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How to Paint Concrete Bird Baths

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how to paint concrete bird bath
Do you have an old bird bath, the paint of which has faded? Or have you purchased a concrete bird bath that has no color or has chipped paint? Whether these situations apply to you or not, you should know how to paint a concrete bird bath.

This post will teach you exactly that. You will learn which type of paint is best and the process of painting the bird bath. Let’s begin.


How to Paint a Concrete Bird Bath Step-by-Step

When trying to paint a concrete bird bath, the first consideration is the type of paint you want to use. Naturally, concrete bird baths take a lot of beating from the weather. The paint has to be able to cope with any type of weather.

Step 1: Choose the Right Type of Paint

The paint must be tough and waterproof because it will surely be exposed to rain and morning dew. It also has to be safe for birds. With this info alone, we can gather three factors for an appropriate paint: it must be suitable for outdoor use, waterproof, and non-toxic.

You should find paint labeled “outdoor” or “exterior” paint. Generally, such paints are also waterproof. Oil-based masonry paint is a good option because it fulfills all three factors.

Step 2: Get a Primer

Concrete is a porous material that will absorb most liquids, including paint. Priming the concrete saves you a lot of painting troubles because it fills the pores and creates a surface conducive to painting. But a primer specifically intended for concrete use.

Step 3: Prep the Concrete Bird Bath through Cleaning

A concrete surface filled with dust and debris can ruin your painting job. The paint will stick to the residue, not on the concrete. It is critical to clean the concrete bird bath of any gunks before priming and painting.

Soapy water and a stiff-bristled brush are wonderfully effective on any concrete surface. If the concrete bird bath is old and has an oily, moldy, or grimy surface, adding a trisodium phosphate solution to the soapy water should do the trick.

To further prep your workspace for the paint job, lay rags around the bird bath base to avoid paint spills getting all over the place.

Step 4: Apply a Concrete Sealer

A concrete sealer protects the concrete from erosion due to water exposure, abrasion, and absorption. Sealed concrete is less vulnerable to cracking, pitting, and spalling.

Apply a coat of concrete sealer, then wait until it dries before applying another layer. The first layer of any of the products we’re discussing most likely won’t cover the surface of concrete evenly because concrete has a rough surface. So it is always best to give the concrete two coats of each. A layer of concrete sealer dries after ten to twelve hours of initial application.

Wait for the second layer of concrete sealer to dry before moving on to the next step. Again, that’s another ten to twelve hours of waiting for the sealer to dry properly.

paint the concrete bird bath

Step 5: Apply Two Coats of Primer

Apply a coat of primer on the bird bath as evenly as you can. It does not matter whether you roll the primer or spray it unless the package suggests a method.

Paint primer takes between thirty minutes to an hour to become dry to the touch. Wait for the first layer of primer to dry, then apply another coat to make sure every inch of the surface is primed for painting.

After the second primer coating, you should wait for at least three hours before applying the paint. Even after the primer is dry to the touch, it has not dried thoroughly and is not ready for painting yet. You may have to wait longer than three hours if you live somewhere with high humidity and a cool climate.

Step 6: Paint the Concrete Bird Bath

Now we get to the meat of this entire post. Apply a layer of your preferred paint color on the concrete bird bath. Then wait for that first layer of paint to dry.

Once the first layer dries, apply another one for good measure. Oil-based paint is ready for recoat after twenty-four hours generally. Again, you can either roll or spray the paint on the concrete as long as the manufacturer does not specify a particular method.

And that’s it! Now you know how to paint a bird bath. But if you want to preserve your work, the job is not yet done.

Step 7: Apply a Paint Sealant

A paint sealant like polyurethane protects the paint from damage due to exposure to the weather and the elements. But more importantly, a paint sealant will protect your newly applied paint from the water in the bird bath. Sealants are very potent waterproofing agents.

I suggest using polyurethane sealant because it is safe for birds. It dries clear and won’t affect the color of the bird bath. Apply the sealant twenty-four hours after applying the second coat of paint. For best results, apply two coats of paint sealant. Like paint, sealants take about twenty-four hours to dry.


There you have it! A step-by-step answer to how to paint a concrete bird bath. In summary, choose the right paint and primer before preparing the concrete bird bath by cleaning it. Then apply two coats of concrete sealant, primer, paint, and paint sealant. Ensure that each layer of the substances dries thoroughly before applying the next. Now your concrete bird bath is ready for use.

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