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How to Paint a Birdhouse

This post shares all about how to paint a birdhouse that will fit in great with your modern holiday decor! You can use it as a whimsical part of your indoor or outdoor holiday decor because it is both beautiful and functional! This post is sponsored by DecoArt and originally appeared on

For this month’s DecoArt Core Blogger Program project, I’m tackling the always-relevant topic of how to paint a birdhouse! I’ve wanted a cute modern-looking birdhouse in our backyard for a while. We have a feeder and a ton of birds that the cats love to watch. 

We also have birds that are constantly trying to nest under our balcony, so why not give them a house to use instead? Verdict is out on whether or not they’ll use it. And if they don’t use it, here’s the thing: it’s really cute for Christmas decor, too.

I love the look of little wooden painted and unfinished houses for holiday decor, so I made sure to paint this already-chic duplex-style birdhouse using modern holiday colors: black, hunter green, and a very light gray. It would make the perfect addition to a mantle, a tablescape, or your outdoor holiday decor.

painted wooden birdhouse


  • Wooden duplex birdhouse
  • DecoArt Americana Multi-Surface Satin Acrylics in Black Tie
  • Americana Acrylics in Dove Grey
  • Americana Acrylics in Hauser Dark Green
  • DecoArt DuraClear Satin Varnish
  • Small paint brushes
  • Paper towels and a palette or plastic baggies

And here’s how to paint a birdhouse.

Step 1: Paint the face of the birdhouse

I’m going to share a bit about the different paints I used for this project as I go along. It can be confusing when you go to the store and try to pick the right acrylic paint, so hopefully this helps.

For the face of my house, I used Dove Grey from the Americana Premium Matte Acrylics line. I chose this color because it reminds me of Dove Beige from the Americana Decor Satin Enamels line, which is the perfect light gray. Very neutral with very little blue undertones, which is what I love in a gray. (Here are a few projects I’ve used Dove Beige on: painted trunk, painted ceramic pot.)

The Premium Matte Acrylics come in 257 ready-to-go shades that offer fab coverage on virtually all surfaces. The finishes are permanent and durable, designed for professional artists and hobby crafters alike. They are water-based and non-toxic, so you can use a simple soap-and-water cleanup while paint is still wet. 

unfinished wooden birdhouse on a table
acrylic paints lined up on an unfinished wooden birdhouse
painting a wooden birdhouse
painting a wooden birdhouse

Here are a few tips on using DecoArt’s Premium Matte Acrylics:

  • Squirt out only a small amount at a time; acrylics dry quickly.
  • You can mix the colors for a custom shade if you’d like.
  • You can use masking tape or painter’s tape to create designs or hard edges on projects. If the paint you’re putting the masking tape on is totally dry, the tape will not cause any damage.
  • These paints will last about 5–7 years. Wondering if they’ve gone bad? They’re still good if you can re-mix them by shaking/stirring.
  • Dry time depends on temperature, humidity, and thickness. These paints are normally dry to the touch in 15 minutes. 
  • You can also use varnishes in various sheens to switch up the finish.
  • They can be used on metal, glass, or fabric if you use an appropriate medium. To paint on metal or glass, prime with a sealer first. For fabric, use fabric painting medium and then heat-set the dried design with an iron.
Decoart paints lined up on a table

Step 2: Paint the roof and sides of the birdhouse

I chose to do black on the roof, back, and bottom of the birdhouse. Specifically, I used Black Tie from the Multi-Surface Premium Satin Acrylics line. This paint is also very easy to work with but has a few differences I want to point out.

These premium satin-finish acrylics are good for indoor and outdoor use, so I thought they’d be perfect for the majority of the birdhouse. Including the roof, which will likely take most of the brunt when it comes to the elements.

These paints work great on almost any surface, including most plastics. They are self-sealing and do not require a primer, varnish, or clear finishing coat. This is an all-in-one acrylic paint that gives you excellent durability in just 1–2 coats depending on the color and application. If it matters to you, they are also acid-free, water-based, and non-toxic.

painting a wooden birdhouse
paint bottles and some paint on a plastic baggie with a brush

Here are a few tips on using DecoArt’s Premium Satin Acrylics:

  • The paints are excellent at self-leveling, but you can help get a super smooth surface by using a high-quality soft brush or sponge. 
  • It takes about a week to air cure; if you want to cure a top-rack, dishwasher-safe finish, paint on an oven-safe surface, set the dried piece in a cool oven, set the temp to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, bake for 30 minutes, and then cool in the oven with the door partially open.
  • However, this paint is not for items that will come into direct contact with food.
  • On slicker surfaces, don’t apply hard pressure with the brush; the paint will slide around too much.
  • You can use a cosmetic sponge to tap paint onto surfaces for an eggshell look. Then you can layer different colors for a dimensional look.

Step 3: Do the detail work!

Back to  Premium Matte Acrylics…I used Hauser Dark Green for the detail work. That means the sides and the trimmed-out pieces on the front of the birdhouse. I used a small brush and did need two coats for this.

painting a wooden birdhouse
painting a wooden birdhouse
painting a wooden birdhouse
painting a wooden birdhouse
painting a wooden birdhouse

Step 4: Seal with DecoArt DuraClear Varnish

As I noted in the descriptions of each type of paint, the Premium Satin Acrylics are self-sealing and do not require a finishing coat for added protection. They are also good for indoor and outdoor use.

However, since I used Premium Matte Acrylics on parts of the birdhouse, I decided to give the entire thing a coat of DecoArt’s DuraClear Varnish in Satin. I figured the added protection wouldn’t hurt the Premium Satin Acrylics.

The DuraClear varnishes are brush-on, indoor-outdoor, non-yellowing, water-based polyurethane varnishes that provide a tough, fast-drying, clear finish. They are also available in matte, ultra matte, soft touch, gloss, and high gloss. As well as some fun glitter finishes. Apply with a large, flat brush.

sealing a wooden birdhouse
sealing a wooden birdhouse

And here’s the beautiful finished piece! Fit for modern, moody decor or a trendy bird family. Guarantee they’ll be setting up some Eames chairs in here.

painted wooden birdhouse on a shelf
painted wooden birdhouse on a shelf
painted wooden birdhouse on a shelf

For more thrifty paint projects, check out my painted wine bottle upcycled into a bud vase, my post on how to paint thrifted clay pots, my scrap wood mini plant stand tutorial, and my post about how to paint glass jars!

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pinnable graphic about how to paint a modern wooden birdhouse with photos of the process and text overlay
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pinnable graphic about how to paint a modern wooden birdhouse with photos of the process and text overlay

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