal bird cages or houses. They not only provide a secure surrounding but also stick to the surface firmly. Non-toxic paint for birdhouses includes acrylic paint and latex. 

Make sure you prime the metal house before applying the paint. In addition, use sandpaper to rub the metal surface in order to make it accept the color and enhance the adhesion of the paint. You should learn more about acrylic paint usage on metal objects.

Simple Bird Safe Paint For Wood

Acrylic paint is bird safe to be used on wooden surfaces. A birdhouse made of wood should be painted with acrylic or latex dyes as both of them are free of harmful ingredients and consist of water as solvent. 

Never forget to varnish acrylic paint to seal it over the wooden top. It extends the resistant nature of the paint, which protects it from fading away with time.

Birdhouse Painting Ideas

Acrylic is a bird friendly paint and if you use the right, it is harmless to birds. I’ve mentioned some of the best birdhouse painting ideas using acrylic in the list below.

  • Rainbow Delight

Paint each section of the birdhouse in a different vibrant color of the rainbow. Add white clouds on a blue background to the roof for an extra touch.

  • Whimsical Garden

Create a garden scene on the birdhouse, painting flowers, butterflies, ladybugs, and vines around it. Use bright and cheerful colors to make it lively.

  • Nautical Theme

Paint the birdhouse in shades of blue and white, resembling a beach house. Add details like anchors, seashells, and a miniature lighthouse for a maritime touch.

  • Cozy Cottage

Paint the birdhouse to resemble a charming cottage. Use warm colors like pastel pinks, blues, and yellows. Add details like a miniature picket fence and a tiny flower garden.

  • Fairy Tale Fantasy

Create a magical scene by painting the birdhouse with whimsical details like a miniature castle, a winding path, and mystical creatures like unicorns or fairies.

  • Nature’s Hideaway

Paint the birdhouse to blend into its natural surroundings. Use earthy tones like greens and browns, and add details like leaves, branches, and animals to mimic a hidden nook in the forest.

  • Modern Abstract

Opt for a contemporary look by using bold, abstract shapes and colors. Experiment with geometric patterns, splatters, or even a drip effect for a unique and eye-catching design.

  • Vintage Charm

Give the birdhouse an antique look by using distressed paint techniques. Paint it in a soft, muted color and add weathered details like cracks, aging, and faux rust.

  • Pop Art Inspired

Embrace vibrant colors and bold patterns reminiscent of pop art. Paint the birdhouse with bright hues, comic book-style dots, or even famous pop art motifs like Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans.

  • Tropical Paradise

Transport your feathered friends to a tropical oasis by painting the birdhouse with lush green palm leaves, vibrant flowers, and a sunset backdrop of oranges, pinks, and purples.


Is acrylic paint safe for bird toys? 

Yes, acrylic paint is safe for bird toys as long as you know to apply it with caution. The paint is non-toxic and lead-free, making it the safest among water-based colours. 

Is acrylic paint toxic to birds?

Acrylic paint is not toxic to birds, but if ingested or inhaled in a more significant amount, it can be fatal. However, painting bird cages and houses with this dye is safe.

What kind of paint do you use on an outdoor birdhouse?

Outdoor birdhouses are exposed to direct sunlight, rain, and harsh environment. So acrylic paint is good to bear such severe conditions. However, priming and sealing the paint is advised to add extra protection to the color. The paint is also non-toxic, which makes it safe to be used around birds. 

Can you paint a bird feeder with acrylic paint? 

Bird the feeder can be painted with acrylic paint, but never forget to seal the paint. Sealing protects the paint from chipping, so the birds are safe from ingesting the peeled paint. 


Is acrylic paint safe for birdhouses? I hope the query is answered thoroughly in the post. Please never ignore the preventive measures discussed above, as minor ignorance can be deadly for the birds. 

You can share your suggestions, views, and opinions on the topic in the comment section below. 

Thank you! 

Jose Scott

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