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.
You can use any kind of acrylic/latex paint and you’ll be fine, except in the inside of the basin, where the water sits, for that you use bilge paint.
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.
[If you want to learn how to attract birds to your bird bath, check out this article here, How To Attract Birds To A Bird Bath]
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 underwater. That is why you should use bilge paint for the inside of the lid.
Looking for a non toxic concrete sealer for birdbaths? Bilge paint is made to deal with water and its damaging effects on surfaces. So that is why I use it for the inside of birdbath lids/basins. And it’s safe for birds to drink and bathe in the water, no worries there.
You can find it on Amazon here, Bilge Paint.
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, wire brush or whatever you have handy.
Once you get it as good as you can, it’ll be ready almost to paint. The reason I say almost is, you have to make sure the concrete is dry. Once your sure it is dry, then get her done.
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. And also make sure the piece your painting isn’t to hot when you apply the paint.
I figure most folks put small stones in the lid to help the birds keep their 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.
What Color Should I Paint a Concrete Bird Bath
So, now you know what to use for bird bath paint, so what color should you paint it? Well, 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. All of this is just my opinion. You can try any color you want and see what works best.
Is Flex Seal Safe For Bird Baths
Flex seal is a product know for its ability to patch up holes and keep things together. This begs the question is it safe to use near animals or in our case is flex seal safe for bird baths. The flex seal product, liquid flex seal actually can be used near plants and animals without harm.
This comes straight from flexsealproducts.com, so you know it is legit. But in order for it to be safe, it must first be fully cured.
This means it must sit out while it dries to ensure it is safe for animal or plant use. This usually takes about 24 hours to accomplish.
This means you can definitely use flex seal liquid for your bird bath or anything else that deals with plants or animals. Just keep in mind it is not recommended to actually paint over flex seal according to the website.
Repairing your bird bath with flex seal will save you money, at the cost of not being able to paint it.
You can find it on Amazon here, Flex Seal Liquid.
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. Now go out there an get it done like a pro!