What Kind Of Paint To Use On A Hummingbird Feeder? [Safe & Weather Resistant Options]

Is your hummingbird feeder looking dull, and do you wonder which paint to use to enhance its appearance? Or are there colors that will attract more hummingbirds to your yard? These are solid questions. Please continue reading. The team at Garden Tabs has conducted the research and found the answers to your questions. 

The best types of paint to use for a hummingbird feeder must withstand constant exposure to the elements without the paint peeling. The best options include:

  • Acrylic
  • Latex
  • Oil-based

Ready to learn more about selecting the correct type of paint for your hummingbird feeders? Or how to find paint-can recycling options near you? Excellent! We've researched these topics and have gathered quality research results to share with you!

What kind of paint to use on a hummingbird feeder?

Selecting the best kind of paint for your hummingbird feeder is critical because using the incorrect type could be toxic to hummingbirds and other local wildlife.

For the best results, avoid using paints not formulated for outdoor use because the hummingbird feeder will have continual exposure to the elements.

Paints that are not manufactured for outdoor use will flake and peel off the feeder. Also, the paint peels are hazardous to other wildlife that will try to consume the paint chips.

Please note only the exterior of the feeder can be painted. Never paint the inside because the paint will flake into the hummingbird nectar. 


Acrylic paints are suitable for outdoor painting projects because the acrylic paints will contract and expand with the changing temperatures. Also, if the acrylic paints are stored correctly, the paint will last two to 15 years.


Latex paints are the easiest to apply to wooden surfaces and to clean up with water. However, acrylic or oil-based paints aren't as resistant to weather as latex paints. 

Keep in mind that latex paints will need a few coats to cover the piece. Also, latex paints, if stored correctly, will last from two to 10 years.


Oil-based paints are the most resistant to cold weather and usually do not require a second or third coat of paint. Oil-based paints are applied via brush or spray.

Please note that oil paint does have a pungent smell that can cause headaches and nausea in closed spaces. Only use oil-based paint in well-ventilated areas or outside for the best results.


Click here to view acrylic patio paint on Amazon.


View Latex Rustoleum paint on Amazon.


Click here to view the oil-based Rustoleum paint on Amazon.

Can you paint glass hummingbird feeders?

hanging, full, hummingbird feeder with flowers and perching spots

Yes. You can paint the exterior of a glass hummingbird feeder. Before you start your painting project, wash the feeder with dish soap and allow it to dry completely. Follow the paint's instructions for application on glass.


Click here to view the Folkart watercolor non-toxic indoor/outdoor paint on Amazon.

What colors attract hummingbirds?

Hummingbird Colombia

The best color to attract hummingbirds is red. The secondary color is pink because those colors will signal high-octane food sources to the hummingbirds.

For the best results, avoid using neutral, pastel, or dark earth tones; those colors will not attract the hummingbirds' attention. 

A few techniques will help attract more hummingbirds to your feeder. 

  • Paint the feeder red with non-toxic paint. 
  • Place the feeder near yellow flowers to attract more hummingbirds. 
  • Do not put regular bird food into the hummingbird feeder. 
  • Only the nectar (sugar solution) for the hummingbird feeder. 
  • Add a red ant guard to protect the nectar from ants, and add more red to attract the hummingbirds. 

Click here to view the ant guard for hummingbird feeders on Amazon.

Hummingbirds have the ability to see colors that humans cannot because hummingbirds have four color cones in their eyes. The additional cone allows them to see non-spectral colors that are blind to the human eye with three color cones. 

Considering that red is a non-spectral color is one reason why the color red is the best color to attract hummingbirds to your feeder. 

Do you have Portulaca planted in your yard and wonder if it will attract hummingbirds? Check out this guide to learn more: Does Portulaca Attract Hummingbirds?

Should a hummingbird feeder be hung in the sun or the shade?

a tiny hummingbird getting a drink at a backyard feeder full of sugar water nectar

It is essential to place the hummingbird feeder near the area of your garden or lawn where you have noticed the birds visiting frequently.

Preferably place the hummingbird feeder in or near the flower beds to attract the hummingbirds early in the growing season in a partially shaded area. 

Once the hummingbirds have discovered the feeder and are used to its location, later in the season, you could move the feeder to other areas in your yard, and the hummingbirds will follow. 

Metal bird baths bring great aesthetic value to gardens and lawns, but which paint is safe for painting metal bird baths? Take a look at this post to learn more: What Is A Safe Paint For Metal Bird Baths? [3 Great Options To Choose From]

What is the correct ratio of sugar to water for hummingbirds?

Hummingbird Colombia, What Kind Of Paint To Use On A Hummingbird Feeder? [Safe & Weather Resistant Options]

The correct ratio for hummingbird nectar is one sugar to four water. For example, one cup of white sugar to four cups of pure water. 

Instructions for hummingbird nectar

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Measure one part sugar in a heat-resistant bowl.
  • Pour boiling water over the sugar. 
  • Stir the solution.
  • Allow it to cool to room temperature before pouring it into the hummingbird feeder.
  • NEVER use honey in place of sugar. The honey could cause fungal disease in hummingbirds. 

Suppose all of the hummingbird nectar didn't fit in the feeder. Pour the remaining nectar into a sealable container or jar and put it in the refrigerator. 

Please note that adding red food coloring to the hummingbird nectar is unnecessary because the dye is unhealthy for the birds. Also, if the feeder is red, that will attract the hummingbird regardless of the color of the nectar.

The paint will display a few visual cues to indicate it is no longer usable. If the paint cans have expanded on the sides of the can or the lid is puffing up, it indicates the paint is bad. 

Furthermore, if you open the paint can and it smells rancid and there is a film floating on the top of the liquid paint, it is not usable.

Different types of color of paint

Please note that the steps required to recycle the cans will vary depending on your city or municipality. Visit earth911 and type in your zipcode to find the recycling centers near you and the requirements for paint can recycling. 

Also, Paint Care is a non-profit organization that will take unused paints and has several drop-off locations in the United States. Visit the website for more details and a drop-off location near you.

Wrapping up

Hummingbird Colombia

The team at Garden Tabs appreciates you taking the time to read our article, and we hope you have found it helpful in choosing the correct paint for your hummingbird feeder.

Today we discussed the differences between the best paints for hummingbird feeders, where to place them in the yard, how to mix the hummingbird nectar, and a few other tips for attracting more hummingbirds to your yard. 

Please be sure to check out some of our other posts before you go to help further your bird-related knowledge base. 

Are Skimmia Berries Poisonous? [Inc. To Dogs, Cat, Birds, Or Humans]

Where To Place A Bird Feeder In The Garden

What To Plant Under Bird Feeders [8+ Suggestions]


  1. Is it safe to paint the flowers (from where they drink the nectar) at the base of my hummingbird feeder?

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