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Potassium Permanganate for staining skulls (not antlers)

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by sunparakeet, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. So a chemistry lab at my university was giving away some chemicals and I scored on a 1 pound jar of Potassium Permanganate for free! Pretty sweet deal since I was looking to buy some anyway.

    I've read all about staining antlers with PP, but what about whole skulls? Does any one have pictures of a skull stained with PP or has anyone done it themselves? What are the results like? I want to make a skull that looks fossilized or like a La Brea Tar Pits specimen.

    Thanks!
     
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    It will depend on how porous the bone is. MKNO4 will stain it brown but the darkness of that brown will be completely dependent on the porosity of the bone in the skull. It make take multiple stainings. Mix it with rubbing alcohol and paint it on heavily. When dry, wipe off the excess and restain if necessary.
     

  3. Thanks, George. I'm planning on using it on freshly macerated coyote skulls. Do you know what ratio of Pot Perm to alcohol to use? I know you only need a very tiny amount. I've read in some of the antler staining threads that you can also mix it with water. Is there a benefit to using alcohol over water?

    Thanks!
     
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I use one ounce of KMNO4 to a bottle of isopropl alcohol but its simply suspended by the alcohol. I don't think you can use too much.
     
  5. skullclnr

    skullclnr Active Member

    I have used it before when a customer wants a natural looking skull, I degrease and whiten to get rid of the smell and make it nice and grease free then soaked in a light solution. George is right, some skulls will pick it up slowly but if they are real porus then they will soak it up like a sponge. I have also used and prefer a pot of coffee diluted in water to do this...but the nice thing about the PP is that you can soak the skull in peroxide if you dont like the stain and the brown will completly disapear. Dont know if this is safe or not, but I did sain some antlers with it and didnt like the results on some real porus antlers so I wiped them with peroxide and it reacts quite a bit but removes the staining very well.
     
  6. Cool, didn't know about the peroxide trick! I have stained skulls with coffee before, but it didn't get as dark as I wanted. Still looked neat though!
     
  7. slammerdude

    slammerdude Member

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    9
    Lynx skull. Tried the cave bear look. Put teeth back in after skull was dyed with PP. Mixed PP with water and Soaked in fairly dark purple sol'n for a few hours. Seemed to slightly damage the bone surface/ removed the smoothness.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. slammerdude

    slammerdude Member

    300
    9
    Another shot
     

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  9. That looks so badass! Thanks for the pictures. That's what I want mine to look like. Did you degrease it before you stained it?
     
  10. DETHCHEEZ

    DETHCHEEZ Member

    436
    0
    Old English Furniture Polish For Dark Wood Works Good

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,205898.msg1459443.html#msg1459443
    {Last post / pic at bottom of page}

    Here's another one with some step by step pics & info
    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,66320.0.html
     

    Attached Files:

  11. slammerdude

    slammerdude Member

    300
    9
    Yes, beetled and then fully degreased and whitened. It sat around a while before I decided to stain. IMO stain won't penetrate the same with grease.
     
  12. Dang, was hoping I could save a step by not degreasing :)