Plywood outdoors

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SWMBO wants birdhouses. I have a few sheets of birch plywood, but not outdoor plywood. If I am going to cover the whole d*mn birdhouse (inside and outside) in exterior paint, should i care if the plywood is not rated for outdoors? Won't the paint encase the plywood, keeping any moisture from swelling and delaminating the boards?
Greg
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Why not make them out of pine or spruce or some other cheap wood? The birds won't care.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The quick answer is "for a while".
There's a reason that houses don't have painted plywood roofs.
If you put a good overhang on it and a waterproof roof (cover it with overlapped strips of duct tape if you don't have anything else) then it should be OK for a while. But if you want to do a right job of it pick up some cedar or redwood or ipe or whatever your local yard sells for non-pressure-treated deck lumber and it should be OK for a long, long time.
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wrote:

1. Exterior grade will last a while. The weakness is said to lie with the choice of wood. 2. Marine grade will last a long time if you maintain it properly. It has glue that is really waterproof and better wood than exterior.
Anything other kind of plywood is only good for practice.
Jim
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If your making it for the birds to live in and not as a decoration then the plywood should last a few seasons - I just cut up 12 of them for a cub scout den out of pine boards. I figure after a few years, even with cleaning them out every season, they get nasty enough that I through em in the fire pit.
If they are going to be near your outdoor living space, and used decoratively, I would use cedar.
Rich

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Caulk any joins, etc, and, while it won't last forever, it may last longer than you would expect, depending upon what you use to "paint" it with, and whether you can keep moisture from seeping into corners, etc.
Funny you should mention that.
I have a piece of cheap throwaway 3/4" interior plywood that I use as an outdoor assembly/paint/stain table top, right out the shop door. I shellacked the hell out of it just for grins the first week it was outside about two years ago, just to empty the spray gun ... and I occasionally spray it with left over shellac, polyurethane, whatever I'm using, for the same reason.
Looking at it closely the other day (and thinking maybe it was time to change it out), I was sorta amazed at how well it has weathered the past couple of years in the open ... despite the heat cold, rain and sun, it's flatter and straighter than some of the plywood stored in the shop:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/files/cheap.jpg
... go figure.
Despite all that, if I was going to spend any of my time on an outdoor project, I would invest in some exterior or marine grade plywood and then use a good exterior topcoat ... it isn't all that much in the scheme of things.
Then again, if you're a cheapskate, like JOAT, use what you got, paint'em yellow, and hope for the best, like the above. :)
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Fri, Dec 7, 2007, 2:15pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Swingman) doth slanderusly say: <snip> Then again, if you're a cheapskate, like JOAT, use what you got,paint'em yellow, and hope for the best, like the above. :)
I beg your pardon sirrah, I am NOT a cheapskate, merely prudent with my funds, I was inspired by Scrooge McDuck.. For what it's worth, I have a brand new quart can of sunflower yellow paint, bought at Big Lots, for one-fourth of the regular price, being held in reserve, just waiting for just the right project. So there. Bleah.
JOAT Even Popeye didn't eat his spinach until he had to.
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"J T" < wrote

<g>
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Fri, Dec 7, 2007, 11:06am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com dot has received his orders: SWMBO wants birdhouses. I have a few sheets of birch plywood, but not outdoor plywood. If I am going to cover the whole d*mn birdhouse (inside and outside) in exterior paint, should i care if the plywood is not rated for outdoors? Won't the paint encase the plywood, keeping any moisture from swelling and delaminating the boards?
I've read you shouldn't paint the inside. The balld iggle on the front of my corporate world headquarters is interior birch ply. It's painted with exterior latex, and is as good as new. It's been up for somewhere around 10 years or so.
I don't have a link to a picture of the iggle just now, so here's one to my Tiki instead. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/BALDIGGLE /
JOAT Even Popeye didn't eat his spinach until he had to.
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J T wrote:

I've also read you shouldn't paint the outside:
"6. Paint: Try not to buy brightly painted birdhouses, but keep them natural colors or unpainted. Unpainted is preferable. Birds hide their nests and brightly colored birdhouses will only attract predators. Decorative birdhouses are very pretty, but you can get pretty and practical birdhouses which will keep the nestling safe."
http://www.squidoo.com/bird-houses
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Jack Novak
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Apparently, predators are attracted to brightly colored buildings to eat.
Hey!
McDonald's, Howard Johnson's, Taco Bell, Waffle House... They're all brightly colored! Weird... <G>
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Couple of years ago I built some bird houses out of used highway sign boards, the stuff that is coated with BRIGHT ORANGE reflective plastic. Put them up on fence posts in an open area (no tree for over 75 ft). By the time I got back to the house and turned around to look at them a blue bird was already moving in, and by the end of the day all three of them were occupied. You can see these things for a half mile in the daytime and a couple of miles at night when a light hits them. No body has told the birds around here that they don't like brightly colored houses.
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On Fri, 7 Dec 2007 18:22:56 -0600, "Curran Copeland"

He didn't say the _birds_ didn't like them.
He said _predators_ really like brightly colored birdhouses.
Think about that for a moment.
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Fri, Dec 7, 2007, 5:39pm snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (JT) first I said: <snip>I don't have a link to a picture of the iggle just now, sohere's one to my Tiki instead. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/BALDIGGLE /
Now I say I found a link to the bald iggle picture. It's added to the link above.
JOAT Even Popeye didn't eat his spinach until he had to.
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On Fri, 7 Dec 2007 11:06:43 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have a birdhouse that is still being used. I made it over 20 years ago from scraps of (interior) ply. I think the shingle on top (and paint) made it last. Do not paint the interior. Exterior wood is not needed with a finish. Use scrap and leftover materials.
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Phisherman wrote:

I have a birdfeeder that's supposed to emulate a square log built house. The logs are 1" x 1" cedar, as is most of the rest of the structure. The roof however, is ply. I didn't build it but I'm assuming it's interior ply. I've painted it with exterior semi, and it's lasted (so far) about 5 years in some pretty harsh conditions.
If the ply gives out, tho, I'll remove it and replace with some left over tin from my house roof.
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Tanus

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On Dec 7, 2:06 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
I use a "stain" made of fuel oil and roofing shingles and really soak the bird house in it - several "coats."
If your houses are small enough, dunk them like a new car at the paint factory.
Then, if you have some clear laying about in a gun somwhere, feel free to shoot 'em with that
But, with regular wood I use, it appears I achieve a waterproof finish similar to a rail road tie.
And, the color is nice and rustic.
The birds just adore teh feeder made this way and we are looking for or second or third family to take advantage of the nesting box/bird "house" I built..
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On Dec 7, 11:06 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It's a birdhouse. Paint the rooftop if you want, otherwise let it turn to a ruin naturally; the glue will weaken, fungus will attack the wood and glue, and that's OK. Birds like to nest in worse wood than anything you can find in your scrap bin, after all.
How much structural strength does it take to support a nest and some tweety-birds? The worst that can happen, is the project needs redoing in a few decades. Prepare your offspring to do that work!
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wrote:

I built several new birdhouses last winter. The birds clearly preferred the 10-year weathered houses to the new ones.
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Phisherman wrote:

Probably less human smell about them.
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