Building A Chameleon Enclosure

Van_&_Alec

Established Member
So I bought a veiled chameleon and his whole setup the other week and it’s a bit small. I’d like to use panels form his current enclosure to make another one.
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(Apologies for the bluriness, something happened when uploading the picture.)
The cage right now is 16” L 16” W 30” H
It should be about 36-38” L 18-20” W 34” H
 

Van_&_Alec

Established Member
I plan on using Black Krylon Fusion spray paint for the wood panels and every part I’ve built. I might spray the Repti-Breeze panels too as I’ll be replacing screen most likely.
Also the bottom wooden panel will be have sides, probably two to three inches tall and that’ll be spray painted black and then the inside will be coated with black flex spray… then a whole will be drilled and airline tubing will lead to a bucket or probably outside a window to drain water. So it’ll be a non removable, never have to empty drip pan.
I’ve done some research and people have used Krylon Fusion with no problems, flex seal is extremely inert and I’ve seen it used in vivariums… they say it’s one hundred percent safe for everything.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I plan on using Black Krylon Fusion spray paint for the wood panels and every part I’ve built. I might spray the Repti-Breeze panels too as I’ll be replacing screen most likely.
From what I can tell, this is not a latex paint, and as such contains higher levels of VOCs. Krylon does make a latex spray (and some finishes for playground equip), but I'm not familiar with their whole line.

If you go with Fusion, PLEASE make sure it is thoroughly cured (IME, usually longer than they say) before exposing any animals.

Also the bottom wooden panel will be have sides, probably two to three inches tall and that’ll be spray painted black and then the inside will be coated with black flex spray… then a whole will be drilled and airline tubing will lead to a bucket or probably outside a window to drain water. So it’ll be a non removable, never have to empty drip pan.
I’ve done some research and people have used Krylon Fusion with no problems, flex seal is extremely inert and I’ve seen it used in vivariums… they say it’s one hundred percent safe for everything.
I do have some experience with flex seal (liquid). It too takes longer to cure thoroughly than they say, but it's working well.

The reason I went with the liquid is that all our reptiles have pretty significant claws (and accompanying skill in using them), and I was concerned whether claws might scratch through the spray version, affecting the waterproofing. 🤷‍♂️

If your enclosure will be used outside (as well?) or near a large window, you might consider the heat generated by the black surfaces. ;)
 

Van_&_Alec

Established Member
From what I can tell, this is not a latex paint, and as such contains higher levels of VOCs. Krylon does make a latex spray (and some finishes for playground equip), but I'm not familiar with their whole line.

If you go with Fusion, PLEASE make sure it is thoroughly cured (IME, usually longer than they say) before exposing any animals.


I do have some experience with flex seal (liquid). It too takes longer to cure thoroughly than they say, but it's working well.

The reason I went with the liquid is that all our reptiles have pretty significant claws (and accompanying skill in using them), and I was concerned whether claws might scratch through the spray version, affecting the waterproofing. 🤷‍♂️

If your enclosure will be used outside (as well?) or near a large window, you might consider the heat generated by the black surfaces. ;)
So I can use Krylon with a long cure period?
And it’s ok do multiple layers and it’ll withstand the claws.
It won’t be used outside but in indirect sunlight in my room.
And thank you for the help?
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Van_&_Alec ok so you got what you got sweet . So as you probably know you will want a t5ho 5% or 6% long fluorescent for uvb and a heat light now uvb distance to basking should be around 8to 9 inches to obtain the correct uv,i so as not to lose your 34 inch height you could think about rasing or suspending your lights ,also if your getting a baby some may climb the screen so rasing the lights is also a good idea to avoid thermal burns as well as contact with high uvb.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I can use Krylon with a long cure period?
CAN you? Yes. SHOULD you? 🤷‍♂️
All Krylon spray paints in the Home Improvement, Hobby and Hardware stores are non-toxic. In fact, all finishes you can buy at retail in the USA are non-toxic when cured. It is a federal law that controls this.
[more...]
https://toymakingplans.com/toy-safety/
Personally, I stick with water-based latex or polyurethane.
reptile safe paints

And it’s ok do multiple layers and it’ll withstand the claws.
IDK. It's an experiment for me. I used multiple coats of the liquid, which is many times thicker than the spray. Time will tell.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Is there any brands of spray paint you’d recommend?

Safe paints and finishes for reptile enclosures

With the exception of the quart of gray flex seal liquid that I had to mail-order, I try to work with what's available at local outlets. IME, house brands are usually OK; reptile enclosures aren't exactly the Taj Ma-freakin'-hal (except the one I built for my beardie... :oops: ) Just read all labels, and figure on doubling (at least) stated curing times. When you can't smell it anymore, it's cured.
 

Connorology

Established Member
FWIW I have used Krylon Fusion spray paint when I have needed paint in the past. If you click around on the forums here you'll see it is the brand that is most typically recommended.

Keep in mind none of these paints have been tested for safety with reptiles and if it's off gassing still (and you can smell it) it is probably safe to assume it is not ok to be used with your chameleon (or any pet, or human). Krylon fusion is just the one that has been used by forum members in the past without incident. When I used it to paint the screen top of an enclosure I let that top air out in my shed for a full month. Almost certainly overkill, but better safe than sorry.

I have used the krylon fusion with my ball python enclosure and the top of my chameleon's enclosure. I have heard it anecdotally being used in reef tanks, which are extremely fragile.
 

Van_&_Alec

Established Member
FWIW I have used Krylon Fusion spray paint when I have needed paint in the past. If you click around on the forums here you'll see it is the brand that is most typically recommended.

Keep in mind none of these paints have been tested for safety with reptiles and if it's off gassing still (and you can smell it) it is probably safe to assume it is not ok to be used with your chameleon (or any pet, or human). Krylon fusion is just the one that has been used by forum members in the past without incident. When I used it to paint the screen top of an enclosure I let that top air out in my shed for a full month. Almost certainly overkill, but better safe than sorry.

I have used the krylon fusion with my ball python enclosure and the top of my chameleon's enclosure. I have heard it anecdotally being used in reef tanks, which are extremely fragile.
Yeah we use them in reef tanks for big pieces of acrylic or pvc to hold frags or baby coral pieces. And sometimes it’s used for the most finicky of corals it’s also subjected to lots of different minerals and chemicals in the water and exposed to super crazy UV.
How long do you let it gas off?
 

Connorology

Established Member
I usually let any chemicals (spray foam, silicone, paint, finish, whatever) go for at least a month before adding animals. This is partially intentional and partially because I have been using bioactive setups for a few years now and usually try to let the plants establish for a few weeks before adding animals - so I let it off gas for a week or two, then wait a month for plants to establish, and then it's been about 4-6 weeks before the animal(s) go in.

I doubt you need to wait the full 4-6 weeks but that is what I usually do and is thus all I can vouch for.

-Connor
 

Connorology

Established Member
If you can smell it, it's not done off-gassing.
And when you can't smell it it's probably best to have someone else smell it to confirm - at least for me, my sense of smell is very poor (apparently chronic exposure to California's subapocalyptic wildfires is not benign? Go figure).

And even when it's done off gassing you should try it with heating elements in place and see if you can smell it then. What seems to be done off gassing in your cold garage may resume off gassing when under a basking lamp.
 
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