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Thread: caribou antlers

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    Default caribou antlers

    Looking to mount a few racks from last year they have been sitting outside since last august. They are pretty white but also have blood stains set in from removing the velvet. Should i just stain or paint over this or try to remove somehow? What color of stain do most people use?

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I've done several; sets of these. Paint with a "bone-colored" latex paint, then stain with potasium permanganese.

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Stain is hard to control, once it is too dark it is difficult to re-lighten. Acrylic based paints in a variety of colors mixed to desired colors is the best. Can be thinned with water and can be put on in several coats to get desired look. If too dark re paint with a lighter paint, and start over.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieNqvrs View Post
    Stain is hard to control, once it is too dark it is difficult to re-lighten. Acrylic based paints in a variety of colors mixed to desired colors is the best. Can be thinned with water and can be put on in several coats to get desired look. If too dark re paint with a lighter paint, and start over.
    Very good point! The staining process is an exercise in time and patience. Build up the color with several applications, with adequate drying time in between. Keep in mind that "natural" antler coloring is not uniform, it's a little lighter here, a little darker there, etc. If it doesn't come out the way you want it, strip the paint off and start over; no harm no foul.

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    Use vegitable oil first, and see if it brings out the origional color, it usual works awesome!
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    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    Take care around the antler tips, they are usually a little more porous and will suck stain in deep, unlike other areas of the antlers. This means you if you do a test spot on another area of the antler the tips may turn out darker than the test and darker than intended. I would use a really light colored stain over the entire antlers to seal up the pours, then you can slowly darken shades from there.

    If you want to make an attempt at pulling more of the blood out of the antler you can make a paste with magnesium carbonate powder (avail. at Van Dykes Taxidermy Supply) and 40% peroxide. Past it on, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for a day or two. Worked pretty well for me on a moose.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Wonderer View Post
    Take care around the antler tips, they are usually a little more porous and will suck stain in deep, unlike other areas of the antlers. This means you if you do a test spot on another area of the antler the tips may turn out darker than the test and darker than intended. I would use a really light colored stain over the entire antlers to seal up the pours, then you can slowly darken shades from there.

    If you want to make an attempt at pulling more of the blood out of the antler you can make a paste with magnesium carbonate powder (avail. at Van Dykes Taxidermy Supply) and 40% peroxide. Past it on, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for a day or two. Worked pretty well for me on a moose.
    I don't think stain will adequately seal the porous areas of the antlers since stain is generally water or oil based, but the concept is right on. The tips do need to be sealed somehow to prevent the stain from making them unnaturally dark. Sealing the entire antler with a bone colored latex paint has worked well for me, then build up layers of stain. Finsh off with a very light buffing with bees wax, after the stain has completely dried.

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