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PAINTING GOURD BIRDHOUSES

Everything you need to know!

Creating and painting gourd birdhouses is so rewarding. Their shape allows them to blend into your garden so naturally. Every spring there’s the excitement of watching a pair of birds taking up residence in your painted gourd. Maybe that’s why we get asked over and over again...

How do you go about painting gourd birdhouses? In order to keep the birdhouses from getting too hot, you should paint your design on a light background. You could paint an interesting pattern directly onto the natural gourd. Alternatively, you could basecoat the gourd with white or some other very light color before painting the rest of the design.

After that, let your imagination run! Birds don’t get all that excited by the actual decorative surface of their abodes! But your human visitors will sure be impressed with your skills for painting gourd birdhouses.

Most importantly, before you paint a gourd birdhouse you need to decide which birds you want to attract. Birds are peculiar about the kinds of real estate they’ll invest in. Some like larger homes while others like to snuggle in to a smaller space. And as any realtor will tell you, location, location, location is key!! But seriously…



Let’s say you want to attract Purple Martins… the gourd floor size needs to be about 6” x 6”, with a round opening somewhere between 2” to 2-1/2” located about 1” above the floor.

A good-sized gourd birdhouse for a Chickadee would be one with a floor size that’s 4” x 4”, has an opening that’s 1-1/4” located about 6” to 8” above the floor.

It’s also important to drill 4 small holes in the bottom of the birdhouse gourd for drainage. Baby birds could inadvertently drown if their homes were to fill with rainwater.

Maybe you don’t care which kind of bird settles down in your backyard! Then just cut a 1-1/2” hole in a medium-sized gourd. The likely tenants will be a majority of cavity dwelling birds excluding Purple Martins and House Finches.

The basics of painted gourds can be found by going to our page on gourd painting On that page you’ll easily find appropriate links for painting, drying or cleaning your own gourds. You’ll find many useful tips to help you create your very own gourd birdhouse.

We love to receive suggestions or questions, so feel free to contact us.

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