How to Make a Waterproof Glaze for Painted Bird Feeders

When finishing off bird feeders, the sealant used must be safe (non-toxic) for the birds that will be feeding there. You can make a non-toxic waterproof glaze for your painted bird feeder using simply water and glue; the important thing is to ensure that the glue is appropriate for birds.


  1. 1
    Choose the glue. Choose a glue that is safe for birds, such as white glue (for example, Elmer's glue[1]). Glues used for birdseed molds are considered safe too, such as L.D. Davis animal glue.[2] These glues are gelatin-based and will make it clear that they are safe for use with animals, such as birds.
    • Many glue types are not safe, so choose carefully and if in doubt, contact the manufacturer directly.
    • Outdoor resiliency depends on the glue's suitability for use outdoors. If it's an indoor-only glue, you will need to reapply the solution at the end of each season, or maybe even more frequently.
  2. 2
    Pour the glue in the bowl. Add the water and mix together.
  3. 3
    Paint the glue and water solution on the bird feeder. Cover it completely, wherever the rain is likely to go.
    • Keep the application completely smooth and without lumps or bumps. Wherever the glue solution congeals to create a bump, this serves as a temptation for a bird to pick at it, so either don't make these bumps or remove them and paint over it smoothly again.
  4. 4
    Let it dry for sufficient time before hanging outside. Read the manufacturer's instructions for drying times.
    • Never leave wet glue around birds. It should always be completely dried, as a lot of "toxicity" in glues goes once it dries.
  5. 5
    Done. You should now have a waterproof bird feeder.


  • Make small amounts at a time.
  • Your vet may be able to recommend a suitable glue for the purpose outlined in this article.
  • Glue can be avoided for joining elements of a birdhouse, such as by using twine, sisal, nails and screws.


  • Non-toxic on labeling refers to humans. Do not assume that just because the glue states this that it is safe for birds; check first. Child-safe and food-safe glue is more likely to be okay but this is still not certain, so ask before using.
  • While edible glue is a great idea, it usually won't withstand being subjected to outdoor elements for any length of time.
  • Do not paint the bird feeder around birds. Glue is at its most noxious when emitting fumes while wet.[3]
  • Hot glue has been used by some bird enthusiasts owning parrots with no reported ill effect, after it has dried hard.[3] This doesn't mean all kinds of hot glue are safe though.

Things You'll Need

  • A bowl
  • Water
  • A spoon
  • Glue

Article Info

Categories: Feeding Birds