Painting an Enclosure

techmikef

Member
Hello Everyone,

I am getting prepared to start my venture into chameleon ownership and the questions are abundant. Im glad I found this site. Prepare for the questions.

Question 1)

I am looking at the enclosures at DIYcages.com but I really dont want an aluminum colored cage. What would be the best way to paint it without presenting any danger to my soon to be new pet?

Question 2)

Has anyone used the Screen Cage Water Trays at LLLReptile.com? If so, do you like them and how well do they work?

Thanks in advance,
Mike
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
diycages band their screen to the cage, so you cant take it out, so if you dont like the aluminum look you would have to tape off the screen.

If you just dont like the shininess you can do an oven no no and spray it down with Westley's Bleach white or easy off heavy duty oven cleaner. That will make it turn dark grey. That will be 100% safe since after cleaning their is nothing to flake off.

For a drip tray you could just get a lowes/home depot washer over flow pan for $20. They are 27x32 ish.
 

techmikef

Member
From the way I read it the DIYCages enclosures have all stainless steel clasps and hinges and the LLLReptiles have plastic. I dont suppose this is a huge deal I would just think that the steel hinges would hold up better in the long run. I dont mind taping it off to paint it but the other method you mentioned about the easy off oven cleaner sounds like the better option. Is that difficult to do and is it 100% safe for the reptile?

Im not against getting the cage from LLL I just liked the idea of all metal frame and hinges. If the LLL is a superior enclosure overall I will go that route. Please feel free to explain why one is better than the other.

I looked at the washer overflow pans at HD and they wont provide the clean look I am really trying to achieve. And the water trays from LLL are only about 10 bucks more and will provide a cleaner look.
 

cswan19

New Member
If your looking to paint, my dad painted my enclosure with "Krylon Fusion: Satin Black" and did a few coats. The spray paint is reef safe (saltwater tanks) which are really really delicate so they are also herp safe as well. Just leave outside in the sun for about a week and it should be fine. I've had no problems or chips at all and it still looks great!

EDIT: it doesnt have to be the satin black, I was just saying lol Krylon Fusion is the way to go.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ya the oven cleaner trick is safe for the cham because you are not leaving anything on the cage, you wash the cage with soap and water when you are done.

Basically you are ruining the finish of the aluminum and metal. Use the stuff on bathroom fixtures and you just killed the finish. On the other hand if you are a car buff and dont want gaudy looking shiny engine parts, you spray the stuff on them and you will end up with a dull look.
 

KingJulian

New Member
We have a 2x2x4 zoomed reptibreeze that is black. We got it used for 50 dollars on craigslist because the guy bought a baby panther and it ended up dying, and he didn't want another one, so he got rid of all of his supplies.
 

techmikef

Member
The zoo med reptibreeze cages are black alluminum with metal hinges...

You can get the big 2x2x4 for about $85.

Ive read that the reptibreeze screen is loose on the cage. Can you confirm whether this is true or not? Also, it appears that on amazon the reptibreeze is currently under review. Here is the page that indicates they are not currently selling the item due to some reported issue

http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiBreeze-Screen-48-Inches/dp/B001PHABI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369067354&sr=8-1&keywords=repti+breeze+24+x+24+x+48
 

KingJulian

New Member
We have ours on a 2 foot tall table, so it's up off the ground. I have noticed that if it's too close to the edge, or if it gets turned, the door won't line up right when trying to close it. I just move the cage a little and it lines itself up. They are flimsy because they are all screen. Never had a problem with the hinges. Everything stays closed like it's supposed to.
 

Mike Fisher

Established Member
I am looking at the enclosures at DIYcages.com but I really dont want an aluminum colored cage. What would be the best way to paint it without presenting any danger to my soon to be new pet?

Forget the oven cleaner or paint. Just clean the aluminum really well and wipe some aluminum blackener on it. Not sure why they don't offer it with that finish. It is really easy to do and pretty cheap because it wouldn't take much to do the whole cage.
 

techmikef

Member
Forget the oven cleaner or paint. Just clean the aluminum really well and wipe some aluminum blackener on it. Not sure why they don't offer it with that finish. It is really easy to do and pretty cheap because it wouldn't take much to do the whole cage.

Will the cage still be safe for the cham if I use the aluminum blackener? And will I need to tape of the screen to apply the blackener?
 

Mike Fisher

Established Member
Will the cage still be safe for the cham if I use the aluminum blackener? And will I need to tape of the screen to apply the blackener?

Yes, safer than paint. It blackens it by chemical reaction, just make sure to clean it off afterwards. Yes, if you don't want your aluminum screen black around the edges, just use some masking tape.
 

techmikef

Member
Yes, safer than paint. It blackens it by chemical reaction, just make sure to clean it off afterwards. Yes, if you don't want your aluminum screen black around the edges, just use some masking tape.

Awesome. Thanks for this. This is definitly what Im going to do.
 

Solid Snake

Avid Member
If you plan on painting a cage frame...

...the best way would be to powder coat it.

Youd have to remove the rubber strip though, so the screen also.
 

techmikef

Member
If your looking to paint, my dad painted my enclosure with "Krylon Fusion: Satin Black" and did a few coats. The spray paint is reef safe (saltwater tanks) which are really really delicate so they are also herp safe as well. Just leave outside in the sun for about a week and it should be fine. I've had no problems or chips at all and it still looks great!

EDIT: it doesnt have to be the satin black, I was just saying lol Krylon Fusion is the way to go.

OK, so I have my enclosure now and have it all assembled. I was originally going to use the aluminum blackener but Ive read in several places that it will rub off and this worries me. So, Ive decided to go with the Krylon Fusion spray paint since its reef safe and im all too familiar with how finicky reef tanks are. My only question before I start is if its ok to spray the screen as well or do i need to tape it off.
 

Action Jackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I guess I missed the point of this post. LLL sells two colors of screen cage silver and black. Why not get the black and be done with it? Spraying paint, oven cleaner or some other chemical doesn't seen like the best idea. If it degrades the coating on the screen it will rust or corrode.

I know you already bought your cage, I'm just saying.:)

The drain trays LLL sells work pretty good but you need to modify them with a drain so the water drains out of the tray.
 
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NVfrogger

New Member
I bought a cage from DYI a little while ago also have two I bought on amazon. The Dyi cage looks real sharp nice hinges and the aluminum is pretty nice looking. I was wanting to change the color of it before I put it together but I like the look of it now and will not be doing anything to it but housing a chameleon in it.
 

techmikef

Member
I guess I missed the point of this post. LLL sells two colors of screen cage silver and black. Why not get the black and be done with it? Spraying paint, oven cleaner or some other chemical doesn't seen like the best idea. If it degrades the coating on the screen it will rust or corrode.

I know you already bought your cage, I'm just saying.:)

The drain trays LLL sells work pretty good but you need to modify them with a drain so the water drains out of the tray.

I answered this question in an earlier reply. I read that the DIY cages have all stainless steel hinges and clasps which to me seems more durable. I asked for reasons why one was superior to the other and got no responses on that question. That is why I got the DIY cage instead. So know I have the task of painting the aluminum to get a finish more appealing to me.
 
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