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DIY Bird Bath with Waterproof Terra Cotta

Make your own DIY Bird Bath using items you may already have. Additionally, learn an easy way to waterproof terra cotta for a bird bath bowl replacement and suggestions for your birdbath stand.

This is my kind of project!

I used the material I had lying about and made something useful!

When my parents moved out of their home last year, they left a lot of stuff behind. When we moved in last month, we weeded through and decided what we wanted to keep and what we needed to rehome.

This wrought iron base was one of the things left behind in the garage, and I wanted to keep it. I am not sure if it was originally a planter or a base for a birdbath, but in any event, I knew I wanted to find a way to use it.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I realized that a saucer for a large pot would fit perfectly on the base. It was then that I decided that the future of this wrought iron piece was the base of DIY Bird Bath.

As Kismet had it, I had way too many empty terra cotta pots and saucers, and my crafting angel ensured that I had one that exactly fit inside the opening of this base! It’s entirely possible that this stand was a base for a birdbath before, but this saucer will be the perfect birdbath bowl replacement!

Terra Cotta Saucer

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And, while Terry has often derided my stash of aerosol cans, I had a partial can of Rust-Oleum’s Triple Thick Glaze, which contained just enough to spray the inside of the saucer. The Triple Thick Glaze put a clear coating on the saucer so that the naturally porous terra cotta would become waterproof and therefore hold water longer than the unsealed terra cotta saucer, just what I needed for this DIY Birdbath.

Water Beading on Terra Cotta Saucer after Spraying with Triple Thick Glaze

As an aside, this Triple Thick Glaze is some handy stuff to have around. I have used it to coat a wooden box to make it a little more waterproof, so I could put some potted plants in it without worrying about rotting the wood. I used it to add a clear, shiny coat to a painted lamp. Sadly for Terry, the next time I am at the hardware store, I will pick up a new Triple Thick can. I hate to imagine a time when I need it and don’t have it in my garage!!?

Just a tip on spraying the glaze, don’t get too heavy a hand. You need several very light coats to avoid areas that become cloudy. And, if by chance you get too heavy-handed, you can sand off the paint so that you can do the lighter coats as recommended on the can.

Triple Thick Glaze

And BAM…just like that, I have a birdbath! Well…I guess I don’t have a birdbath as much as my feathered friends now have a birdbath. And, as if it just can’t get better…the best location for this birdbath ensures it will get filled with water when the sprinklers go off! Truly, it was meant to be! 

If you have a stand or base but need a bird bath bowl replacement, then this waterproofed terra cotta bird bath bowl may be just what you need. And, if you didn’t just move into your mom’s home and, therefore, might not have the perfect base laying about, here are some other suggestions for your birdbath stand for a DIY Birdbath:

Ideas for DIY Bird Bath Stand:

  • Invert a pot (or a couple of pots) and glue the saucer to the bottom of the pot
  • An old chair (metal is best, but if using wood, you could seal the wood)…place the saucer on the seat
  • Iron Base
  • Hanging Base
  • An old tree stump
  • A lamp base
  • Three rods pounded into the ground
  • An old ladder
  • An old spindle, chair or table leg
  • A stack of bricks

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the chemicals in the waterproof sealant safe for birds?

According to my conversation with a representative at Rust-Oleum, once the waterproof sealant has fully cured, it stops outgassing harmful chemicals, making it safer for use in bird baths. However, it’s important to allow the sealant to fully cure as per the manufacturer’s instructions before filling the bath with water.

Can I paint my terra cotta saucer before waterproofing it for a bird bath?

You can paint the terra cotta saucer with acrylic paints before applying a waterproof sealant. However, ensure the paint is fully dry and follow up with a waterproofing sealant to protect the paint and the terra cotta. Testing this method or consulting with the product manufacturer for compatibility and safety is advisable.

How long does it take for the waterproofing sealant to fully cure?

Rust-Oleum’s Triple Thick Glaze, a common waterproofing sealant, typically requires 24 hours to cure fully. However, for optimal results, especially for a bird bath that will be constantly exposed to water and outdoor conditions, waiting a week before filling it with water is recommended.

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this post on this DIY Birdbath Idea:

Finished DIY Birdbath
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    1. Hi Rose, I called Rustoleum when I did this product and they told me that once the sealant has cured, it will no longer outgas any chemicals.

  1. Thank-you ! What a great idea ! I’ve been looking for a replacement bowl and they are $ 35.00-99.00 and UP ! ….Yikes ! Thanks again ! Patti

    1. Hi, I called Rustoleum and was told that once cured the chemicals will off-gas. They didn’t go so far as to say it was completely harmless, but did underscore that the chemicals would off-gas when fully cured.

    1. Good Morning Sandy,

      I know you can use acrylic paints to paint terra cotta…I’ve done that. But, what I haven’t done is paint the terra cotta, then seal it to use as a bird bath. My gut tells me that it would be fine, but I can’t speak for certain.


  2. There is paint out there that is bird friendly. I have the same metal plant holder that I now use as a birdfeeder I put in a terra-cotta, then put another colorful plate on top, then filled with water and put on the deck.

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