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Old 10-24-2019, 02:24 AM
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Art Around Birds?

Hi everyone, long time no see! I was just wondering what kind of paints would be safe around birds (oil, acrylic, etc) because I want to pick up painting sometime in the future. I would most likely be painting in my bedroom or the den area (the birds are there right now, but i plan to move them to the living room eventually). All of the birds are right outside my bedroom. Are there any paints that are safe or should I not be painting at all? I live in a mobile home so my house is pretty small.

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Old 10-24-2019, 02:37 AM
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Re: Art Around Birds?

Oil is a big no mostly because of solvents. They're toxic enough that you shouldn't use them while pregnant and are a huge no for birds, even the "odorless" kind. I believe you can cut oil paint with oil for a longer drying time but reduced toxicity. I've used walnut oil for this purpose but have heard good things about linseed oil.

I have noticed some of my nicer acrylic paints smell (especially titanium white) so I tend to do research before using them - you kind of have to look up every brand/pigment, so just start with what you have.

Gouache and watercolor are fairly safe.

Obviously don't let them get into your paints. FW ink seems okay also, I've used that in the living room (which is where my tiel sleeps and where my Amazon's day cage is). It's an acrylic based ink, and acrylics don't really have fumes/odor. If there is any chance at all your bird can land in your palette, DO NOT USE TOXIC PIGMENTS. That having been said, I definitely use burnt/raw umber which contains heavy metals that are very toxic in concentrated amounts. BE SMART, don't get it on your skin if you can avoid it and for pete's sake, don't dip your paint brush into your coffee mug.

Here's a list of toxic pigments used across most artistic mediums:
From the studio: Toxicity of Pigments

I have kids AND dogs AND parrots, so I usually only paint at night, and only in mediums like FW inks or gouache/watercolor as they dry quickly and don't smell much. Don't forget to keep your paintbrushes away from your fids also - fortunately I keep mine pretty clean, but I left them out on my desk once and my toddler AND cockatiel decided to chew on them...
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:59 AM
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Re: Art Around Birds?

While most of my art these days is digital, when I do paint, I use mostly the “Folk Art”, “Decoart” and “Americana” brand acrylic paints. I am especially fond of the various metallic paints, which is one of my favorite mediums to work in. None of these brands have a discernible odor and from everything I can find aren’t particularly toxic when used as intended. My bird often sits in the room while I paint and I have never had issues. We live in a condo, so also working in a small space where any paints with strong odors would not work.
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