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Old 09-01-17, 03:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

Which material would you use to seal a large snake wooden enclosure? Something that lasts long, effective and does not smell bad? And would you paint the whole enclosure with the sealing material or just the ground?
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Old 09-01-17, 05:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

Something like Pond Armor's "Pond Shield", a non-toxic epoxy sealant would work best, but there have been people that have used polyurethane as well.
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Old 09-01-17, 07:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

what i used to seal my snakes enclosure was food grade butcher block oil
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Old 09-01-17, 07:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

Is it important to seal the whole enclosure or just the ground? someone told me that i should seal only the ground because the wood needs air. He means that if i sealed the whole enclosure i will block the air from reaching the wood. Is he right?
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Old 09-01-17, 08:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

You would seal the entire inside, otherwise you'd risk mold/mildew buildup, rotting, swelling of the wood, etc. If you leave the exterior unfinished, the wood will breathe just fine.

Plus, if you didn't seal the entire inside, you'd have issues controlling humidity since the wood would soak up the moisture. Pressure treated wood would reduce most of the issues, but not entirely.

Understanding Moisture Content and Wood Movement

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Originally Posted by Pedroo View Post
Is it important to seal the whole enclosure or just the ground? someone told me that i should seal only the ground because the wood needs air. He means that if i sealed the whole enclosure i will block the air from reaching the wood. Is he right?
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Old 09-01-17, 12:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

You mean smell while drying because I don't know anything typically used that has smell after drying anyway? People don't want that with any item they are dealing with. If I'm using cheap wood I don't want to see, especially if not smooth like plywood, then enamel. Some of my cage bottoms are on their 4th species of animal and nearing 10 years of just cheap plywood and enamel. On plywood I had to touch up some spots where a chunk of the glued together wood pieces would break off while scraping it clean between uses. It makes a thick plastic-like layer so mostly all the uneven wood and gaps don't matter. For smooth boards the thinner polyurethane works fine and clear means you can see more expensive woods but usually I just have pine boards and coat it all in enamel. Both will smell strongly while painting. Not particularly toxic and I've had the whole house lightly smelling of enamel before without even the birds caring but it will smell until dry. Don't use if you can't ventilate the room. Otherwise you'll need a "low voc" paint or sealant (they are labelled in the US) for prebuilt structures in places you can't have temporary fumes.
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Old 09-01-17, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

Pond armor. Or something similar will basically turn your enclosure into a plastic box on the inside.
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Old 09-01-17, 06:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

Wow by the time you get done painting with epoxy you might as well have bought a commercial enclosure. It's $40-$60/quart when enamel is less than $10.
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Old 09-03-17, 02:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

Yacht varnish works well - cheaper than epoxy. Couple of costs of that and you're set.
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Old 09-04-17, 07:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

Bar top epoxy would work wonderfully but is kind of expensive. Polyurethane will work if you're on a budget but you need to give it time to air out, personally I would wait at least 2 weeks. I've used a product called Minwax for sealing racks but I don't think I'd use it for the inside of a cage and it takes 4-5 coats to get a good seal. Finally, wooden cages that are very large at all will get very heavy. The savings is probably worth it if you will not move for many years and it's an odd shape, but if you're using a standard cage size like a 4x2x1, I would highly recommend just paying a few extra bucks and buying plastics enclosure. Your back will thank you later.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Sealing a wooden snake enclosure

I used DAP 3.0 (purchased from home depot) to seal the seams on my enclosures. It remains somewhat flexible and does not shrink. As for paint, I used a spray paint on exposed wood where cuts were made. Got entire sheets you probably don't was a spray paint.
All of it stinks while it cures. Just give it time to air out.
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