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Team Work - Bird Box Painting

Posted by Celtic Sustainables on

Eco Friendly Painted Bird Boxes

Question

How do you make space in the warehouse by clearing out some random pieces of scrap wood, some half used tester tins of eco paint in an environmentally friendly way?

Answer

Make some bird boxes!

Eco Team Building

Grouped into teams of two, the idea was that each team found time to build and paint one bird box between them.

The rules were simple: 

  • Use the scrap wood
  • Make a functional bird box
  • Paint it with the (limited) range of external wood paints or oils we had already opened for other projects.

It turned into quite a team building exercise! Some people had never made a bird box before! Bits and pieces were brought in from home to help move the project along. A drill set for various sizes holes, a car type inner tube to make the lid hinges.

All in all we are quite pleased with the results (sorry only a few of us in the photo - the rest were hard at work processing and packing your orders!).

DIY Bird Box

Making a bird box

For those of you interested in making your own Bird Box. You can find bird box designs for free all over the web. We found a great bird box design on the RSPB website that we (pretty much) followed - you will see there is some variation. We liked this bird box template as all the pieces were cut from one plank of wood.

For the bird box hole size, it was up to the team. Anything from 25mm to 32mm diameter was going to be fine. Blue Tits prefer 25mm holes, Great Tits and Tree Sparrows 28mm and House Sparrows 32mm. You will see that a couple of the teams decided upon an open "letter box" style - these are for Robins, Wrens, Pied Wagtails another birds that prefer this open fronted design.

Bird Box Painting

All the specialist bird websites recommend using a water based paint on the exterior of the wooden bird box. However we also used some biocide and preservative free oil paints from Treatex as they are non-toxic, safe for children's toys  and made from natural oils like sunflower oil, soybean oil, beeswax and carnauba wax.

  1. Grey - Auro 250 Gloss Paint in Grey 250-99
  2. Green & Blue - Treatex Classic Colour Collection (Forest Green & Midnight Blue)
  3. Red - Eico Alterior Eggshell (Bus Stop)
  4. Sand and Sky Tones - Treatex Classic Colour Collection (Fresh Lemon & Granny's Bonnet - with Is this Pink? side panels)
  5. Grey and Red - Auro 250 Gloss Paint in Grey 250-99 & Eico Alterior Eggshell (Bus Stop)
  6. Cloudy Sky - Treatex Classic Colour Collection (Midnight Blue & Bleeched Wood)
  7. Yellow and White - Farrow & Ball Exterior Eggshell (Yellow Cake) & Treatex Classic Colour Collection (Bleeched Wood)
  8. Blue - Treatex Classic Colour Collection (Midnight Blue)

After painting the bird boxes were left to dry and reach their full hardness. This also allows for VOCs to disperse (even though all our paints are some of the lowest VOCs for paints of their kind we felt this was important).

We will put the bird boxes up on our shop/warehouse and nearby trees in the yard here in Cardigan - although we wont put them on the South facing wall (as we don't want the birds to overheat in the sun) and we will put the darker painted bird boxes in shadier areas for the same reason.

Hopefully soon we will have some nesting birds enjoying their new homes.