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Scribblette

Toxicity of paints and pet birds

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Hullo. Sorry if my questions are stupid and my google fu has just failed me. I'm a complete beginner here, never done anything like this before, but going hard into bones 5 for table top play with family. I was looking into the paints and learning to paint kit that comes with it only. 

 

So, question: Does anyone have ideas on the safety of these paints and plastics around small pet birds? Are the paints "sweet tasting at all? Maybe by extrapolating the info from the idea of safety vs if you've had a baby chew on your painted dragon wing? 

 

The birds are not chewers, more brush tongued and soft billed honey eater type birds, and they're usually free flying around house. Danger is more of them licking something colourful if it's left out. They haven't done this with larger Assassin Creed statues but no harm in wondering? 

 

The obvious answers to me are:

- Don't paint around flying pets! 

- Don't leave freshly painted miniatures or fresh paints anywhere near pets might go, duh! 

- Don't leave dried miniatures anywhere they might go either! Water soluble paints could mean saliva soluble, and then you've got sick birds and messed up paints!

 

The third one I'm hoping maybe isn't the case. It would be nice to be able to leave dried statues on a map half way through a game. Also with family and a billion miniatures I'm not so sure that everything will get put away, and so knowing what degree of paranoid I don't have to be would be super helpful.

Edited by Scribblette
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@Reaper_Jon can get you more information.  The paints are supposed to be 'non toxic' in the sense that normal use won't make you sick. That does not include painting on your skin or eating them.  It's acrylic paint and the hazards for your pets will be similar to other craft paints. 

 

 

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Heh, I don't know how other craft paints hold up either. But that was easier to google, thank you. Lots of much older answers on that, nothing yet on miniatures. Looks like generally people don't worry too much about acrylics around birds and can use them to paint cages. Hopefully someone can provide more input on the risks of birds licking miniatures already painted. 

 

It seems unlikely but you never know, maybe other folk have pets and minis, or maybe I'll be the best painter ever and I'll paint a miniature flower and my birds won't know the difference :P 

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You can also cover your minis that that are in progress when you are not working on them with a lid of some sort, like the kind that come on cakes from grocery store bakeries (the clear, plastic kind, rather tall. Not the sheet-cake kind, might be too short, the kind that come on round layer cakes). Assuming your birds don't move/push things.

 

I cover my peanut butter jars to keep cats out of them, which works well given that I use the lid of the jar as a grip for painting.

 

A veterinarian might be good to consult about the effects of licking dried acrylic paint and birds? Or animals in general? Water soluble paint, for acrylics, means that it has a water base, but once the water evaporates from it an acrylic polymer is formed. Adding water back to the polymer at that point won't reverse the process, unless the water has chemicals that will attack/degrade the polymer. I don't know what bird saliva has though, so I'd ask someone with knowledge on that.

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Oh, cool. I really appreciate the explanation, now I know how that works! So sweaty hands won't necessarily rub off all the paint. Oh, and no, my birds saliva is way less harmful than ours. I was thinking of a big cake lid dome too, my wife went straight to separate fancy closing lid table but then how will I decorate a clear dining table XD

 

I'm going to have to look up what you mean by grip for painting though

Edited by Scribblette
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14 hours ago, Scribblette said:

So sweaty hands won't necessarily rub off all the paint.

Once it's fully dried the sweaty hands shouldn't be an issue, but the paint can still rub off or chip, just like the paint on your house, so you do have to be careful of that.

 

Painting grip = something you can attach the mini to, and hold that instead of trying to hold onto the miniature's base. Many reasons people use them, several use them so the holding hand doesn't fatigue from. Some people use poster putty to stick onto a medicine pill bottle, there are several ones available for retail purchase, other people make their own. This is my version that I make and use:

 

grip-1a.thumb.jpg.781d62645419c8cd199807e7ec7e336e.jpg

Edited by ManvsMini
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I've noticed that my paint water attracts/catches a lot of fruit flies.  Not sure if this means it is sweet, but they seem to like it enough to die in it. 

 

Makes me change my water every day though.

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Reaper uses safer pigments. They have avoided using some kinds of shinier metallic flake in the past to keep their paints safer than not. The bottles were once labeled non-toxic. The formulation hasn't changed, I think it's just due to them being more widely distributed that they are no longer  labeled such. (The EU and various other countries may have different definitions so it's just easier to skip it if I had to guess.) 

However, it's important to note that non-toxic means non-toxic when put to intended normal use (painting on figures with possibly getting some on one's person now and then, not consuming.) That said, loads of people lick their brushes, or wipe paint off on to their fingers or nails to wick their brush and other habits that are bad but probably not super injurious. Lots of people have also reported finding cats drink their paint water (or have accidentally swigged some themselves.) Not desirable, but no dire effects I've ever heard of.

There are toxic pigments in the world, though fewer and farther between than there used to be. Many of these are generally expensive and well labeled. You're not likely to buy a real cadmium or cobalt paint for hobby paint prices. (Seeing cadmium or cobalt in the name doesn't necessarily mean that it has any in the paint. Particularly if the name also includes the word 'hue'.)

 

As mentioned, once acrylic paint is dry, it's dry. It's basically plastic at that point. There is a chance of paint chipping off, though I don't think it'd be very reactive or anything. I might put figures away or cover an active game board with a cloth or something to prevent the birds nibbling on things not only for their safety but to prevent damage to the figures.

To add yet another caveat, birds are not people, and the data that Reaper or any one else has about toxicity of various pigments and paints is going to relate to people. It's my understanding that heating Teflon coating type pans releases vapours that can hurt birds but will do nothing to people, just as we can scarf up loads of chocolate and onions and dogs and cats should definitely not. So it may or may not help completely put your mind at ease to know there's nothing in the paints harmful to humans. Perhaps it would be helpful to also inquire on some forums of bird enthusiasts? Miniature hobby paints are acrylic paints roughly in the same category as acrylic house paint or general hobby paints or art paints (though some art paints do contain the heavy metal pigments I mentioned, I just mean more to the general point of acrylic paints.) So a bird keeper with general knowledge of acrylic paint safety and birds would be a helpful resource.

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7 hours ago, Clearman said:

I've noticed that my paint water attracts/catches a lot of fruit flies.  Not sure if this means it is sweet, but they seem to like it enough to die in it. 

 

Makes me change my water every day though.

 

Probably just dihydrogen monoxide poisoning.  If an insect flies randomly around an enclosed space, it’ll eventually encounter the one deadly spot inside that space and then stay there.  If you’ve ever had to sweep a pool’s surface, you’ll know what I mean...

 

1 hour ago, Wren said:

Lots of people have also reported finding cats drink their paint water (or have accidentally swigged some themselves.) Not desirable, but no dire effects I've ever heard of.

 

Speaking from experience, Reaper makes the Worst.  Coffee.  Ever.  

 

I do not reccommend.

Edited by Grumpy Cave Bear
Merged edits?
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The brush-lickers say S75 tastes worse than Reaper.

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5 hours ago, Grumpy Cave Bear said:

Probably just dihydrogen monoxide poisoning.


Why don't you just call it "Water intoxication"? ::D:

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12 hours ago, Cicciopiu said:


Why don't you just call it "Water intoxication"? ::D:

 

Because some people are scared of chemicals with names that are difficult to pronounce, so we mock them. 

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Paintwater is indeed a hit with our furred housemates. I think it's the colorful swirlies that are just more fun than plain old clean water. We don't leave it out for them to drink (or push off the table) though, but their limited intake from playing with it (and cleaning it off the paws) hasn't lead to any ill effects. 

Colored plastic is equally interesting and one painted spider was MIA for months. I make really sure to put away all the miniatures whenever I'm not actively using them, less because of the paint and more because accidentally swallowing parts of their plastic prey doesn't seem like a good idea. And because I'd like to keep my miniatures and paintjobs intact.

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