Is It OK to Stain a Birdhouse? (How About the Inside?)

Once you have made a birdhouse, you want to make sure that it will be able to last for a long time. Because of this, you might be considering staining the birdhouse, but is this a good idea?

Stain is safe and ok to apply on the exterior of the birdhouse. This will protect the wood and ensure it lasts for a long time. The inside of the birdhouse should be left unstained and natural as this will eliminate any possible toxicity or other potential danger that could harm the birds.

Staining can be a good way of protecting a birdhouse from the elements. But before you start doing this, there are a few things that you should know.

Can You Stain a Birdhouse?

You should stain the exterior of the birdhouse. This is like an extra layer of protection for the wood. It will protect from UV exposure. The stain can also seal the wood, stopping any moisture from getting inside. This can make the wood less susceptible to being damaged by mold and other bacterial growth.

However, you will only need to apply stain to the outside. There are two reasons for this. First, the inside of the birdhouse is a closed space. Because of this, the fumes will build-up. This could create a toxic environment for the birds. Depending on what chemicals are being emitted, it can lead to skin irritation and cause breathing problems.

The other problem is that some birds will chew on the interior. This will increase their exposure to potential chemicals.

If you are treating the outside of the wood, the birdhouse will get adequate protection from the elements. This will make sure that it lasts for a long time, without needing to apply products to the inside.

What Kind of Stain Should You Use on a Birdhouse?

If you are planning on using a stain, you should do some research. If possible, you want to try to use something that has been made from natural ingredients. Because of this, most people like to use linseed oil. It offers strong protection without needing to release potentially harmful emissions. Because of this, it will be safe for birds to peck at and eat.

However, one of the biggest downsides is how long it takes for the linseed oil to dry. You will often need to wait a few days before the wood will be dry. For some people, this can be too slow. A safe non toxic option is this:

If you are planning on going down this route, it’s essential to choose something that will be non-toxic. You don’t want to risk the birds getting injured. Often, these products will be marked as environmentally friendly.

How Can You Apply Stain to a Birdhouse?

Once you’ve got the right stain, it’s time to learn how to apply the stain to the birdhouse. The first thing that you want to do is check that the birdhouse has been sealed properly. If you spot any holes, you will be able to use a wood filler to correct the problem.

Next, you will need to create a smooth finish. This will ensure that the stain will stick to the wood properly. To do this, you will need to use sandpaper. Don’t worry about sanding the inside of the birdhouse.

Now you will be able to apply the stain. Once you do, it’s important to give the birdhouse some time to dry properly. How long this will take can depend on the type of stain you are using. If you have linseed oil, it might take a week. Some others will dry within a few days.

After the first coat has dried, you’ll need to apply the second coat. Again, you’ll need to wait until it has cured properly. After it has, you will be able to hang your birdhouse in the trees.

When Do You Need to Re-Apply a Stain?

Once you have hung the birdhouse, you’ll still need to maintain it. This can mean making sure that you are regularly cleaning it out. Eventually, you will need to reapply a second coat of stain.

How long the stain will last will depend on the quality of the product that you are using. Most high-quality ones will last for between three to five years. A lower quality one might only last for a year. The best way to tell when you need to re-apply the stain is by seeing whether the wood is starting to absorb water. If it is, you’ll need to re-apply the stain.

Before you can apply the new stain, you first need to remove the old one. Often, you will need to use sandpaper to do this. At first, it might take a while for you to start removing the old layer of stain. Once you do, make sure that the wood is smooth. Then, you will be able to apply the new stain.

Can You Paint a Birdhouse?

Staining is just one of the ways that you can treat the exterior of the birdhouse. You might also decide to paint it and maybe you are wondering if paint is a safe option too.

Paint is safe for birdhouses and is best applied to the exterior only. A non toxic light colored paint will protect the birdhouse from the elements and keep the house cooler in real warm climates by reflecting the sun. The interior should be left unpainted and natural even when using a non-toxic paint.

It’s also important to make sure that you are getting non-toxic paint. This will ensure that the birds won’t be hurt if they eat any. A good eco friendly option is this one:

The best time to paint a birdhouse is during the fall. This will give the fumes plenty of time to disperse before the summer months when the birds will be most active.

Why Should You Paint a Birdhouse?

Often where you live will determine whether you should paint a birdhouse. In most cases, you will only need to apply a stain. However, there are some instances where painting the birdhouse benefits the birds.

Often, this can be a good idea in a hot climate. You can pick a paint color that will help reflect the heat. By doing this, you can keep the birds cool during the summer. This might be necessary for environments where the average temperature during the summer is over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If this is the case, choose white paint. This will reflect the heat, keeping the birds cool.

Paint can also help to make sure that the birdhouse will last for a long time. For example, it will be able to seal up small cracks. This will stop the wood from expanding when it rains.

What Paint Color Should You Use?

If you have decided to use paint, you’ll need to decide what color you should be using. It’s best to try to use camouflaged colors. This will help provide some protection from predators. For example, you should try to use things like gray, brown, or dull green.

You should try to avoid using black. This will absorb the warmth of the sun. This can be a problem during the summer, increasing the chances that the birds will end up overheating. It will also increase the chances that mold, and bacteria will grow, creating a potentially toxic environment for the birds.

Final Thoughts

Staining a birdhouse can be a good idea. It will be able to protect the wood, ensuring the house lasts for a long time. However, you should only stain or paint the outside. This will stop potentially toxic fumes from building up inside the house and harming the birds.

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