Updated at: 12-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

It’s a fun family activity to paint a birdhouse, but make sure to choose a color that goes well with the rest of your outdoor furnishings.

Because it is possible for wild birds to eat a small amount of paint, it is important to use a non-toxic, water-based paint when painting a bird home to prevent any potential harm to the birds. Always use external paint and always paint deep into the grain. Never paint the inside. Until the paint fumes have dissipated, the bird house should not be put up, but it should be used for preservation purposes in the meantime.

Bird House Painting

One reason to paint a birdhouse is so that it blends in with the surrounding landscape or so that it complements the rest of the backyard’s aesthetic.

That’s great, because if you wanted to, you could certainly paint the wooden birdhouse.

Brush it on, really getting in there with the grain, and then finish off with some up-and-down strokes that go with the grain.

Choose a brand of paint that will last for at least four or five years, is suitable for external usage yet is not hazardous, and is hardwearing.

I’m a sucker for anything outside furniture or decor-related painted in a deep chocolate brown, so if you know of a paint company that carries that color, please let me know.

Similarly, something brighter but with a matte shine is a common choice for outdoor furniture in the United States.

The tiniest can of paint will do, and a matte finish is preferable to a glossy one if you plan to use it outside.

High-quality paint like this will provide a barrier against the environment and a moisture repellant.

Water based paints only

Only non-toxic paints, some of which may be promoted as water-based, should be used while painting a bird home.

The hacklings need it to be safe because they will be pecking at the painted wooden surface.

The entry hole of a typical nesting bird, like a woodpecker, is sometimes enlarged or reshaped by the bird to better suit its demands.

Ingesting potentially poisonous paint is a risk during this procedure, as it involves chipping away at the edge of a wooden hole.

The end result could be fatal, so stick to water-based, non-toxic paints.

Non-toxic paints are more popular since they are safer for the user and their environment than traditional toxic paints.

No painting bird house interior

Bird House Painting-2

A birdhouse can be painted or stained without risk, but the interior should be left unfinished.

I noted before that pecking at the inside walls can cause the chicks to consume the paint that is stuck to the wood.

Even if it is non-toxic, it shouldn’t be used in a space as vulnerable as the nursery if you care about the health of your family’s youngest members.

It’s possible you’ll want to paint the inside of the bird home, in which case you should use a thin layer and brush it firmly into the wood grain.

The actual entrance hole of the bird home should not be painted either.

This is done so that the bird does not accidentally consume any paint chips. A bird house entry plate is a simple solution to this problem; it’s made of steel so it won’t be damaged by chipping.

Long lasting exterior paint only

Long-lasting exterior paints are recommended since, unfortunately, low-quality outside paints fade quickly.

Even though it would be ideal to practice this on a scrap of wood weeks in advance, you need to get a birdhouse up before it’s too late in the year.

Instead, you should paint the birdhouse in such a way that the paint penetrates deep into the grain, revealing deeper shades of wood as it fades.

The birdhouse will take a beating from the elements over the next few months, so you may expect to see some paint chipping and peeling.

Since you’ll only have a little window of time to take down the bird house, treat it with extra preserve, and repaint it before re-mounting it to the wall or tree, you’ll want to make sure the paint is good enough.

After the nesting season is finished, you can prepare your birdhouse for the birds that will use it as a roost throughout the winter.

No lasting smells

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It’s less of a problem now, but I still recommend paying close attention to the paint can’s label in search of information about the paint’s lingering odor.

The good news is that once you’ve painted the bird house, you can let it dry in the backyard and the paint smell should dissipate.

If they haven’t, you should leave the bird home out in the yard for at least a week to let any lingering odors dissipate.

If you build the birdhouse before the birds move in, the occupants will be exposed to intense, toxic-like smells.

If you want the birdhouse to dry out completely, you need take away or open all the entrances. Don’t rush things; if it means missing part of nesting season, so be it. What’s more important is that the space is free of paint odor.

Preserve untreated bird house

While it’s true that birdhouses can be painted, it’s also important to coat it in preserve before you do.

It doesn’t matter if you use the brand of paint preserver that was recommended by the paint manufacturer or if you use anything else.

The goal of preservation is to slow down the rate of decay or erosion so that the wood can be used for its intended purpose.

In many cases, paint can serve as a sealer in addition to its other functions. To be safe, though, I’d use a specialist preserve created for this same task.

If you want to paint the birdhouse a specific color, you must use a clear preserve, since any other kind of preserve will interfere with the paint job.

Open grain areas, such as the border and the interior of the entrance hole, should be brushed on the preserve both inside and outside the bird house.


Don’t pass up the chance to make your birdhouse blend in with the rest of your yard’s dcor by painting it.

You may paint birdhouses any color you like, whether it’s a bright hue to complement your shed or a dark oak to blend in with your fence.

To avoid harming native avian species, only use water-based paints that are non-toxic.

It’s because birds that choose to nest in bird houses will chip away at the entrance, and the young will do the same thing inside the walls.

Avoid painting the birdhouse’s interior if at all possible.

If you use high-quality, long-lasting exterior paint and brush it deep into the grain, any fading will be less noticeable and the wood will retain its natural beauty for longer.

Paint fumes might be unpleasant to birds, so wait to put up the birdhouse until they have dissipated.

You should always apply a thick coat of preserve to a bird house before painting it.

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