How to Paint
a Rusted Rabbit Cage
Like all metal, after awhile the wire in your rabbit's cage may begin to rust. It usually begins in the corner your rabbit uses for his bathroom. If you keep his cage clean and brush off all evidence of urine residue, the wire will usually last quite a while before showing signs of rust.
If your cages are already showing signs of rust, you can get away with just sanding off the rust for a little while. Once it starts to spread, you may want to slow down the deterioration of your cage by painting it. If you are considering painting as a solution, be sure you have a place for your rabbit to stay for at least 24 to 48 hours while the paint dries and cures.
The best paint to use on wire rabbit cages is Rustoleum. This is a paint that is specially formulated to combat rust. It comes in many colors from which to choose. Once you have selected the color you want, it is time to prepare the cage for painting.
Remove your rabbit from the cage and place him somewhere safe. Remove any toys, food dishes and water bottles. Clean the cage completely, removing any residues from food, urine, droppings and fur. You may need to scrub the cage with a wire brush to get it clean. Another method that is effective for cleaning is using a power washer. Let the cage dry in the sun completely before you begin painting.
Put the cage in a safe area for you to paint. Follow the directions on the can of Rustoleum for applying the paint. You will find that it is better to apply several thin coats over a period of time than to apply one thick coat. Thin coats dry faster and more completely than thick coats. Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next. Be aware that the weather may affect your paint job. Dry weather is much better for painting.
After you have applied the last coat of paint, let the paint cure for a day or two. This lets the paint set long enough to be safe for your rabbit and lets any paint fumes evaporate. Once the paint has cured, you can move the cage back to where it belongs. Secure it in place if necessary and install your rabbit's accessories. The cage is safe for your rabbit once again. Be sure to keep an eye on the area the rust appeared in so you notice when the paint wears through.
One word of caution: if the rust is severe, don't bother with painting the cage. Either replace the cage or replace the wire. For example, the floor wire can be removed from the cage by undoing the J clips that hold it in place with a special J clip removal tool. New floor wire can be ordered from a rabbit supply business or local farm supply store. They may even be able to cut it to size for you. Secure the new wire in place with J clips and you're good to go.
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