Updated at: 18-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

It’s important to remember that coloring wooden bird feeders is a delicate procedure, and that you need to take special care not to harm the birds you’ll be feeding.

Water-based, non-toxic dyes are the safest option for staining a wooden bird feeder. Keep the feeder’s interior free of stains, but don’t use it until you’ve given it a thorough week or more of testing. In order to achieve the greatest possible staining results, it is recommended that the feeder be taken apart as much as possible.

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Wooden bird feeders should only be treated with water-based stains, and even high-quality stains should be used with caution to avoid poisoning the birds.

Keep in mind that the same rules for staining a wooden bird feeder apply when finishing a bird house or feeding stand made of the same material.

The same precautions should be used if you opt to paint the bird feeder instead.

Selecting a non-toxic stain is the only option if you care about keeping the wild birds safe from harmful poisons and want to adhere to the criteria set forth.

More can be done if the feeder’s interior is not stained; if testing is necessary, it should be done to ensure there will be no bleeding.

It’s a great chance to add some excitement by staining a boring feeder that might use some color.

If you’re thinking about using a vivid hue, think about how the color of the bird feeder will seem in your yard.

A natural wood hue palette, including dark oak, ancient pine, mahogany, and walnut, for example, is perfect for this.

A bottle or can of 250 ml capacity won’t break the bank. If it’s still available, I highly suggest you pick up some Dark Walnut Ready Seal Cedar Exterior Wood from [online retailer] Amazon.

In order to prevent any stain from seeping into the wild bird food within the feeder, a wood sealer combination may be used.

Take apart the bird feeder and stain it well, but keep in mind that one layer of stain may not be enough. However, if you add another coat, the color will become darker and the wood grain would be obscured.

Staining wooden feeders possible

As long as you’re careful with the wood stain you use, any wooden bird feeder will look great once it’s been stained.

There are a lot of poisonous, harmful for wild birds stains on the market, so it’s important to read labels and stay away from those. Water-based and non-toxic solutions should be easy enough to find.

Once you’ve decided on a can or bottle of stain, you’ll need to use it to cover all the bare wood on the feeder. Otherwise, it will stand out like a sore thumb.

Staining wooden bird feeders may be fun, so why not have the kids over for an arts and crafts session if you’re using a non-toxic stain?

But many things can go wrong while coloring bird feeders, so let me elaborate.

Avoid staining feeder interior

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Finding the best wood stain to use on a bird feeder, intended for fragile backyard birds, is the next step in ensuring the feed is safe.

The wild bird seeds or peanuts hanging within the wooden bird feeder, or on the open platform feeder, may become tainted with the stain over time.

It’s less of an issue if the stain being used is non-toxic, but it’s still something to think about.

If you can’t wait a couple of weeks, you can perform some testing without staining the bird feeder’s interior.

A stain prevents the feed from being attached to it in the long run.

It’s understandable that you’d like to stain the interior regardless, but keep in mind that a stained outside and a bare wood interior can look odd.

Use wood sealer to protect feed

Both completely staining the wooden bird feeder and choosing to stain only the visible external sections can lead to some complications.

If you use a generic or store brand, the weaker stain formula could leak into the bird seed inside and eventually fade away.

You can prevent the possibly dangerous discoloration from leaking onto the seeds or nuts by sealing them with a comparable, non toxic sealer.

Given that stain can be removed by normal use, it’s likely that the manufacturer would advise taking such measures.

To simplify matters, try purchasing the sealer from the same manufacturer as the stain rather than shopping around.

Non-toxic, or water-based only

Bird Safe Wood Sealer

When staining or painting a wooden platform feeder, birdhouse, or any other wood product, it is crucial that you only use non-toxic stains.

To protect backyard birds, it’s important to use only non-toxic paints and preservatives, as well as stains.

Indoor and outdoor stains typically include harmful chemicals that should be avoided when staining wooden bird feeders.

Water-based is a more common marketing term than “non-toxic,” which is typically reserved for stains with use on children’s toys.

To ensure the safety of the wildlife you wish to feed, use a water-based stain instead of one that contains harmful chemicals.

Allow drying time to pass

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to wait a while after staining the complete wooden bird feeder or just a few sections.

Rather than waiting the recommended twelve or twenty-four hours, you may accomplish two objectives by letting the newly dyed bird feeder dry out in the open for a few days: it will harden and become ready to handle wild bird meal safely.

First, if the stain is given time to dry for several days, there is no way it will leak onto the feed.

Second, letting a stained bird feeder dry in the open air is the only way to get rid of the odor or fumes.

In other words, the newly stained bird feeder has dried completely and has almost little odor.

Test stain quality after cure

Although it is now completely dry, you shouldn’t use it just yet so that the stained feeder may undergo some testing.

What I mean is that it will take longer than a few days to determine whether or not the brand of stain being used is going to be a good stain to utilize in the long run.

To prepare the wooden bird feeder for use, you should hang it up and then expose it to direct sunlight or moist circumstances over a period of time — maybe a couple of weeks if you can be patient.

The bird feeder can be removed from its mounting bracket so that the inner or weather-exposed surface can be examined for signs of fading or bleeding.

There’s no reason to rush things, so long as the birds don’t devour too much of the meal, you can keep the feeder stocked with a small amount of seeds or nuts at a time and check on the stain that comes into touch with the grain at regular intervals for a few weeks.

Can you stain bird feeders summary

As a bird feeder is a delicate feeding station, I would not suggest using any exterior wood stain.

To begin, you can only use stains that are advertised as being non-toxic or water-based.

Where the stain comes into touch with the feed, more care is required.

Therefore, if at all possible, you should avoid staining the area where the wild bird feed is stored, as this might make unsightly bare spots.

As a result, if you must, you should at least use a high-quality stain that won’t bleed into the feed.

The quality of the stain can be tested by not refilling the feeder for a few weeks.

This should give you some breathing room to check the feeder and ensure the stain used is of high quality, meaning it will not fade or bleed in hot or humid environments.

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