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Varnish on skull

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by taxidermie.la.batture, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. It's a good thing to use varnish when your skull is ready or not ????
  2. ravenswings1

    ravenswings1 New Member

    I would not use varnish it turns an ugly yellow over time

  3. Guus

    Guus Member


    I don't put anything on a cleaned skull, but if you want to there are some sealers on the market like paraloid. Search on the forum how to use it and where to get it.
  4. Eva

    Eva Member

    "Varnish" has traditionally referred to a wood covering that was mostly clear with an amber tinge to it and made out of tree oils and whatnot. On white, it would look like runny snot. However, these days they have the crystal clear polyurethane (make sure you get the one that is totally clear) which gives a nice clear coat protection for lots of things. We have used it on some items 10 years ago and it still looks very clear, including our front door which gets a lot of sun. But there are many companies and products on the market and the product has not been around for super long, so hard to say for sure if they all will maintain clarity. Not sure about long term on skulls either. I wonder if degreasing of the skull isn't perfect, do you run the risk of trapping migrating grease inside on the surface of the skull? No idea on that, just guessing. If no finish, you can always pop a skull back into the peroxide for a stint down the line and get it white again. If there is a finish, that does protect a lot against finger prints and staining from outside spills. I usually don't put finish on mine unless I am protecting some kind of paint or artwork I have applied. I would be curious to know more about which 'varnishes' were used that later turned yellow. Was it water base or oil base for instance? Was it clear to start and then later turned yellow or was it yellowish to start and then got worse? The oil based ones typically will darken their tint with age.
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Varnish? No. It will yellow in time and will look worse if there is any leftover grease. If this is a one time thing, look for acrylic sealers that specify "Non yellowing". That will do in a pinch. If you are doing several or plan to do more in time, look up paraloid B-72 on here and in Google.
  6. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    Agreed. NO "varnish." I usually do not seal my skulls at all, but if they are going to receive a lot of handling (many of my skulls are used for teaching and students hands' are gross), then I'll seal them with paraloid. I've used the krylon non-whitening before and it worked fine, but paraloid was designed specifically to be chemically stable over time and is therefore the best long-term solution. The best thing about it is that it can be mixed to different consistencies depending on what you want to do with it - super thing to soak deep into bone, or thicker to add a bit more gloss or surface protection.