Is Acrylic Paint Toxic To Birds?

Acrylic paint is not toxic to humans, but you may have considered whether acrylic paint is toxic to birds.

For instance, if you’re painting a bird box for your garden, the last thing you’d want to do is deter them away or cause them any harm. Although acrylic paint is non-toxic to humans, you’ll want to check whether it’s the same case for birds before pursuing your neat painting project.

So, is acrylic paint toxic to birds? Here’s everything you need to know to keep your feathered friends safe.

What Paint Is Safe for Birds?

Acrylic paint is one of the safest paints for birds. Although it is chemical-based, it is safe to use around small animals. Acrylic paint does not give off any fumes as it dries, so it doesn’t damage birds’ respiratory systems.

Alternatively, any water-based paint is equally safe, such as latex paint. Water-based paints are also free from harmful chemicals and fumes. Before using any paint on a surface that will come in contact with birds, check that it is non-toxic because some paints contain chemicals that could be harmful to animals.

Even if you are using bird-safe paint, you need to take certain precautions when painting a birdhouse or other environment that a bird will encounter. Avoid painting the entrances and interiors of birdhouses as birds like to peck at those areas.

Believe it or not, the color you choose for your birdhouse could also affect the well-being of the birds around you. Very bright, metallic, or fluorescent colors are distracting for birds. Those types of paint often contain chemicals that can harm birds and other animals.

Are Paint Fumes Harmful to Birds?

Paint fumes are harmful to birds, as they contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Inhaling paint fumes can cause a bird to sustain respiratory damage or even die.

To prevent endangering birds from paint fumes, use bird-safe paint that is non-toxic. You should also keep animals away from paint as it dries.

Are Oil Paints Toxic to Birds?

Oil paints are very toxic to birds, so you should never use them on any surface near birds.

Why Are Oil Paints Toxic to Birds?

Oil paints are toxic to birds because of the fumes they produce. Oil-based paints release fumes containing VOCs, which are more potent as the paint is drying.

Paint fumes are dangerous for all humans and pets, but they are particularly dangerous for birds. Birds have different respiratory systems from mammals. Their lungs are smaller, so even a tiny amount of toxins can cause lasting damage. Birds also do not have filtration mechanisms such as coughing to remove toxins from their airways, so once they inhale fumes, it could cause lasting damage.

Exposure to oil paints could cause respiratory problems and even premature death for a bird. Avoid these paints at all costs.


So, if you want to paint your bird box at the end of the garden, you can do so with acrylic paint. Unlike other paint varieties, acrylic paint is not toxic to birds. So it makes it a good choice for your garden paint project.

Most non-toxic acrylic paints are safe for birds because they do not contain harmful chemicals or give off fumes. However, do not paint the interior of birdhouses or the entrance because those are areas where very young nestlings with sensitive systems could be exposed to paint. Avoid metallic or fluorescent paints as they often have harmful additives.

Besides acrylic paint, water-based latex paint is also safe for birds.

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