How to Waterproof a Birdbath

Larry Simmons

Protect your birdbath from the elements while you give it a nice glossy shine by waterproofing the fountain with a sealant. No matter the materials used in your birdbath creation, eventually moisture will begin to penetrate the fountain’s surface and moisture often leads to damage.

Protect your birdbath from the elements by waterproofing its surface.

A sealant placed over the surface of your birdbath prevents this from occurring by cutting off penetration of the pores in your birdbath's materials. When sealed, water just slides off the surface, extending the life of your birdbath extensively as long as the sealant is reapplied every two to three years.

  1. Turn off the birdbath from the water’s source using the shutoff valve. Turn the valve counterclockwise until the water in the fountain stops flowing completely.

  2. Tilt the birdbath onto its side to empty the dirty water from the water basin. Rinse out the emptied basin with the water from a garden hose, removing any loose dirt or debris.

  3. Fill the basin about ¼ full of water and use a scrub brush to remove any embedded dirt within. Empty the basin again and then use the scrub brush to clean any stained area or any algae from the basin with a mixture contain ¾ cup bleach and 1 gallon warm water, combined in a medium-sized bucket.

  4. Fill the basin with the bleach water mix and then cover the basin with a piece of plastic sheeting. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes then empty the mix from the basin and rinse the basin clean with the water hose. Scrub the rest of the fountain clean with the scrub brush, then rinse the surface then allow the birdbath to air-dry.

  5. Open a can of sealant that’s compatible with the building material that the birdbath is constructed of. Stir the sealant thoroughly with a wooden paint stirrer. Pour the sealant into a small bucket.

  6. Apply the sealant to the birdbath using a paintbrush. Start at the top of the piece and work your way downward to prevent drips from forming with the sealant application. Use two layers of the sealant, allowing the first to dry for about 15 minutes before applying the second layer. Allow the second layer to dry completely, following the sealant manufacturer’s drying time recommendations.

  7. Cover the sealant with acrylic clear coat to provide a glossy finish to the birdbath. Hold the nozzle of the spray 6 to 8 inches from the surface of the birdbath and then press down on the spray can’t tip to start the spray flow. Cover the surface of the birdbath completely with the spray, moving from the top of the birdbath towards its base. Allow the finish to dry for 48 hours before touching the surface of the birdbath.

  8. Restore the flow of water to the fountain from the water source by turning the valve clockwise again. Or fill non-running fountain basins with water from the hose.