Birds and other exotic pets require cages that are safe and secure. Large exotic pets, such as birds, sometimes require pricey safe and secure cages. Consider repainting an older cage to reduce some of these expenditures. Learn how to paint a and explore the measures to follow to ensure a successful project.
- Wire brush
- Cleaning cloths
- Cage in need of painting
- Bird-safe paint
Preparing the Cage
So, you've got yourself a cage. It may have been a gift to you or your organization, a yard sale discovery, or something you've owned for a while that just needs a makeover. Your cage, however, must be painted regardless of how it was obtained.
That cage has to be prepared for its new identity before it can be painted. All metal surfaces that are to be painted must be clean, smooth, and rust-free. After using your wire brush to remove all the rust flakes from the cage, use your sandpaper to smooth the surfaces. At this time, any additional rough or uneven places on the metal should also be smoothed.
You should clean the cage after removing all the hard places and rust using your wire brush and sandpaper. To get rid of all the dust and dirt, use your cleaning cloths or just give your cage a wash in water.
The last step before actually painting your cage is applying a thin primer coat. Read more on choosing a primer and paint in the next section.
Choosing the Paint
Almost all store-bought cages are powder coated with thermoplastic material melted onto the cage at a high temperature. Powder coated cages may chip more readily than painted cages, but they are easier to clean and the substance is tougher than paint, according to some owners. Whatever your feelings on powder coating, most bird owners won't be able to do it themselves.
Because of the probable lead, zinc, VOCs, and other poisons that paint produces, it is extremely harmful to birds. Your paint should theoretically be bird-safe if these hazard variables are removed from the picture. There are an increasing number of companies that provide "non-toxic," "zero-VOC," and other safer paints. A paint with 0% VOCs, even after the tint color is added (you don't need the tint if you wish to paint the cage white), is lead, zinc, and chromate-free, and is as natural as possible would be your best choice. On the paint you chose, the Green Seal Standard should be visible. There are also water-based, organic paints that are probably the safest alternatives, as well as some DIY paint formulations. Make sure the paint you select adheres to metal and dries quickly.
Painting the Bird Cage
I'm guessing your bird isn't in the cage any more. This is excellent. He won't be able to stay in his cage for long. Depending on the type of paint you choose, your bird may need to be kept in a temporary cage and space for up to two weeks to cure.
Apply a thin layer of primer to your birdcage after selecting a safe primer and paint. Allow the primer to cure for at least 24 hours before applying the paint. The cage may then be painted three times with glossy paint, with a 24-hour gap between each application. Keep your paint thinner and don't let it drop between applications. Regardless of how safe the paint is, keep your bird out of the room. It's impossible to be too safe.
Returning Your Bird to the Cage
Because solvent-based paints take longer to dry than water-based paints, your bird may not be able to return to his cage for a few weeks. Always wait a bit longer than necessary if possible.
To keep your bird from chewing on the newly painted cage, use wire to connect perches, ropes, and other items your bird may hold onto the cage's sides. These will serve as "handles" for your bird to grab with his beak instead of the cage bars as he climbs up the cage sides. So, in essence, you're building alternate cage bars on top of the original cage bars at various angles.