Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Restoring weathered antlers

  1. #1

    Default Restoring weathered antlers

    In need of some assistance. I was recently given some mule deer antlers that belonged to my father-in-law. They were left out in the hot New Mexico sun for almost ten years. Is there someone out there that could possibly give me some advice on how to restore them? Thanks in advance.

    Will

  2. #2
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    I too have a set from a 4 point muley that my dad killed many years ago. I want to do the same. If you have any other bleached out bone that you don't care about, get a few types of stain and experiment.....mix and match till you get the color you like. I used some stain on some moose horns years ago, they turned out great then and still do to this day.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  3. #3
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,986

    Default

    It would be nice to see a photo posted of your antlers, do you just want to restore them back to the antler color? Are they bleached out white from the sun? ( I would assume they were. ) If so, I would suggest applying a clear sealer to the antlers before staining, especially if the antler is porous. If you don't seal them the stain may be too dark or uneven when you apply it, just like a porous piece of wood. Do a very small test spot for the stain after sealing them on the back of the antler, where it won't be as noticeable if you decide that you don't like that shade of stain. You may want to go with a either a lighter or darker stain. 4merguide's idea is a good one, about testing and trying different stain on something else till you get the results you like, a bleached out antler shed or even part of one would be ideal.
    "Grin and Bear It"

  4. #4
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    731

    Default

    If the antlers are cracked you might want to fill the cracks with Carpenters Wood Filler ( Home Depot )

    Then get POTASIUM PERMANGONATE & mix it with Denatured Alkohol.

    Do One antler at a time so you can see how dark they are getting.

    Use a paint brush & just paint it on the whole antler.

    DONT FREAK OUT, it will turn the antlers Purple at first but the start to turn the apropriate colors as it works in.

    Most WHITE anlters will take about a dozen coats to give a real nice alder look.

    After each coat just wait 10 minutes for them to dry a little before the next coat.

    After you get the desired color then use a FINE Steel Wool & gently rub the tips to give the Ivory tips again, You can also go Very lightly over the Burs & bumps on the main beams to make them look very good also.

    With the Potasium mixure you can go to any extreeme on color, Light Desert clor antlers to a real dark mahogany color or anything in between.

    It Good stuff & will work on ANY Antler , Including Plastic repros.

    I used it on several Sheep repros & it worked fantactic also.

    One thing though.

    DO NOT get it on your floor, table, cloths, shoes, Ect. IT WILL STAIN THEM & make a mess.

    RJ Simington
    PRO Taxidermy
    907 322 0936

  5. #5

    Default

    Here are some pics of the antlers. Can't tell in the pics, but a couple of the antlers have some pretty decent cracks in them.

    Attachment 65728Attachment 65728

  6. #6
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK.
    Posts
    4,114

    Default

    If your in the valley, talk to Hoytguy in Palmer. He helped me with some old caribou racks last yeear. Great guy to work with.
    I wouldn't hesitate to visit with Protaxidermy either if your in Fairbanks.
    Bopth will lead you in the right direction.
    BK

  7. #7
    Member BAR300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Two things for color. My go to is instant coffee made thick like sludge. It's the perfect color just wipe it on with a paper towel. Put on as many coats as it takes to look right. I know it sounds strange but it works and I have restored two racks with this process I also touch up all my racks with it if I don't like rub marks.

    I haven't tried this next way. It I think taking a blow torch to them would work for the initial darkening.

  8. #8
    Member mjm316's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    820

    Default

    RJ, thanks for the info! Where can I find the chemicals you listed and also what is the ratio you use?
    Then get POTASIUM PERMANGONATE & mix it with Denatured Alkohol.
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  9. #9
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alaska - I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could!
    Posts
    3,279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    RJ, thanks for the info! Where can I find the chemicals you listed and also what is the ratio you use?
    Then get POTASIUM PERMANGONATE & mix it with Denatured Alkohol.
    Potassium Permanganate is an oxidizer used for water treatment. I've seen it on the shelf at Sears, although I've bought it from WASCO also.

  10. #10
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    731

    Default

    Research Manikins. 800 826 0654

    or Wasco.

    It comes in a small cup & you can mix it one Quart at a time or mix the whole thing at once with 2 Quarts.

    It keeps for a long time even though it does change color & settles to the bottom. I just shake it up & us it.

    It is the Best stain on the market.

    On anouther note, you can use ANYTHING to stain antlers just depends on how much effort you want to put in versus the cost of materials.

    You could rub them in alders for a couple days, you could rub them vigorously in tundra for a couple days, you could even rub the with dirt or ashes.

    But Potasium is the Proffessional way we do it.

    RJ Simington

  11. #11
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by protaxidermy View Post
    But Potasium is the Proffessional way we do it.
    That's interesting.........I would never have thought the potassium........but I didn't know the purple would go away.......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  12. #12
    Member mjm316's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    820

    Default

    Ok thanks for the info on where to get it. Now just need to know the ratio of potassium to denatured alcohol...
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  13. #13
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    731

    Default

    One Small tin that they send you will mix with 2 Quarts Denatured alkahol.

    As I said before, You can mix 1/2 or all of it , depends on how much you think you will need.

    I only mix 1 quart because it will go a long way.

    You can probably do 5 or 6 Elk or Caribou with one quart, depends how sloppy it gets put on, & how much ends up on the table, floor Ect.

    It is Stock # S 206 & only costs $3.95 plus shipping.

    Like I said before Dont throw it out after using just some of it. Keep a lid on it or it will evaporate. Just shake it real good before use & it will still do just as good of a job.

    The Denatured Alkahol you can buy at Wall mart in the paint section.

    PAY ATTENTION HERE >>>>>>>> IT HAS TO BE DENATURED ALKAHOL, Not any other kind of Alkahol.

    RJ Simington

  14. #14
    Member mjm316's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    820

    Default

    Thank you sir. I didn't realize it came in a small tin. I googled it and came up with quart sized jugs from Home Depot or lowes. Thanks again
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  15. #15

    Default

    Thanks for the advice from all. I am glad to see there were others out there that were able to get some questions answered. Another question I have. They are pretty porous. Do I need to do anything to them before I fill in the cracks? Also, is there anyway to fix a broken eye guard? It's missing about an inch to an inch and a half off of it.

  16. #16
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    731

    Default

    As you fill the cracks just use a touch of water on a brush or your finger to smooth or replicate any ridges & contures that the antler has to blend it in.

    As for the broken tip, Yes it can be fixed.

    Drill a small hole into the end of the antler, Insert a stiff wire. Bend it in the dirrection the tip was suppose to be. This will be your base & structure to hold the putty in place.

    Then use AVIES Epoxie FIX IT, also from Research mannikins.

    You mix it 50/50 into a putty & Then using water on your fingers , Shape the tip any way you want.

    Let it harden for 24 hours & you are ready to stain.

    You can put a broken tip off of anouther antler on but it is more of a tedious job & more difficult to hide the repair area.

    ALL fixes should be done BEFORE the staining.

    RJ Simington

  17. #17

    Default

    Thanks for the advice. I'm sure once I start I'll have more questions

  18. #18
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by protaxidermy View Post
    If the antlers are cracked you might want to fill the cracks with Carpenters Wood Filler ( Home Depot )
    One thing I'm kinda concerned about is this...... From all the work I've done with cracks in wood, the plain wood filler, more often than not, doesn't take stain the same way the wood does. This "could" be a problem depending on how large the cracks are....meaning they might be more noticeable if they are pretty good sized. You may want get some filler that already has some color in it and try that as well. Again, maybe find some old shed that you don't care about and do some experimenting.

    I haven't tried the potassium thing so I guess using it on the filler "may" match the antler color very well. I just brought it up because there are quite a lot of different kinds of wood fillers and they do take stains differently. Some fillers are made to go on after the staining process and you get the color that matches the finished product as closely as possible.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  19. #19
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alaska - I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could!
    Posts
    3,279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    One thing I'm kinda concerned about is this...... From all the work I've done with cracks in wood, the plain wood filler, more often than not, doesn't take stain the same way the wood does. This "could" be a problem depending on how large the cracks are....meaning they might be more noticeable if they are pretty good sized. You may want get some filler that already has some color in it and try that as well. Again, maybe find some old shed that you don't care about and do some experimenting.

    I haven't tried the potassium thing so I guess using it on the filler "may" match the antler color very well. I just brought it up because there are quite a lot of different kinds of wood fillers and they do take stains differently. Some fillers are made to go on after the staining process and you get the color that matches the finished product as closely as possible.
    After filling the cracks, paint with a light colored latex paint. After paint dries, stain with potassium permanganate.

  20. #20
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    731

    Default

    I have done LOTS of fixes & not had one show.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •