Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Birds?

Is Acrylic Paint Safe For BirdsIf you are thinking about building a birdhouse or even some toys for a fine-feathered friend, you’ll want to be careful about the materials. Birds are sensitive to a number of things and the last thing that you want to do is give them something toxic. So, is acrylic paint safe for birds?

Absolutely! While you wouldn’t want to paint something for your bird and put it in before it was dry, painting with acrylic is a good way to make various bird goodies more colorful and this water-cased paint is actually quite safe for them.

In this article I’ll go into the subject in a little more detail so that you can get a better idea why acrylic is okay to use for birdhouses and toys and we’ll talk about other paints that are safe. Finally, we’ll discuss by other kinds of paint are actually quite toxic to birds.

Let’s discuss paint and what it means to avian species!

Is acrylic paint safe for bird toys?Is acrylic paint safe for bird toys

The fast answer to this question would be ‘yes, but there are exceptions. When it comes to acrylic paints you always want to read the label. While it is uncommon for acrylic paint to actually be toxic to birds and other animals, some acrylics will incorporate special pigments that also change the toxicity of the paint.

This is going to be more common in expensive acrylics, which need these pigment particles in order to create the specific color that is advertised. Thankfully, it’s not hard to determine if your paint is bird-friendly or not.

Just take a look at the labelling.

By law, if that particular paint is toxic, then there is going to be a warning on the label, so when you are selecting the paints that you would like to use for your birdhouse or for the bird toys which you are making, you’ll want to be sure to check the back of the tube.

The odds are that it will be non-toxic, but you’ll always want to check – just in case!

What type of paint is safe for birds?

What type of paint is safe for birdsNon-toxic acrylics are going to be the safest paints for use with birds, but there are also a few general rules that you can follow when you are looking for bird-safe paint. First off, you need to make sure that the paint does not contain any zinc, lead, or chromate. All of these are highly toxic to birds and unsuitable to painting their cages or toys with.

If it’s for a metal cage, you want to make sure that it’s the fast-drying, high-adhesion variety that is specifically designed for animals and to bond to metal surfaces. If you need to paint the bird’s room, however, then you need to be a bit more careful. You’ll want to move the bird to another room and ensure that you paint with proper ventilation. Don’t put the bird back in to the room until the paint is fully dry and you no longer smell the fumes. Provided that you’ve avoided the paints with zinc, lead, and chromates then it should be just fine.

Paint fumes from some types of paint can be extremely toxic to birds and I’ll explain a little more about that in the next section.

Note: Acrylic paints often contain ammonia or formaldehyde, so while the paint is mostly non-toxic for birds, Budgies are an exception, so be sure to check your labelling if you have a pet Budgie.

Why is paint so toxic for birds?Why is paint so toxic for birds

Zinc, leads, chromates, and VOC (volatile organic compounds) are all chemicals that may be found often in common house paints and the like. Not only is ingesting the paint toxic to birds, but these chemicals are carried in the fumes, which can be lethal to birds in a very short time.

The problem with fumes from these toxic paints is that they stick around for a long, long time. For many years after you’ve painted a room, it can still be releasing these toxic chemicals and they can cause your bird to eventually get sick.

For this reason, you want to be very careful if you are painting the bird’s room. Be sure to check and doublecheck the labelling and if you still aren’t sure, check out some bird forums online and you can ask some other bird owners. That way you can get the benefit of their experience and paint with confidence.

In closing

Is acrylic safe for birds? In most cases – yes, it is – but you’ll want to check the labelling just in case that specific acrylic employs a pigment compound that might be toxic for your bird. If you’ve checked the labelling then you should be fine for painting birdhouses and bird toys.

If you aren’t sure about the paint that you want to use, check for chemicals such as lead, zinc, chromates, and VOC’s. These are definitely toxic and should be avoided. By the way, if you are looking to paint a concrete birdbath, you can find a great little step-by-step here that details the process. It’s a fun little project and the birds will love you for it!

Until next time, I wish you and your birds the best!