Question about wood sealant on a custom enclosure...

Undertow11

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?

thanks!

-rhett
 

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
 

Marc10edora

Avid 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.
 

aliguori

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
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.
 

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
 

Echoezra

Established Member
That's the same type of stuff that would be used to make wooden bowels meant for eating out of
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.
 

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..
 

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
http://www.cagecompany.com/

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
http://www.bigappleherp.com/REPTILE-SUPPLIES/Habitats

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

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.
 

Syn

Avid 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..
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.
 

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.
 

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
 

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?
 

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.
 

Kashacheck

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

AZChamFan

Avid 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.
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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