Paint and Cages
Paint has 3 basic components:
The BINDER is the "glue" that holds the pigment together and the
solvent keeps it liquid until you need it.
The SOLVENT (the smell) can kill. What ever type of paint you decide
to use, DO NOT GET YOUR BIRD NEAR THE SOLVENT! Paint in a ventilated area
away from birds. The solvent is gone when there is no more smell. But,
NEVER cover a bird in a freshly painted cage. Even if you can't smell it
any more. Once the paint has completely dried, the solvent is no longer
The PIGMENT is the color. Pigment can effect the properties of the
paint, and certain colors may not be available in some types of paint.
Metals like lead are sometimes added to paint to gain certain properties.
Do not use paints containing lead, chromate or other metals.
What kind of paint do I use?
I use a paint called "INSTANT dark gray lacquer primer surfacer
Click here to get the technical data and mixing
It is lead, zinc and chromate free.
THIN coat of paint is better. Less paint, less paint problems.
All coatings will eventually come off. Thin coatings will be easier to
patch or remove. also the flakes or chips will be smaller and more likely
to break up and pass if ingested. Birds will often "work" a chipped area
of their cage as a pastime. Birds put things inside themselves to help
grind their food. Large, thick and hard chips will be more likely to cause
an intestinal blockage.
It is a paint formulated to bond with the metal surface. (high adhesion)
It can be applied in a thin coat.
It is generally easy to work with.
It dries very fast.
It has the tendency to wear rather than chip and form flakes.
The color (Black) is a good choice because it will blend with the natural
petina of the steel, greatly extending the time it will look good.
It's available at NAPA Auto Parts (just about everywhere)
Much of the cage industry today uses a "Powder Coat" system. They advertise
it is easy to clean and supper hard. It may be easier to clean but, I don't
use powder coat on my cages. The chip problem gets much worse with a very
hard material. Powder coat is not paint. It is a thermoplastic. Chips will
not break up and and be more likely to cause intestinal blockages. It is
also difficult to repair. It is melted on to the cage at aprox. 300 degrees.
Powder Coat can be less of a threat with some birds, but I don't recommend
it for hook bills.
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