The safest paint for bird baths is, MyArtscape Acrylics (non-toxic) (link to Amazon)
If you’re looking for heated bird baths for the fall and winter, please check out my review of my 2 heated birdbaths. You can find that article here, Heated Bird Baths.
Safe Paint For Bird Baths
I get a lot of questions about how to paint a concrete birdbath so that it’s safe for birds to drink the water. Here you’ll find the answers to your questions. I have been making and painting concrete bird baths for what seems like forever. I know what works and what is safe for your birds.
Painting Concrete Birdbaths
Painting concrete birdbath is no different than painting any other type of concrete ornament. I have painted many bird bathes over the years and never had any problems with paint blistering or bubbling. If you do it the way I do, you won’t have to worry about poisoning your birds that come to pay the bird bath a visit. Because I use all non-toxic products. I’ll tell you exactly what I use and how to apply it. So let’s get into how it’s done.
You should base coat all of your concrete ornaments. It helps to prevent the top coat of paint from bubbling or blistering on the statue. To properly apply the base coat you should mix water with your desired color basecoat. About a 50/50 mix should do the trick. You want the concrete to absorb the paint and that will create a seal. You should use flat latex acrylic paint for this, here is what I personally use, Glidden Flat Black Exterior Paint(Link to Amazon) It’s not necessary to use that brand or color, it is just my personal preference.
Applying The Top Coat
This here is pretty much straightforward. Paint the birdbath whatever color you want to make it. For this, use acrylic paint also. I recommend flat exterior paint over enamels or med or hi-gloss paints because they tend to smear, whereas flat paint doesn’t. Don’t use it inside the basin though, use bilge paint (more on that next)
Non-Toxic Concrete Sealer For Bird Bath
I’m willing to bet you’re having a hard time searching the internet to find a sealer for your birdbath, to be exact, a sealer for the inside of your birdbath lid to protect the paint from the sitting water so it doesn’t start bubbling or peeling. There is a very good reason for that. There is NONE that are non-toxic for birds that will last, I’ll repeat that a water-based non-toxic sealer will not last submerged under water! That is why you should use bilge paint for the inside of the lid.
Bilge paint is made to deal with water and its damaging effects to surfaces. So that is why I use it for the inside of birdbath lids. And its safe for birds to drink and bathe in the water, no worries there. You can find it on Amazon here, Bilge Paint. As for the rest of the birdbath, I use a clear gloss sealer from Krylon, which also can be purchased on Amazon here, Krylon Clear Gloss Spray.
Applying Bilge Paint
The first thing you should do if your lid has old paint on the inside of it is to try and remove as much as possible using sandpaper. Once you get it as good as you can you, it’ll be ready to paint.
If you’re going to use the paint I recommended, Apply 2 thin coats instead of 1 thick coat of paint. It only comes in 2 colors, grey and white, I use grey. But that’s a personal preference. I figure most folks put small stones in the lid to help the birds keep the footing when there bathing. Also, it doesn’t take long for it to get dirty anyhow, with the bird droppings and other random stuff you find in the lid when you go to clean or refill it with water.
Best Color For Bird Bath
Colors like grey, brown, and dull green help small birds feel camouflaged and safe. However, bright colors, like reds, yellows, and blues can attract birds from high up and several bird species show a preference for these colors. Hummingbirds, for instance, seem to like the color red, so feeders and baths with red accents may attract hummingbirds. Avoid the color white (for your base and outside of the lid) it’s used as a warning color to show that a bird is a threat and stands out a lot, possibly making birds insecure.
How To Get Birds To Use A Bird Bath
- Ideally, a bird bath looks like a puddle of water to a bird, except the water is clean, so keeping it low to the ground will attract more birds to your bird bath.
- Birdbath placement is also important. Place it in the shade if possible.that will discourage algae growth plus slow down the evaporation speed of the water.
- Keep your birdbath away from shrubs or anything dense plants. Predators, like cats, will hide in there to get a free meal.
- Clean your birdbath lid once a week and replace water in it daily to reduce diseases from spreading from bird to bird.
- Birds are very territorial. keep distance between your bird bath and feeders. For that matter, keep space between your feeders too.
- Put pebbles or small stones in the lid so the birds don’t slip while there bathing themselves. That will also allow butterflies to stop by and have a drink.
How To Clean A Concrete Bird Bath
First, I’d rinse it clean as much as possible. then (assuming the concrete isn’t flaking or crumbling) I’d brush any remaining debris and rinse again. Finally, I’d fill the bath with clean water and add a few ounces of chlorine bleach.
Bleach is alkaline and may not play well with concrete, but if you leave it in for only five minutes or so—long enough to get rid of any mold and mildew—then rinse thoroughly, you should be fine. That’s how I clean my bird baths.
There you have it! All you need to know about how to paint a concrete birdbath plus much more. Hope this guide was helpful.