Staining with Potassium Permanganate (How to w/pics)
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Beginners, Training & Tutorials  |  Tutorials  |  Topic: Staining with Potassium Permanganate (How to w/pics) « previous next »
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Bobbym1232
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« on: March 03, 2008, 11:04:21 PM »

I just got a PM asking about staining antlers with Potassium Permanganate, so I'd thought I'd share with everyone.  Now I'm no expert on the subject but this has worked for me so far and I use it on everything from sheds to tine repairs.

First off just follow the directions that come with the powder and wear gloves throughout the entire process.
Take about 1 teaspoon (or more depending on the area that needs staining) of powder and mix with water or alcohol.  I've used both, but I get better results using over the counter rubbing alcohol.  I just pour enough in to fully dissolve the stain.  ***You first timers will be hesitant at this step, but don't worry the antlers won't turn purple! :D*** 

The stain is a dark purple color after mixing, but it will be brown when done drying.  You can use a paintbrush to apply the stain, or just about anything that is handy.  I tend to use Q-tips for smaller touch ups on bases or repairs.  One very important thing to keep in mind is that the longer you let the mixture set, the darker the stain becomes!  So whenever you apply a coat to one antler, you need to do the other side at the same time to keep both at the same color stage.

I do one coat on one side then the other side.  By the time the second side is done, I go back and put a second coat on both again.  This will give you a rough base coat color.  Then let the stain set for about 5-10 minutes and come back with another coat on each, starting at the bases and fading it up as far as you like.  Don't get the tips as dark as other areas, makes for easier highlights.  Just remember the more coats and the longer you leave the stain, the darker the antlers will be.

After you get somewhere close to the color you are looking for, let them dry for a while.  They will be a chalky brownish/orange color at this step.  Now come back with a fine steel wool pad and make a light pass over the entire antlers.  This will remove the chalky residue.  Then continue to use the steel wool to highlight the tips, beams, and bases to produce desired look. 

Once you are happy with the look, all you have left is to seal them with something.  I use a very light coat of krylon mattee spray.  Don't get too carried away with the sealer or they will turn out too glossy looking.  That's it!  It's not real hard to do, but you might want to practice on an old shed or two before doing something big.

Here are some pictures of sheds that I've done with this process.  As you can tell, you can make some lighter/darker, just depends on how you like it!  All of these were sheds that were bleached white before starting.  Hope this helps some of you out!







« Last Edit: August 13, 2008, 11:22:40 PM by Bobbym1232 » Logged

Gobblingfever
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 01:28:39 AM »

photobucket image gone.
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Lisa M
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 02:35:24 AM »

Thank you for the ttt goblin...and Bobby...this looks like it belonged in Tutorials anyway!  You did a great write up of the process.  ;)  If you're running out of room in your photobucket account,  I'd be happy to put them in mine for this thread.  :) 
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Gobblingfever
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2008, 06:33:15 PM »

I've got skulls that are waiting some antler touch up. Great Tutorial I think as well. No pics though. ???  I got s decent set of antlers that are bone white to do.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 07:37:16 PM by Gobblingfever » Logged
Sea Wolf
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2008, 06:47:41 PM »

Darn. I'd like to see those pictures. :( I have a 13 pt set of elk antlers that really need fixin.
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Lisa M
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 10:47:10 PM »

I contacted Bobby via his website.  Maybe he'll put the pictures back up?  I offered to post them myself if he doesn't have the time.  ;)  Hopefully they'll be back up soon.  :)
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Gobblingfever
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 12:07:16 AM »

 ;) thank you Lisa. For some reason I can read something but do not understand it like a hands on or visual.
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Bobbym1232
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 10:12:10 AM »

Oops!  ::)  I forgot I had them posted on here when I deleted them last week.  I'll put them back up for everyone.  Hopefully this helps.  Thanks for the message Lisa.
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Lisa M
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 12:28:55 PM »

You're welcome Bobby.  I'm looking forward to seeing them.  Thank you.  ;)
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Gobblingfever
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2008, 12:54:54 PM »

AWESOME!!!!!
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Bobbym1232
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2008, 11:23:59 PM »

Here ya go everyone.  Enjoy!  :)
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Gobblingfever
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2008, 11:25:51 PM »

 ??? Oh now I see the pics are on top again. That's exactly how I see 95% of deer around here. Good pics. The P.P ordered through what supply comp.?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2008, 11:47:48 PM by Gobblingfever » Logged
Uncle Harley
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2008, 11:26:19 PM »

You said you use this over repairs also,  what are you using for repairs that will absorb PP and does it absorb at the same rate?
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Gobblingfever
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2008, 11:49:18 PM »

How would some Chaulk white antlers look with this done?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 05:24:34 PM by Gobblingfever » Logged
Bobbym1232
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2008, 12:15:55 AM »

Gobblin, all of these were pen raised deer and they were as white as they can get before staining.  If the antlers are dried out and cracking, that's one I haven't tried with this process yet.  I have heard to soak them with a mixture of linseed oil and something else before staining but I have never tried it.

Harvey, I have used this many times on repairs with varied results.  I have used it with the antler repair kit sold thru Van Dykes, which gives a good base color to start with.  The first few times I used it everything worked great, but I just did some a few months back and it didn't work very well and I ended up just using paints to finish it out.  Not sure if the apoxie was just getting to old or what (it was a bit too hard to work with).  I haven't found any apoxie that absorbs really well and it does take a lot more staining.  The problem with the apoxie is the repair is too shiny.

Here is a repair done with this process.
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