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Scratches Very Visible On Horns

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Mycah, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Mycah

    Mycah New Member

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    I finally got to working on my old prt longhorn and I am running into an issue. So she died, my dad kept her head and put it out to dry and the skull was left out in the weather for a long time, as in years. After removing the wasp nest I lightly cleaned the skull with water and dried. Then I decided I wanted the horns to be slighty shiny and to pull out the color.
    I sanded a lot starting with 60 grit then about 8 more gradually increasing grits ending at 1200. It looked pretty decent but I saw a few light scratches. This being my first time I was thinking I had sanded plenty and if I threw a few drops of linseed oil on it that it would cover it up a little.
    Well it made it way more obvious and I am not thrilled with the translucent look either. This was about an hour ago.
    Do you think I should I sand again? Any ideas? Pictures from before, middle and end are below. 20201123_090048.jpg 20201123_130846.jpg 20201123_134243.jpg 20201123_134302.jpg 20201123_151257.jpg 20201123_151302.jpg
     
    Robert Baker likes this.
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The weathering and years of abuse are going to be hard to overcome. Go over them well with increasingly finer grades of the black wet/dry sandpaper and use water. You eventually will get into good horn material and lessen the appearance of the scratched and gouges. When they are rinsed off completely and dried, wipe the horns down with a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and turpentine on a clean rag. The translucent look is actually normal. When alive, the horns are full of living tissue and blood. Now that they are hollow, light does find it's way through the thinner areas.
     
    Robert Baker and Mycah like this.

  3. Mycah

    Mycah New Member

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    Thank you!! This is really helpful. I will go over it with some fine sanding paper and use the mix. What does the addition of turpentine add?
     
    Robert Baker likes this.
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I am not sure. I have used it with great success on old sheep horns, cattle horn and antlers. If anything it thins out the linseed oil so you get a very thin application of it that can soak into the surface and not leave a sticky layer of goo on top. This was a trick used by one of the other members (George Roof) that he shared.