How to Paint Goose Decoys


Bird decoys are a North American folk art and were first fashioned by Native American hunters who used tule reeds to create floating waterfowl decoys. Soon the European newcomers carved wooden birds to lure real ducks and geese. Artisans began paying close attention to fine details of the decoys, adding beautifully painted feathers and realistic eyes. By using acrylic paint on an unfinished goose decoy, you can paint your own artistic goose decoy for hunting or as artwork.

Things You'll Need

  • Unfinished goose decoy
  • Acrylic paint
  • Fine brushes
  • Small plastic cups
  • Matte clean spray paint
  • Paint the pupil, or the center, of your Canada Goose decoy black, with a fine brush. Then paint the area around the pupil brown.

  • Paint the head and beak of your goose decoy black, but paint a white patch almost like a ring around the upper part of its neck or lower cheek area. Paint the rest of the neck black to its breast.

  • Mix together white and brown to create a cream color for your goose's breast and under-tail area. Paint those areas with this cream color.

  • Add brown with a fine brush to create feathers on the side of your goose. You can add cream that you mixed earlier to add a feather effect by brushing quick half oval strokes up and down.

  • Paint the back of your goose with brown paint. Mix brown with a little black for a dark brown tail. Brush down toward the end of your tail with a fine brush to create feather lines. Wait for your goose decoy to dry for 24 hours.

  • Spray your entire goose decoy with matte clear spray paint. Wait for it to dry before adding one more coat. Read the manufacturer's instructions for drying times.

Tips & Warnings

  • Display your goose decoy in a place that is out of direct sunlight to be sure the paint colors stay true. Sunlight and water fade paint, so if you do decide to use your goose you will need to repaint it.
  • Use caution when hunting geese.

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  • Photo Credit canada goose 1 image by Harvey Hudson from
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