New Chicken Tractor... paint question. **Update w/ pictures**

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by skya328, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. skya328

    skya328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,

    My husband and I built a chicken tractor this weekend. We are brand new to chickens and have a few questions. We didn't use any plans for it, just looked at lots of designs on various websites and started building! The footprint is 4' x 8' and it is 6' tall. The coop takes up a full quarter of the space.

    We are going to paint the frame and outside the coop, but I wonder what to do inside the coop? Should we just leave the plywood exposed or do we need to coat it with something? I want to make sure I don't do anything that is going to be bad for the girls when we get them! (Still undecided on what kind to get, too!) I had also been wondering about insulating, but will read through the posts about that separate from this.

    Any help would be appreciated and I'm sure that I'll be posting more questions!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  2. Pullet Pimp

    Pullet Pimp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] First of all

    I painted the inside of mine to make it easier to clean when needed. I also used a semi gloss and gloss paints because they are a harder paint and take scrubbing better.

    Good luck, and show us some pictures of the coop I'd love to see it.
     
  3. skya328

    skya328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are a couple pictures that I've got at work with me. I'll be able to put up more pics this weekend when we have more done!

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    The kids had to check it out, too! [​IMG]
     
  4. Pullet Pimp

    Pullet Pimp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Coop is looking good but I wouldn't want to eat the brown eggs coming out of those four funny looking chickens in that last picture. LOL.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I painted part of my tractor's inside (after priming - do not skip priming!!) with gloss white exterior latex. No regrets other than not painting all of it (ran out of paint [​IMG]) -- the paint makes it easy to clean (poo sticks to bare plywood like all getout) and it makes the interior nice and bright, which is good for the chickens as well as for me [​IMG]

    It's not essential but probably a good idea. Much easier to do a good job of it now than later on once the wood has started getting ucky.

    BTW, very well thought out design for your tractor, neatly avoiding several problems that many of 'em have. Have you thought about adding more ventilation though, as you will really need it.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you do end up priming it, go to the paint store and ask them if they have any flat mistint paint you can either have or buy for a couple bucks a gallon. Prime with that first and then top coat with either gloss or semi-gloss paint.

    A lot of times you will be able to get the mistints in that as well. I am painting my entire 4 bedroom house right now (walls, ceilings, trim, everything) and it is costing me about $35 dollars in paint because of this.

    It sure helps save a few dollars.

    Good luck
     
  7. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sky, that picture of your dogs in your coop is hilarious! [​IMG]

    I'm planning on painting the inside and outside of my coop with semi-gloss exterior latex paint (like Pat says). Like ChickenTender says, I got mine from the mistint shelves from H.D. and Lowes. I think one gallon of normally $25-30 paint was only $5! I wasn't planning on using primer, but may reconsider if experts advise doing so. Pat, or others, is there a significant advantage to using primer plus paint versus one or two coats of paint?
     
  8. skya328

    skya328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sillybirds, I haven't talked to the chicken experts about primer, but I did ask the guy at Home Depot. He said that the primer is meant to absorb into the wood and the paint is there for "show," basically...and to help make cleaning easier. We had hoped to hoped to get the whole coop done in one weekend but ran out of daylight! I guess we won't be getting our chickens until after we get back from vacation Thanksgiving week. [​IMG]

    Now I've got another question... I've seen in pictures on this site that people put down linoleum at the base of the coop. Is that the best base to use (better than the plywood bottom we currently have!) for the base? I can see how that would make cleaning a bit easier.

    Here's another picture now that the door is mounted. (no more dogs inside!)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    My understanding, which matches my experience (and believe me I've done it both ways, I am quite capable of being cheap and/or lazy <g>), is that an extra coat or two of regular paint is not the same as using primer. I gather that primer is manufactured differently than paint, with more emphasis on whatever ingredients confer good adhesion to the surface and less emphasis on the ingredients relating to durability in weather.

    I can tell you that the outdoors projects I've done without primer -- but using 2 or 3 coats of paint -- have all started peeling much sooner than the ones I've primed first. I can also tell you that, where I painted parts of my previously-dark-inside old horse barn with primer and other parts with just paint, depending on what I had left over at the time, the primer-only parts are still in great shape (this is indoors, tho) whereas the paint-only parts are peely and flaking.

    (Of course, exterior primer also does stuff like conceal any knots that may bleed resin, and indoors it can help reduce the number of coats you need to cover over a different color -- but those things are not really big issues in your average chicken coop [​IMG])

    I would defer to the knowledge of anyone in the construction or paint industries, however -- the above is just my experience.

    (Another important thing to remember when painting, btw, especially for outdoors stuff: two or three thin coats of paint will work out FAR better than one or two thick coats. Yes I know it takes longer. It also holds up a lot better over time, though, thus postponing the day when you have to scrape and repaint [​IMG])

    Pat
     
  10. Pullet Pimp

    Pullet Pimp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only one thing I would add that hasn't been mentioned is that if the exterior surface is pressure treated lumber or plywood use an exterior oil based primer. Then you can top coat with a latex or oil based paint. An oil based primer works better with the chemicals in the pressure treated wood and your finished product will last longer. That is what I have been advised from two friends of mine that are in the house painting business and have been for many years. I trust their opinion.
     

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