preserving antlers

Submitted by Brandon barton on 10/24/99. ( )

what should i do to antlers to prevent fading?

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This response submitted by George Roof on 10/25/99. ( )

I always keep a jar of 50/50 artists turpentine and linseed oil in my shop. I paint all my antlers when I complete the mounting and then recommend my customers use the same mixture every 2 or 3 years. This is a natural oil that will be absorbed by the antler quickly. (Don't panic when you use it. I looks very shiny and sticky when you apply it, but in 20 or 30 minutes it will be completely absorbed. It gives the antler a rich natural gold tone and even "smells" deery[like a deer, Leanna]) Many sets of antlers are bloodied by the hunters and after washing them off, they sometimes look dull. Application of this mixture brings them right back to life.

Or ... on the other hand

This response submitted by Lars on 10/25/99. ( )

If you don't want any odor, try any acrylic clear floor wax.A light application is also absorbed and brings out the color.

"Lemon Pledge" ... or the No-Name, Store Brand

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 10/26/99. ( )

Hey Brandon,

What I like to use to "brighten" and restore the luster to deer, elk, caribou, moose, or any antlers, is the Kroger (area supermarket) brand of Lemon Pledge. The store brands tend not to have as much of the wax ingredient as the name brands, making them perfect for our needs.

Yes, after washing off the blood and dirt from the antlers they can appear dull. I have found that a lemon-oil furniture spray makes antlers looks absolutely perfect! And the aroma is not objectionable at all! In fact, it is rather pleasant :)

After the skull plate has been cut and trimmed and properly fitted into place, but BEFORE actually mounting them onto the headform, give the antlers a once over with the furniture spray. Simply spray them down, and wipe off the spray with a clean white terrycloth auto detailing towel. Give them a little buffing to boot!

I also take the use of the lemon-oil furniture spray one step further. The last phase in finishing, is to lightly spritz the hair of the mount with the spray, and then wipe it off the hair, in the direction the hair runs ... with the grain. This is next followed by doing the same to the antlers.

This is also the weekly regimen I recommend to all my clients when they take their mount home ... ESPECIALLY if the mount will hang in a smokers' environment.

I like to explain to them, treat it like a piece of fine furniture. Clean it regularly by removing the dust in this manner, and there will be no serious problems with keeping a mount looking new for many, many years to come. They always appreciate this advice. It lets them know you care about the mount even after it leaves your studio.

Give this method a try. It's quick, clean, pleasant, and produces superior results.

Best to all ... John B.

More Information Appreciated...

This response submitted by Eric C. on 12/5/99. ( )

A friend gave me some older, unfinished/unpreserved antlers to use in a craft project. Will the previous suggestions of turpentine/linseed oil, clear acrylic floor wax, or lemon oil furniture polish still work on these older, unfinished antlers?

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