About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is it ok to use treated lumber to build a birdhouse?

We have some leftover Pressure Treated lumber still sitting in the garage from the deck we built last summer. Is it ok to use treated lumber to build a birdhouse? Can we paint or stain the house when it's complete? Thanks, DD ~Mason, MI

Treated lumber is not recommended to build bird houses. The toxic chemicals used to prevent wood rot or insect problems are harmful to baby birds. Wild Birds Unlimited sells bird house kits or you can purchase decay-resistant wood like cedar to build nest boxes. It's okay to use lead free paint or stain on the outside but leave the inside untouched.

Wild Birds Unlimited also has several birdhouse building books available too. They explain the possible wood choices and how the ideal thickness should be no less than ¾” to keep birds safe from heat build up.

I also discussed recommended requirements of a safe and secure bird house in an earlier post that you might find helpful at Bird House Basics.


Anonymous said...

I have used your birdhouse kits for the kids projects. Easy enough for a fun time and they painted them too.

Anonymous said...

What if you painted them inside??

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

It's best to paint bird houses on the outside only. Leave the inside natural.