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Before we get started, it’s important to note that there is a danger in painting your pet’s cage if the wrong type of paint is used. Because of this, we encourage you to contact that paint manufacturer directly. What follows are instructions on how to paint the cage. The safety of your pet will depend on good communication with the paint company, not the instructions found below.

Why Paint a Cage?

Often it comes down to money. Cages, especially large ones, can get pretty pricey. You may be able to find a used cage at a yard sale or flea market. A new coat of paint can leave it looking good as new at a fraction of the price.

Getting the Cage Ready

In order to be sure that the paint job will last, you need to do some prep work on the cage itself. Older cages may have a little rust on them. Or they may have paint flaking off from an old paint job. You can use a wire brush to completely remove paint and rust. Then sandpaper will help to smooth the surface. Wipe the cage down with a wet towel to ensure no dust or debris is left on the cage.

Paint Selection

The most dangerous paint elements for a pet are things like zinc, lead, and VOCs. While this is not a comprehensive list of paint toxins, you get the idea. Don’t just trust the fact that it says non-toxic on the can. Call the manufacturer and let them know what you are using the paint for—and what animal or bird is using the cage.

Painting and Curing

Start with pet-friendly primer. Then allow 24 hours to dry. Next, paint the cage with your pet-friendly paint. Apply thin coats and allow a day of drying between each coat. Three coats of paint over one thin coat of primer should do the trick. For extra safety, don’t allow your pet in the room where you are painting or while it is curing. That way, any potential toxins released into the air (you know that paint smell) will be kept away from your pet.

Ready for Use

Depending on the type of paint you use, it can take up to two weeks before your cage is ready for your pet. That means either starting painting early in the pet-acquisition process or having a temporary dwelling in another part of the house for your pet.

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