|I think the main reason that people don't try to paint older bird cages is because of what they've heard or read about the harmful effects of lead, zinc and so forth. The point that needs to be made is the most the paints sold in the US for the past 40 years can be safe for human infants - as long as it's dry.|
Our government really wasn't thinking about our birds - they were looking out for our children. The government has gone to great lengths to ensure that paint sold for use in the home is safe.
The confusing issue is something called "Flashing". Flashing describes the chemicals that you should be concerned about, evaporating from the paint. These are solvents known as "VOC's" (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOC's are why you need to keep the area you're painting the cage in, well ventilated even when using what are known as safe paints.
The danger is not in the paint itself but in those chemicals that leave the paint. Think about it, look around an you'll probably see paint on most of the walls in your home that have had no negative impact on your bird(s).
People restore older bird cages for a number of reasons. They might not have the funds to replace a birdcage even though the birdcage they have now is beginning to deteriorate. They might have an older birdcage that is simply irreplaceable like the old California bird cages or the all welded Prevue cages. Big heavy wrought iron enclosures that are not available any longer.
Some people may acquire a bird that comes with the cage that's too small or old to begin with. Because of its size it may wear quicker than a bigger bird cage. In many instances such as these we know people that have upgraded to a larger birdcage and then re-finished the older original smaller cage and then used it as a sleeping or travel cage.
The paint you choose
Many brands will have a picture of a baby crib or a mother holding a child - look for indicators such as these
Before you paint
When you're done
If your bird seems to be wearing out the paint on the bird cage
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Until next time
Windy City Parrot, Inc.
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