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Staining and Finishing Antlers

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by weasel123, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. So I am just finishing up my first euro for a customer and the deer skull is in the BO at the moment and I will be pulling it tommorow.
    I have some discoloration do to the peroxide and degreasing at the base of the antlers and I think I will use Minwax stain to fix it.
    I know the Dog on here reccomends either Dark Walnut or Special Walnut I believe but any other suggestions are welcome.
    Based on your past experience what color of stain most closely matches the burrs of this antler in your opinion?
    Also a quick question: Does the antler get sealed with the same clear spray as the rest of the skull? And does this go on before or after staining?
    Thank you for your help,

    The antlers:

  2. Wrap antlers in foil good in tight under burrs up bout 4-6 inches up before whiten and you shouldn't have to stain. Antlers look like a littel red in the pic try to match stain best that you can then seal

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Many people use strong peroxide to whiten and the dangerous advice to use a metal foil could be disastrous. If you feel a need to protect the antler bases use latex molding compounds or silicone "Seal n Peel" from the hardware store. These will not react with the peroxide.
  4. skullclnr

    skullclnr Active Member

    Yup, dont use foil or possibly boom! and the peroxide will eat it away and you will have bigger problems than the antlers as it will stain the skull and deteriorate the bone. I had a bear this year that had a bullet fragment hidden in it, in the peroxide it reacted caused the peroxide to boil and the skull became as fragile as a egg shell, metal and peroxide dont mix. Next time use a tote the size of a shoe box, place the head in and fill to the base of the pedicals and cover the rest with paper towels.

    For the antlers, wipe them down with laqure thinner then use a coat or two of potassium permangenate, once that dries one coat of special walnut over. once dry take some sand paper and sand the light areas to bring back out.
  5. gil_wy

    gil_wy New Member

    I've used the Special Walnut mixed 50/50 with thinner... it's worked well matching about everything... throw a little dirt in there to rub in and you get a very natural look. I found out the hard way to stain the antlers upside down!!! Stain on a skull DOES NOT fully come out!!!
  6. Skull Man of PA

    Skull Man of PA New Member

    Or clear coat skull before staining. That way if you get stain on skull it wipes right off.
  7. true in a way i use basic white and 45 peroxide mix paint it on the skull wrap in foil for years besides you dont see women running out salons with heads going boom or on fire when they high light they mix those two together place hire on foil add mix wrap tight and under hire dryer not trying to step out of bounds but i have been doing it that way for years jeff
  8. Thanks everyone for the input,
    Just to be sure though, I still seal the antlers the same as the rest of the skull? Not anything special like linseed oil necessary?
    And I think I will start using silicone because even though I did put paper towels over the skull the peroxide foams up and gets on the burrs anyway.
    The base of the antler is not supposed to be reddish that's just because of the peroxide. It was a dark brown like the rest of the anlter but even darker.
    The Dog: what exactly is the purpose of wiping them down with laquer thinner? And is the permangenate necessary or can I just go directly to the special walnut?
  9. Hunting_24_7

    Hunting_24_7 New Member

    What works for me and what I'm most comfortable with is potassium permanganate.