Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Birds? What You Need to Know Before You Start Painting


Acrylic paint is a popular choice among many artists for its versatility and ease of use. However, if you are a bird owner and artist, you may be wondering if acrylic paints pose any risks to your feathered friend.

The Safety of Acrylic Paint for Birds

The short answer is that as long as the paint is completely dry before exposing your bird to it, acrylic paint should not pose any significant risk to your pet.

Acrylic paints consist of water-soluble pigments suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. Once the paint dries, this emulsion forms a solid film that does not dissolve or release harmful chemicals into the air.

However, some types of pigments commonly used in acrylic paints can be toxic when ingested or inhaled. These include cadmiums (red, yellow, and orange), cobalts (blue), chromates (yellow), and lead white.

Therefore, it’s important to use non-toxic or low-toxicity paints when creating artwork around birds. You can also take steps to minimize the inhalation of pigment dust by wearing gloves and masks while handling dry pigments.

Precautions When Using Acrylic Paint Around Birds

To ensure that your bird stays safe while you’re painting with acrylics:

  • Avoid using aerosol sprays near your bird.
  • Cover your workspace with newspaper or drop cloths so no spilled paint comes into contact with your bird.
  • If possible, work on paintings outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep all half-finished paintings out of reach from curious birds who might try to peck at them.
  • If you accidentally get wet paint on yourself or come into skin contact with dried pigment dust without protective gear on  wash thoroughly immediately afterwards. 


In conclusion, acrylic paint is generally safe for birds as long as you take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to toxic pigments and ensure that your workspace is clean and well-ventilated. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy painting while keeping your feathered friend healthy and happy.