Parrots climb, scratch and chew everything they can get onto, including their cage bars. The paint on parrot cages becomes worn and peels over time. Older metal cages look dingy and rusted. Peeling paint and rust is not just unattractive, it can also hurt your parrot if she chews and eats some. Restore your parrot cage by removing the old paint and rust, then applying a fresh coat of bird-safe paint. Use only nontoxic paint that is free of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Paint containing VOCs can kill your parrot, even after the paint has dried.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sandblaster or wire brush
- Steel wool pad
- White vinegar
- Garden hose
- Dust sheet or newspaper
- Nontoxic, VOC-free spray paint and primer
Remove your parrot and everything else from his cage and relocate him to a temporary cage where he can live for seven days or more.
Remove old paint from the cage bars with a sandblaster. Scrub the cage bars with a wire brush if you do not have a sandblaster and would rather not rent one. Leave no paint behind, otherwise your new paint layers will peel off.
Clean off any rust with a steel wool pad soaked in white vinegar.
Clean the cage with a bleach and water solution, then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose. Allow the cage to dry.
Lay down a dust sheet or sheets of newspaper either outside or in a well-ventilated indoor area. Place the cage on top to avoid accidentally painting anything else.
Shake a can of spray primer well, put the nozzle up to the cage bars and spray a thin layer of primer on the bars. Cover all of the bars--inside, outside, top and bottom. Make sure there is no bare metal. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's directions.
Spray on a thin layer of nontoxic VOC-free spray paint in the same manner. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Apply two or three more thin layers of paint.
Let the paint cure for a week or longer before replacing your parrot. Follow any additional directions on drying and curing time, as nontoxic paint is only safe for birds when the paint is fully cured. Fumes from wet paint can be hazardous to your parrot.
Tips and warnings
- Apply only thin layers of paint. Thick layers will easily peel away when your parrot climbs or chews on the bars. Ingesting even nontoxic paint can harm your bird.
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