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Weird skull question

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Mason, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    Have a guy that had a skull done.
    He thinks it is too white! Says it looks artificial ???
    Has anyone tried a method to antique one after it has been cleaned and whitened?

    Thanks, Ron
  2. Judysan

    Judysan The Roadkill Queen

    soak it in tea

  3. Mason

    Mason Active Member


    I was told I was nuts last night . When I mentioned maybe coffee. But I was worried about the smell hanging with it. Tea would be much better smell wise.
  4. Have heard about using tea also, I think the guy who made a flute out of a wolf skull used tea to darken it
  5. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    Seems weird to me. To pay to have a skull cleaned and whitened. Then complain about it being too white?
    There are skulls that he looked at here when he dropped this one off.
    BUT, I spose folks can change there minds. I could have just left Ma nature take care of it for him ;D
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Yep, try the tea. Not used tea now. Go get a can of loose black tea or fresh ground coffee. Let it soak in enough water to cover it and add the tea or coffee. Tea has a slight orangy tint and coffee is more tan/brown. Let it sit for a day or so and then dry it out. The color will lighten as it dries. Dunk again if you want it darker. When dry and sealed, it won't smell much like coffee anymore.
  7. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    Thanks all!!!
    Will give it a try!
  8. pictures? please? ;D
  9. Pye

    Pye Too orangy for crows

    I don't use peroxide because I don't like how scarily white they go so I can kind of understand their point. Although they should really have looked at your other stuff first to see what they thought maybe? =|

    I've never darkened a skull but I might try it for the laugh. I'm sure coffee odour will come out if left to air for long enough and sealed. I once made an ancient treasure map (for school) that way and eventually the coffee stink went away. =D
  10. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    I never really disagree with Sea Wolf, but I would recommend starting with half a day in the tea, not a full day. I've done this before and the skull turned pretty black in a very short amount of time, and once it gets color, it can't be re-whitened with peroxide. Try for a short time, and then do it again if you want it darker. A little goes a long way.

    (By the way, the really dark effect - in tea for a few days - looks VERY cool, but don't try it on a customer's skull!)
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    That's ok AH ... I think it also depends on how much tea leaves you put in the water. Different teas also make different colors. Have to be careful of that too. Not sure if chicken bones would make good test subjects.
  12. Judysan

    Judysan The Roadkill Queen

    Tea is an ancient dye. They've used it on fabric for centuries. Try a light brew first. If you think it needs more after drying, do it again. The tannic acid makes it fairly permanent, but I'm sure you can 'bleach' it out again if it gets too dark.
  13. rouckhound

    rouckhound New Member

    Ive used walnuts off the ground in my back yard - put them in a coffee can full of water for a couple days to make the dye. this ends up very concentrated. Then diluted with water and experimented with the amount of time you leave the skull in.
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Rockhound, you mean the wild walnuts with the outer husk on them, right? Not ones that are all cleaned. Even handling those off the ground, your fingers get stained.
  15. rouckhound

    rouckhound New Member

    Yeah the WILD ones. just dip fingers in B.O. and youll forget all about the stains. lol
  16. 3maytaxidermy

    3maytaxidermy New Member

    I ask the customer as well as have both on display in my showroom for them to see. I have a whitened and a painted. The painted is almost like a cream colored paint. That way they can chose. Plus I would much rather spray one as whiten it so it works out good for me. Believe it or not I actually paint more than I whiten.
  17. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    Thanks all,

    For all the tips. You guys are more then generous!
    I called the customer and explained what I was going to try.He said not to worry. Everyone that has seen it loves it the way it is ;D
    Gotta love some folks!