Question about wood sealant on a custom enclosure...

Discussion in 'Enclosures And Supplies' started by Undertow11, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Undertow11

    Undertow11 New Member

    First things first... I apologize if this question has been previously posted, I didn't see anything about it, but it's always possible I just missed the post...

    When building a custom enclosure for a chameleon, wood seems to be the best construction material (or at least the cheapest and the easiest to purchase and work with). Given that wood needs to be sealed if it's going to be exposed to high levels of moisture, I was curious as to whether or not there's any consensus as to the best wood sealant to use for a reptile enclosure?

    My concern is that since the chameleon could potentially drink off the surface of the wood, or the feeder insects could try to eat the surface of the wood (or the chameleon's tongue could come into contact with the wood while catching a feeder insect) that the sealant needs to be reptile safe.

    Has anyone else wondered about this or found any products that seem to work out well?


  2. Mr Wilson

    Mr Wilson New Member

    They make water-based polyurethane. I know for a fact Minwax and Cabot make it. I personally dont think it's as good as the oil based stuff but it def safer. I'd still make sure you give the enclosure plenty of time to air out before putting any animal in it. If it's something your animal will come in contact w/ I like to go by the rule of thumb of "if you can still smell it, it's not safe yet" Good luck
  3. Marc10edora

    Marc10edora New Member

    easiest thing to use is Laytex House paint. Use an outdoor paint. When it dries, it will be like a plastic coating. Put on a coat, then let it dry before you put on another coat. Repeat this about 4-5 times. On the last coat let it dry for about 2 weeks just to be safe. It shouldn't mold or let water through.
  4. aliguori

    aliguori New Member

    Even water-based polyurethane is nasty stuff. I wouldn't eat directly off of it. Look for "food grade" wood sealer. That's the same type of stuff that would be used to make wooden bowels meant for eating out of.

    Usually, these sealers need to be reapplied occasionally as they are not nearly as durable as polyurethane.
  5. sandrachameleon

    sandrachameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I use zero VOC latex acrylic (indoor) to paint all my wood framed cages. A base coat and a single top coat. It lasts, even with me scrubbing it hard now and then to clean, quite well. I repaint ever 2nd or 3rd year, though Im not sure that's a necessity. I've got a cage that's probably ten years old now, so I know paint works.

    Note: I also caulk all seams
  6. Jhov2324

    Jhov2324 New Member

    I used Urathane outdoor spray paint..give it two goods coats and let it dry completely...
  7. Syn

    Syn Avid Member

    Have you used it short term or long term?
  8. Echoezra

    Echoezra New Member

    okay, I know I shouldn't be commenting as I have no helpful recommendation, and I know it's very immature, but my spelling OCD couldn't let this one slide. Cue Beavis & Butthead laugh, cause he said "wooden bowels" lol.
    Bfreeman and Syn like this.
  9. Jhov2324

    Jhov2324 New Member

    SYN i plan on using it long term...I coated a sheet of plywood with it and attached the plywood to the back panel of my cage...i didnt want the wall to get all wet from the mist so i basically water proofed the panel to protect it from wood rot....the urathane is basically what they use on the outside doors so it doesnt damage from weather..
  10. javsto

    javsto New Member

    Ive been looking at this site for a professional wooden enclosure since I dont possess any type of carpentry skill whatso ever, specifically the arboreal cage they make to my specific dimensions and the free shipping which is a plus considering a wooden enclosure

    but if I were to use something other than wood or screen then I think acrylic is the way to go and this place, which is conviently only minutes from my house, is a second option for me

    ofcourse both options are more pricely compared to DIY but thats the way the cookie crumbles...:rolleyes:
  11. Aminah Undone

    Aminah Undone New Member

    I've not sealed any Cham cages recently, but I use Sea Fin Aqua Spar by Daly's on various pieces of artwork ..decorative gourds and bowls that will be used for food service, as well as, gourd birdhouses where delicate/sensitive birds will dwell.

    It's a little expensive, but much worth the peace of mind.
  12. Syn

    Syn Avid Member

    I ask to see if there has been any noticeable difference in your chameleon's health/behavior. I am unsure what long-term urethane exposure could do, if anything.
  13. Dupontman2

    Dupontman2 New Member

    I have been using the polyurethanes for over 10 years with absolutely no health effects to my chams. I caulk all the joints then spray a urethane base coat (colored) and then topcoat with polyurethane. My cages still look like brand new. I do leave them outside for a few days to air out.
  14. Hoj

    Hoj Friendly Grasshopper

    here is a link to the how to for a enclosure that i recently built it shows the product that i used
  15. Undertow11

    Undertow11 New Member

    Thank you to everyone for all the advice, I am so glad I found this forum!


  16. alazymexican

    alazymexican New Member

    I have coated my cage with pure acetone stain and a sanding sealer only.. It's been drying for about two weeks... Is it safe?
  17. rkruse3

    rkruse3 New Member

    Something such as pond armor will work and it is non toxic. I had a monitor, water Dragon, and rabbit cages with similar product on it. It worked great. My cousin built a fish tank out of plywood and sealed it. It still holds water! The rabbits ate the wood and it never hurt them, although I didn't like that they ate it. But they were rabbits, not much you can do.
    AZChamFan likes this.
  18. Kashacheck

    Kashacheck New Member

    Do you remember what kind of caulk? Any of them harmful?
  19. AZChamFan

    AZChamFan Avid Member

    That's what I've used and it's extremely durable and should be very safe if its fish safe. What I used was "Pond Shield" non-toxic epoxy sealer with 100 percent solids and no V.O.C.'s. Only drawback is it's not as simple to apply as some of these other coatings.

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