Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Birds? (For Toys & Birdhouses)

If you love birds and keep birdhouses in your yard, the last thing you want to do is get them sick from toxins on a painted birdhouse.

Acrylic paint is one of the most accessible paints, but is acrylic paint safe or toxic for birds?

This type of paint can be safe for birdhouses. Read more about how to paint your birdhouse in the guide below. 

Yes! If you're dying to paint your birdhouse or bird cage or bird feeder, you can use acrylic paint for the project. This type of paint safe for birds as long as they're not eating it. 

Acrylic paint is a typical paint that artists use and even the home DIYers. This type of paint is fast-drying and has three components: the pigment, binder, and vehicle.  

The pigment is the color. The binder keeps the pigment in place when the paint dries, and the vehicle is what carries the pigment and binder.  

Acrylic paint is often used for painting plastic, fabric, leather, wood, and other projects around the home. Since it's generally a non-toxic, odorless, and water paint, it can also be used on dog paws, cat paws or fish aquariums.

Since acrylic paint is primarily odorless, it doesn't emit paint fumes like oil-based paint (oil paints). However, if your acrylic paint happens to have an oil base, you'll want to avoid this when painting your bird houses since it can emit toxic fumes.

Parrots Perched on Painted Metal

Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Bird Toys? 

Yes! Most pet toys are painted with water-based acrylic. Water-based acrylic is beneficial for bird toys because it's non-toxic and can withstand getting wet.  

Using right paint that's non-toxic and able to get wet is especially important for bird toys since they'll likely get wet when near the birdbath.  

Can I Paint In The Same Room As My Bird?

You can own paint the birdhouse while your bird is in the room with you without jeopardizing their health. This do not harm birds as long as you're using water-based acrylic. We will say that it's best to keep your bird away from the wet paint.  

Not only can it get messy if your bird gets into the wet paint, but it's not a good idea for them to ingesting paint. Keeping a lid on the paint or a close eye on your bird throughout the painting process is critical. 

Does Acrylic Paint In Birdbaths Hurt Birds? 

It doesn't! Just like how acrylic paint on a birdhouse won't harm your bird, using it on a birdbath won't.

The one thing you'll need to consider if you're painting the bird bath with acrylic paint is utilizing a sealant that will protect the paint from water damage. 

Can You Use Sealant For Your Birdhouse? 

Weatherproofing your birdhouse is very important and using a sealant that's not harmful to the birds is crucial. You'll want to use a water-based sealant that's also waterproof.  

Another great option to seal your birdbath is to use non-toxic linseed oil. Something to remember about this sealant is that it can take weeks to dry, so you'll need to be patient and not place it outside before it's finished. 

Some bird owners use spray paint as spray paint dries quickly – often in less than an hour. Krylon or Rust-Oleum are bird safe paints for painting bird cages or bird feeders if you let the freshly painted item to dry.

Sealing your paint job also helps fill in any cracks in the wood that may allow rain or wind to seep into the house. When you properly weatherproof the bird house, you don't need to worry about your birds getting wet and cold from the elements. 

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.

What Types Of Paint Are Safe For Birds?

There are dozens of types of paint out there, and not all of them are safe for birds.  

The three types of safe paint for birds are acrylic, latex, and oil paint. Acrylic is the most popular option because it's weather-resistant and waterproof if you seal it well. The one downside to use acrylic paint is that it is thin and requires extra coats. 

Latex paint is also a water-base paint safe for painting birdhouses or bird baths, but it's not resistant to weathering like acrylic. It's mostly used for interior rooms, but exterior latex paints are available. It also takes longer to dry than acrylic.  

Oil-based paints are safe paint to use on the exterior of the birdhouse, but most people advise against it for the interior due to potential odors. The positive thing about oil-based paint is its high durability, which is excellent for the exterior. 

What Should You Look For When Buying Birdhouse Paints?

One of the main features you should look for when buying paints for your birdhouse is if it is water-based or not.

If so, this won't be harmful when attracting birds. However, it is essential to look out for paints with high Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels as this can be highly toxic fumes for birds.  

Bottles of Acrylic Paints

What Should You Do If You Use Toxic Paint On A Birdhouse?

If you accidentally used the wrong paint for your birdhouse, don't panic. You don't need to throw the house away and get a new one.

There are ways to remove the paint and start over before harming your birds. The first thing you need to do is remove your birds from the house if they're in it.  

You'll need a soap that lathers well like dish soap. You'll soak a cloth in the soapy water and rub the painted birdhouse. You'll keep doing this until all the paint is off. Once the paint is off, let the house dry, and then you can repaint it later. 

If you used oil-based paint, you'd need a paint stripper, but this can emit paint fumes, so you'll need to be careful. Before you repaint the house, make sure you're using water-based paint that is safe for your birds to prevent having to do this again. 

Red Paint Tipped Brush and Bottles of Paint

Common Birdhouse Painting Questions 

How long after painting is it safe for birds? 

Although acrylic is a quick-dry paint, it's essential to give at least a day before putting your birdhouse up for use to make sure it's completely dry.  

What is the best color to paint a birdhouse? 

The best colors to paint a birdhouse are earthy neutrals, specifically neutral green, brown, and blue. Vibrant colors can discourage birds from going to your birdhouse and attract predators. 

Should you paint or stain a birdhouse? 

You can do either. Painting is the preferred option for most people, but you can stain the wood as long as you're only doing the exterior and adequately sealed. Staining the interior can harm the birds since they'll be in close quarters with the product. 


So, is acrylic paint toxic for birds? No, acrylic paint is safe to use on birdhouses or bird baths. Painting them earth tones will help draw the birds to the home without causing them any harm. 

Remember to use water-based acrylic paint as it is watercolor paint and seal the house properly. Wait at least a day before allowing birds to make it their home.