Should Bird Feeders Be Painted? (5 Facts To Note)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Waking up every morning to the sounds of birds churning and singing at your backyards can be refreshing.

However, many people want their backyard to be appealing to birds. This explains why the majority of people use bird feeders.

A bird feeder is simply a container meant to hold bird seeds to attract wild birds. Feeders are commonly made of wood, glass, plastic, or metal.

But, should bird feeders be painted? Let’s find out.

Should Bird Feeders Be Painted?

Should Bird Feeders Be Painted

Absolutely, a bird feeder can be painted. This, however, is a matter of personal preference.

Painting can bring anything to life. Paint would surely bring a bird feeder back to life, especially if it is an old bird feeder.

Bird feeders can be painted to match the colors in your backyard. They could also be painted in a variety of colors to make them more appealing.

It is also okay to leave them looking woody or plain. These plain states act as natural camouflage to birds.

As previously stated, it all comes down to personal preferences. It also depends on how many birds you want to visit your backyard.

This article contains interesting facts about bird feeders. So, if this happens to be your interest, continue reading.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on keeping bird feeders full

Is It Safe To Paint A Bird Feeder?

It is completely safe to paint a bird feeder. Any kind of bird feeder can be painted. However, identifying the kind of paint matters a lot.

Most paints contain lead which is harmful to birds.

If you’re going to paint a bird feeder, make sure you use non-toxic paints. Non-toxic paints are also referred to as natural paints.

They are paints that are manufactured from natural elements and minerals such as water, plants, essential oils, clay, dyes, and chalks.

These paints have a mild odor. As a result, it will release a little amount of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the atmosphere. And this is perfectly safe for birds.

What is the best way to tell if paint is non-toxic? That’s quite easy.

First, a non-toxic paint will have little or no VOC. Second, it will have little to no odor. It would, of course, be created from natural materials.

Examples of non-toxic paints include Ecos, Colorhouse, and Safecoat.

It is also important to ensure that the paint does not bleed into bird food. We don’t want to hurt these wonderful creatures.

What Color Should You Paint Your Bird Feeder?

There are so many colors that can be used to decorate a bird feeder. Although, the color choice is totally dependent on the owner to decide.

However, when selecting colors, keep the location of the bird feeder in mind. For example, darker colors are appropriate for shaded regions.

But in areas where the sun shines frequently, a dark color can overheat and smother the birds.

Regardless, there are a variety of colors that frequently attract birds. Yes, birds have favorite colors as well.

Bright colors tend to attract a variety of birds, including blue jays, hummingbirds, warblers, and goldfinch.

Darker grays, browns, and drab greens are more likely to draw cautious birds like quail, doves, and ground feeders.

These colors comfort birds and create a safe environment.

Also check out this article I wrote on using vinegar to clean bird feeders

Should You Paint Inside Your Feeder?

This is an absolute no. on no occasion should you paint insider a feeder. This is not advisable because it is harmful to birds.

Additionally, paint should not be used on the inside of a bird’s home or even around its entrance holes.

It has been discovered that birds can ingest paint chips while feeding from a bird feeder.

Small paint chips could also go into their sensitive eyes. And I’m certain that’s not our intention.

Therefore, one has to be as cautious as possible when applying paint to your feeders. If you’re not a good painter, you can always enlist the assistance of a friend.

You should avoid painting the feeder if possible.

Is Rustoleum Paint Safe For Bird Feeders?

Rustoleum is absolutely safe. It is a non-toxic paint that is also devoid of lead. Surprisingly, Rustoleum paints have been certified as bird safe.

This is due to its ingredients and residual toxicity.

So, if you’re thinking about utilizing Rustoleum paint for your feeders, go ahead with no fear.

However, it appears to be best with bird feeders built with steel.

What Spray Paint Is Safe For Birds?

It is not advisable to use spray paint on your bird feeders. However, if you must, there are certain qualities the paint must have to make it secured for use.

Let us have a look at a few of them:

• The paint should not contain lead, zinc, or chromate, as these elements can be hazardous to birds if consumed.

These substances can also harm the gastrointestinal tract, which is then followed by the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

• Paints with “high adherence,” which are designed to mix with the metal surface.

• Paints that are long-lasting

• Paints that dry quickly. Water-based paints are preferred.

Research has shown some spray paint recommendations such as

               •             Rust-Oleum universal enamel spray paint.

               •             Rust-Oleum canary yellow

               •             Rust-Oleum 12 oz

Looking up recipes for making homemade paints can also be a great option.  At least, You would be certain to ensure that the paint is not toxic.

What Colors Are Birds Attracted To?

Birds generally are attracted to colors. As stated earlier, birds do have preferences. Yes, they do. Interestingly, each bird has a preferred color.

Therefore there is no such thing as one color for all.

If you want to attract these beautiful creatures to your garden, then let’s look at some of their favorite colors.

Red: it’s been noticed that a vast majority of the birds perch on red flowers. For example, birds such as hummingbirds clearly show a preference for red flowers.

And for the exact reason may visit our red feeders more than any other color.

Therefore painting your bird feeder red would draw a lot of attention to them. According to House wrens ‘Selection of Colored Nest Boxes’, most diurnal birds prefer red and yellow-colored flowers and feeders.

For the simple reason that both colors are present in their visible spectrum.

Chicago zoo authority also says that birds protect their nest by flashing the color red. They also use it to attract mates.

Yellow: Goldfinches are attracted to yellow. Nocturnal birds also like yellow flowers since this color is visible in the dark. It is attractive to birds at all times of the year.

Blue: Studies show that blue jays and bluebirds are attracted to the color blue. This could be because of the matching coloration of their feathers.

Yeah, who can like you better than yourself right? I would say these birds show a perfect example of self-love.

Purple: Birds like hummingbirds prefer purple flowers. A study has proven this: artificial blooms each holding the same amount of sugar solution were placed near hummingbirds.

The birds visited the purple flowers more than other colors.

Orange: Bluebirds, mockingbirds, woodpeckers and many more would be found eating out of your feeder with this great color.

Natural camouflage colors: Typical examples of these colors are gray, brown, and green.

These colors are great colors to attract a more nervous temperament such as doves, quails, and many more. They can also attract the skittish bird.

These camouflage colors are earth tones that signify safety. Birds like all animals would want to protect themselves from predators.

These colors offer a safe haven for our birds.

If you want your feeder to have frequent visitors, then it is advisable to try out these great colors.

However, it is important to note that birds are not attracted to white. White signals alarm, danger, and aggression to many birds. So, avoid this color for your Feeders.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint For My Bird Feeder?

Of course, yes! Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint that contains pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion as well as plasticizers, silicon oils, defoamers, stabilizers, or metal soaps.

Acrylic paints have no odors and are non-toxic.

Fast-drying paints are also essential for painting birdhouses. They are safe and prevent threats to hatchlings most of the time.

However, you should use non-toxic acrylic paint; else, the birds may become ill.

Also, if you want to paint or recoat your bird feeder, you must do so without the birds inside.

Ingesting any kind of paint is generally harmful and dangerous to birds.

Carefully remove your bird before painting and ensure the feeder is dry before taking the feeder back to its position or letting birds in them.


Bird feeders are often placed in the backyard to attract birds. These bird feeders can be painted in a variety of colors to attract birds.

However, toxic paints and paints containing lead can be dangerous to a bird’s health.

Birds are naturally attracted to colors such as red, yellow, blue, and purple. However, the color white is the wrong color choice for these creatures.

White signals danger and alarm to birds.

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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