How to Paint a Concrete Birdbath Properly

A small bird perches on the edge of a concrete birdbath.
  • 0-1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Large drop cloth
Stiff-bristled brush
Trisodium phosphate cleaner
Concrete sealer
Oil-based masonry primer
Paint sprayer
Oil-based masonry paint

You can easily and successfully paint a concrete birdbath to completely refresh its look. However, there are some steps that you need to take to correctly apply the paint and accomplish the look you desire. This article and the information set forth will provide you with what you need to tackle this project.

Step 1 - Choose an Oil-based Masonry Primer and Paint

Before you begin the process, you need to choose a paint that works well with the concrete. Select an oil-based masonry primer as well as masonry paint. A spray can work as easily as applying the paint to the concrete with a brush, so the type you choose is entirely up to you. You may also use a paint sprayer to apply the primer and paint if you have one available. These supplies can be purchased at a paint supply store or home improvement center.

Step 2 - Clean and Prepare the Concrete Birdbath

After choosing the paint, place a large drop cloth around the base of the birdbath. This will prevent splatters and drips from hitting the ground while you're working.

Clean the birdbath with soapy water and a stiff-bristled scrub brush to remove dirt and debris and prepare the surface for primer and paint. Any of this that gets left behind can compromise your paint job, so be thorough. A trisodium phosphate solution can also be added to the soapy water if the birdbath is older in order to remove any oils, grime, or molds that might have built up. Rinse the concrete with a hose afterward so that no residue remains.

Step 3 - Apply a Concrete Sealer

Use a concrete sealer to coat the birdbath. This is an important step and needs to be done before the primer and paint as the surface of concrete is porous.

Step 4 - Apply Primer and Paint

Your oil-based masonry primer should be applied using a bristle brush or a paint sprayer. As mentioned previously, this can also come in a spray paint, which needs no extra tools to apply. Brush on the primer in even strokes or spray it on in slow, steady passes for the best coverage. Dry times for your primer will be on the package for your product. Follow these to the letter before you continue on to adding the top coat.

Once the primer is fully dry, you can add paint. Use a clean brush or thoroughly clean out your sprayer before you start, and apply it in the same manner as you did the primer. It may require two coats of paint in order to complete the job, so wait for the first coat to dry completely before putting down another.

Step 5 - Move the Birdbath

Give the paint plenty of time to dry completely before moving the birdbath where you want to place it in the yard, if it isn't already there. Remove the drop cloth, clean all paint brushes or other tools that were used and seal the paint and primer cans.

Your concrete birdbath should now be complete ready for use by your winged friends.