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Removing paint from a skull?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by aensanian, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. aensanian

    aensanian New Member

    I'm purchasing an old skull from someone but at some time or another it was completely painted white i was wondering if anyone could give me advise on what to and what not to use to remove the paint with out damaging the skull thank you very much.
  2. I was in the same boat, at one point! Yikes, paint (white acrylic was use on the ones i bought) is a PAIN to get off. There are so many cracks and crevices. I *really* do not like my skulls painted, especially flat white.

    I used nail polish remover at first. Use the LIGHTEST colored remover you can find. I do not know if darker colored ones will stain the bone, but I wouldn't chance it unless you don't care about stains (i've seen some purple and blue nail polish remover, i wouldn't want those stains on my skulls). I just soaked the tip of a washcloth and worked at it.

    Then, I put up a pot of water and let it get fairly warm, but NOT boiling. I let the skulls soak for a while (this process WILL draw out more grease if they have not been properly cleaned, just a warning), then I would take one out and chip away at the paint with a fishing knife that had a very pointed tip. When that skull began to look as though it was drying up, I'd put it back in the pot and take another out.

    The last process I used was Dawn dish soap and a bucket of water. I'd let the skulls soak for about 4 days, change the water and chip away at the paint. I STILL have not gotten all the paint off! I just gave up and decided a few white specks here and there are alright with me.

    Good luck.

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Not knowing what the paint was, I'd suggest Acetone. Nail polish is actually watered down Acetone. You didn't say what it was so if you can soak it in a container, do so. If it's too big, try wrapping it in rags and pour the Acetone on it to soak in. You will have to keep doing this as it evaporates FAST. You may have to keep doing this till you get all the paint off. If you can submerge the skull and soak it, it will be better. As the Acetone takes off the paint and gets all discolored, pour it out and replace it with clean Acetone. Scrub and peel off what you can as it loosens.
  4. aensanian

    aensanian New Member

    thanx a lot guys i wound out it was bone colored spray paint it is a larger skull but i f i get it i think i will def submerge it that sound like it would work the best thanx again