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Painted Birdhouses: 20+ Different Ways!

Make beautiful spring home decor with painted birdhouses! Get 20+ unique birdhouse painting ideas that are perfect for all skill levels.

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate. Some of these techniques are easier than others, but none of them are exceptionally hard. Basic crafting skills are necessary, like using a paintbrush or punches and stencils.

Easy Painted Birdhouses

I absolutely love decorating birdhouses! It’s one of my favorite craft activities for spring and summer. I see unfinished wood birdhouses everywhere, just begging for a coat of paint or some paper decoupaged to the sides. If you want to decorate birdhouses, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got some great ideas for you!

Tips for Painting Birdhouses

Before you begin painting and decorating, you’re going to need a birdhouse, right? Let’s start there.

Where to Get Birdhouses

Just about every craft store has birdhouses in the section with the other wood surfaces. They have smaller ones that hang on strings for around $1 – $2, and then larger ones that are more intricate and cost anywhere from $5 – $10.

A great option for inexpensive birdhouses is the dollar store or the dollar bins/section at stores like Target.

Another great option if you want to buy birdhouses in bulk is to go online. Amazon has some great sets here. I’ve used their birdhouses and love the quality.

Oriental Trading has DIY wood birdhouses here. I’ve not tried them, but they look cool – love that they can be painted and then assembled! They’re perfect for classrooms or parties.

Preparing Birdhouses for Projects

Birdhouses come in all shapes and sizes, as well as quality of wood. Sometimes your birdhouse will be completely smooth and other times it will need some sanding.

I always have 80 or 100 grit sandpaper on hand just in case. Sand where needed and use a tack cloth to remove the excess dust.

If you’re working with a birdhouse that has been painted before, you’ll want to make sure the surface is clean of free and dirt.

If you want to attract birds, you first need to make sure you have the right house for the type of bird you want to attract.

Don’t paint the inside of your house – only decorate the outside. While the paint I recommend is non-toxic, there’s no reason to paint. If you pre-purchase a birdhouse, make sure it has proper ventilation and drainage.

Painting the Surface

If you’re planning on re-painting with light or bright colors, you’ll want to prime first with something like acrylic paint or Kilz.

bottles of folk art multi surface paint

If you are planning on using the birdhouse indoors, you’ll be fine using regular water based acrylic paint and don’t need a sealer (other than Mod Podge). If you’d like to use outside, you’ll want to use an Outdoor rated paint. My choice for paints are FolkArt Outdoor or Multisurface.

In addition, outdoor birdhouses should be sealed. If you decoupage, you can use Outdoor Mod Podge. If you paint, I recommend an outdoor spray sealer.

If you live in a very rainy area like I do, I recommend an oil-based polyurethane (several coats) over your paint. Same with decoupage. If you live in a wet area, seal with the poly, even over the top of the Outdoor Mod Podge.

Tip: if you are repainting a birdhouse and using a primer to cover up the old color, use Kilz if it’s going outside. This primer is highly mildew resistant and perfect especially if you live in a rainy area.


Are you ready to get creative? Check out these great ideas below!

Painted Birdhouses

Are you going to try painting birdhouses? Here are over 20 unique projects! You're going to love these ideas for a variety of skill levels.


Let me know what you think about the projects in the comments! I’d love to hear.

Wanda

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

I found the birdhouse pencil and note holder several years ago and made it for several family members. They were loved and appreciated by all who received them.

patricia welch

Saturday 21st of April 2018

I can't believe I am normal. I have always felt sort of sad and odd that I walk into a store full of art supplies and I all of a sudden can't think of anything I want to get. I mean, I want it all. So I wander around and can't concentrate on any one thing. At home, I have lists of supplies I really, really need, but when confronted by so many ideas and choices and fantastic stuff I freeze and can't remember any thing. To make it worse, I only have a limited time to shop as I have health issues and can't stay in any store too long. Also, my husband is with me and he doesn't pressure me, (in fact, he insists I just buy everything I look at and doesn't realize I am trying to picture in my mind what I need and what I would do with whatever it is I am looking at) and he keeps saying I thought you needed stuff why aren't you getting anything? sigh. I know that should not be a problem, but it is. Anyway, thank you sooooo much for letting me know that this paralysis is common!

Gale Masterson

Thursday 12th of April 2018

My oh my, do I ever get distracted!! Just the other day I went in looking for one, mind you, ONE item. Left with 6, hahaha! They will all be put to good use of course. If I would just stay in the lane I know I need to be in and not "window shop" I would be in better shape! Thanks for sharing so I know I'm not alone. Thanks for these great project ideas, gotta love Mod Podge, something for everyone and everything!!

Amy

Saturday 14th of April 2018

Just six items when you only wanted one isn't that bad relatively speaking! :0

PJ FizzyKnits

Thursday 12th of April 2018

I love birdhouses as blank canvases! I'm going to use some of your ideas on a box-full sitting on the craft table. They were in a commercial holiday garland, and rather than my friend throwing them out (can you imagine?), I took them. They're sturdy cardboard, so I think they'll hold up to whatever method I try.

I have terrible craft ADD. I like your phrase better. I can even go in with a list, and still get so distracted by everything else, I leave with nothing. Sometimes that works in my favor because I'll see something in the craft store and realize I have something similar at home so I don't need to buy anything. But more often than not, I don't buy anything and think, "oh, I'll just use---," and talk myself out of what I really wanted to do in the first place. I have no idea why this happens only in craft stores. I don't do it grocery shopping, at the hardware store or even with clothes. Anyway, I'm glad you spoke to it. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

Amy

Saturday 14th of April 2018

OMG that collection of birdhouses sounds amazing! Especially sturdy cardboard sounds fun. And same - I only do it at the craft stores :D