How to Paint a Bird Bath

Updated April 17, 2017

Bird baths are one of the best ways to attract a variety of birds to your yard and garden. Taking care to keep your bird bath clean and filled with water will ensure its consistent use. After years of use and outdoor weather, a bird bath can benefit from a new coat of paint. Although painting a bird bath is relatively easy, there are a few factors that you should consider if you want continued visits by thirsty, bathing birds.

Wash the bird bath thoroughly with water, mild soap and a cloth. For stubborn stains or stuck-on debris, use a wire brush.

Remove any peeling or residual paint with a wire brush and sandpaper.

Rinse the bath thoroughly with water and leave it in an airy place to dry. The drying time will depend on the material the bath is made from. Concrete may require significantly more time than other, non-porous materials.

Prepare the surface of the bird bath for painting. If the surface is non-porous, apply one coat of primer appropriate for the material the bath is made from. For concrete or other porous materials, apply one coat of sealer before primer is added. Allow primer/sealer to dry according to labelling instructions and between coats.

Using a paintbrush and non-toxic exterior paint, apply the first coat of paint to the outside of the bird bath. The area of the bath used by birds should be painted with a non-toxic, exterior paint containing a texture such as sand. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying another coat.

Re-apply non-toxic sealer to the bird bath and allow sealer to dry completely for a finished product.


Diane Porter, a bird watching specialist, recommends the centre of the bird bath to be no more than three inches deep and the edges even more shallow. To reduce the depth, simply add rocks or pebbles.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Cloth
  • Wire brush
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Non-toxic primer
  • Non-toxic sealer
  • Non-toxic exterior paint
  • Non-toxic exterior textured paint
  • Paint brush
  • Gravel or rocks
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About the Author

Patricia Hill is a freelance writer who contributes to several websites and organizations, including various private sectors. She also contributes to the online magazine, Empowered by a need to reveal that unhealthy food and diet is a source of health-related issues, Hill is currently working on a cookbook and website for individuals with Crohn's disease.