Paint, laminate or bare wood?


In the Brooder
Jan 2, 2016
We are converting an old, dingy, black-widow infested shed into a coop. This is my first time raising chickens and I'm wondering what you ol' timers would suggest for the interior. Is leaving it bare wood ok? Would I need to sanitize it? Is laminate easier for cleaning? Is paint best? We are trying to do this as cheaply as possible, but want it done well.

Cheep N Peep

Apr 9, 2015
Castle Rock, Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
First get rid of the black widows. Remove any objects inside the shed (using gloves) and set them in some far off corner of the yard to sit for a couple months. Treat the shed inside for the spiders, and treat it again a few weeks later to get any eggs that hatched.

Wash the shed with a rag and some soapy water to get rid of the spider poison residue. Let the shed dry.

I prefer laminate flooring and exterior grade paint on the walls because the walls are protected from moisture, make the coop brighter, and with a thickhand, helps seal up in-between-board cracks. The laminate on the floor is soo helpfull when I haveto clean the coop. The shavings don't stick to the floor and any chicken poop concrete blobs scrape right off. Painted floors have more bumbs and dips, so it isn't quite the same. Concrete is a good base that can be hosed off, scraped, banged, and take a wole lot of abuse without giving.

Dirt is the best for the Deep Litter Method, since the bacteria/composting start is the floor, but only if you have it predator proofed. If you use the Deep Litter Method on laminate or concrete floors, some dirt will have to be added before hand. Since the DLM gets pretty high, you can put the laminate up the wall about two feet to help protect the wood. Doors should be raised higher as well if you don't want bedding spilling out.

Bare wood- especcially on the floor- has the chance of rotting out from under you if the bedding is constantly getting wet. I wouldn't leave it bare.

Pictures would be very helpful to have- they can show us the condition and size of the shed better than words. Here are some questions:

-What are th dimensions of the shed? Width, hieght, and leangth.
-Does the shed have ventilation at the roofs peak, under the overhang? Ventilation should be as high as you can get it, as much as you can put there, and not let in water.
-Does it have windows? How many?
-Does the shed leak?
-Is it easy to access or do you have to bend over?
-How much shed space do you want to dedicate to chickens? Do you want a human-only section to store feed and have nest box access, or do you want the whole thing to be a coop with external nest box access? Or go inside to collect eggs?

Start thinking about what the easiest set up would be for you.Where will you put the roosts? Do you want a poop board or hammock? What feeder will you use, store-bought? PVC? Elbow bucket feeder? What waterer would you like, a hanging one or a ground one? A bowl or a nipple waterer? What breeds do you want, egg layers? Meat? Pets? Bantams or large fowl?

I know... that is a lot of questions...:p good ones, though.


8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
I have experience with multiple floorings, all are raised away from the ground and kept dry, topped with wood shavings.

Laminate is the best.

Painted plywood works.

Linoleum wears out rather soon from scratching.

Never try bare wood but it should be ok.

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