Choosing the correct paint on a bird cage is critical. This is because if you choose the incorrect one then it can be toxic and harmful to your bird. Old and vintage cages sometimes need repainting and new cages (which are normally made of wrought iron) will also require a layer of paint. In this article we’ll show you how to paint a birdcage safely.
How to Safely Paint a Bird Cage
On the day of the painting, move the pet bird into a separate room. This’ll prevent any distractions and stop any paint from getting near the bird (which is especially the case when using a spray paint). Also, ensure you work in a well-ventilated area to avoid developing respiratory problems that may be brought about by dust and paint fumes. You can use a piece of clothing to cover your nose and mouth while working on the cage.
1) Choose Bird Safe Paint
Selecting the preferred paint should be done early on to avoid rushing at the last minute and choosing something that is toxic. The things to consider here are color and materials inside of the paint. Color choice is a matter of individual taste and preference (although black is the standard), but when it comes to quality, you shouldn’t skimp on price as you need to think about the health of your bird.
According to the Earthsay website, the best paint for a bird cage should not contain zinc, lead, or chromate. Birds tend to peck at the bars of their cage, and so they might end up swallowing paint particles in the process. The substances mentioned above can have adverse effects on the bird if ingested and should, therefore, be avoided at all costs. It should also be made to bond well with metal surfaces and dry fast. If your knowledge of paints is limited, you can always ask for assistance from store attendees. Some recommended bird safe paints are listed below:
Recommended Bird Safe Paint
- Renaissance Black Paint – Eco-friendly and non-toxic
- Renaissance Black Paint Starter Kit – (with x2 brushes and wax)
- ECOS gloss paint – eco-friendly and created to match the highest living standard.
2) Clean the Cage
The most important thing to do before getting started on the paintwork is cleaning the cage. Here, you will need a wire brush, sandpaper, and a damp cloth. Ensuring the cage is spotless is critical so this step should not be done hurriedly. If any dust or unwanted articles are left behind, the paint will not adhere correctly. Also according to Steve Hartman, failure to remove dirt and rust will result in the new paint chipping off.
Using the wire brush, you scrub the bars and wires of the cage to remove any flakes or unwanted materials. Follow this up with ensuring the rails or wires are smooth using sandpaper. Do not ignore any section as an uneven surface might harm your bird physically. The last step here is removing dust particles using a damp cloth.
3) Apply the Paint
It is advisable to use a smaller sized brush rather than a regular paint brush because of the rails size. They are small, so a regular brush might cause a big mess. First, apply a thin coat of primer and leave it to dry for about twenty-four hours. The primer’s job is to stick to the metal and allow the paint too easily settle on the cage, it can be the same paint you use for the second layer.
According to Adrienne Kruzer, paint can be drippy and messy, so it is advisable to apply thin coats. Be patient when doing this as you may need to apply two coats of paint. Once you are done with painting, you will have to give the cage a couple of days to dry completely.
Manufacturers usually indicate how long a given paint takes to dry, hence it is essential to read the instructions carefully. Most paints take five to seven days to cure solidly. During this period, you can warm up the cage in sunlight and the rays will speed up the drying process..
Using Spray Paint
You can opt to use spray paint rather than regular paint. You will, however, need to do more research on them as most spray paints are for commercial application and may not be safe to use at home. In such cases, you can always ask a store attendant to help you select the right one or give you more information regarding the various brands they have in stock. Some of the labels you want to look out for are:
- Non-toxic, eco-friendly
- Zero VOC emissions
- Conforms to CDPH 01350
- HPD – Or Health Product Declaration listed
Minimizing Paint Damage
Paint will eventually peel off due to time and other environmental factors, but a good paint job will last decades. To prevent paint from being chipped off by your bird you should provide plenty of perches and ladder for them to climb in the cage. They will create a space with a lot of distractions, and this will reduce the bird’s temptation to chew on the cage or use the bars to climb.
Bird cage toys will also help to keep your birds amused and distracted. These bird cage toys should be bought from special pet retailers and you shouldn’t use normal kids toys which won’t last very long with a parrot’s powerful beak.
After you have painted your bird cage and set everything up correctly, your bird cage paint will last for many years to come.