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Thread: You bleached your antlers!!!!!! Now what???

  1. #1
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Default You bleached your antlers!!!!!! Now what???

    I do a lot of euro mounts for folks and this has come up in the past so I thought I would share.

    So your cleaning that deer skull for a Euro mount and you get sloppy and get the oxi clean or bleach or peroxide or whatever you use on the antlers by mistake and bleach the antler as well. Now what? I have found that stains and dyes just don't cut it with antlers and the color match is never quite right. A long time ago I had heard about a common hardware store item working well to re-color antlers. I had some of this on hand for Boy Scout uses as an antiseptic, water purifier and fire starter (when mixed with anti-freeze or soap or sugar water, etc). Way back in the day it was part of a boy scout first aid kit until it was discovered that if accidentally mixed with the glycerin soap in the first aid kit that it would start on fire (just like mixing it with anti freeze) The product is called Potassium Permanganate. Its used today by those with a green sand water filters as an oxidizer.



    I decided to try an experiment. I took a section of antler left over from a project and boiled it in a mixture of water, oxi clean and bleach.

    ** Important safety note****

    Don't boil water and oxi clean and add bleach unless you want a huge mess with lots of foaming. After cleaning that up, I mixed a smaller batch. Anyway. Here is the antler section.



    Then I left it in the cleaner for a few hours to bleach it.



    The bleached antler.



    Potassium Permanganate looks like gun powder. It looks like a fine black powder but its actually a fine purple powder.



    ***Warning***

    This is a strong oxidizer. Wear safety glasses and rubber gloves and cover your work space.

    When mixed with water, you will see the true color revealed.



    I used a Q-tip to apply.





    As soon as I had it coated, I rinsed the antler under water to remove and neutralize. I dried the antler with paper towel and a blow drier then took fine sand paper to mimic the polished or rubbed areas that looked whiter. Then I gave the antler a light coat of neatsfoot oil to return the slight gloss that antlers seem to have.





    Your best bet is not to get whiteners on your antlers but if you do, you can fix them.

    Just dont mix this stuff with antifreeze or gylcerine soaps.

    for the pyros in the audience. There are other uses for Potassium Permanganate

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA12Y-B-U08

  2. #2
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    I used the same stuff from Hoytguy to work over some caribou racks that had been weathered. Awesome stuff.
    Another great post Rancid.
    BK

  3. #3
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Default staining racks and whitening skulls

    P1020516.jpg

    Rancid,
    Here's a caribou rack I brought back to life that was sitting outside for 15 years or so.

    I whitened the skull with these two products P1020461.jpg

    BK

  4. #4
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    That bou rack looks great!
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Thanks.....Jesse Dalhberg was kind enough to school me on the process and share some of his Potassium Permanganate.
    BK

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Nice job on the bou. I do a lit of skull mounts and I dont use the extra whitener. I do use the 40 volume and that in itself gets them as white as I have ever seen.

  7. #7
    Sponsor Hoytguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Thanks.....Jesse Dalhberg was kind enough to school me on the process and share some of his Potassium Permanganate.
    BK
    Glad it worked out for ya, if you want it darker you can mix it with more PP and less H20, wife off with a damp sponge, once dry use super fine steel wool and that will add to the character, depth and look of the antlers so their not one solid color.. leave as is, or seal with a matt finish Krylon or with a Matt polytranspar if you have a airbrush.. Seal the skull with paraloid and Acetone mixture.

    Hoytguy
    Quality Counts @ Dahlberg's Taxidermy

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoytguy View Post
    ...wife off with a damp sponge...
    Hoytguy
    Dang it! Does this mean I'll need a wife first, before doing this project?
    "Grin and Bear It"

  9. #9
    Sponsor Hoytguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    Dang it! Does this mean I'll need a wife first, before doing this project?
    I guess so eh.. "Wipe off", dang spelling gets me everytime, good thing i'm a Taxidermist and not a english teacher. .
    Quality Counts @ Dahlberg's Taxidermy

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    what is paraloid ?

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    Sponsor Hoytguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    what is paraloid ?

    Google it to get a text book defenition, but in short its a clear plastic that comes in pellet form, when put in acetone the plasitc is desolved in 24-36 hours.. shake up up real well. you can apply with a paint brush or airbrush. the acetone will evaporate quickly and left behind is a transparent satin sheen of paraloid. Museums use it to coat bones such as mammoth and dinasours for display, and if one boils the crap out of a skull (wrong method) and gets the chalky thing going on.. paraloid will stop any further damage and deterioration to the bone.

    But a well cleaned skull such as the sheep pictured below is properly degreased, bleached then sealed with paraloid its hard to get better results. Skulls, if done right take time.

    This sheep was a pick up found north of the brooks in the summer that had been consumed by some type of critter..

    580996_477912482237652_826241816_n.jpg
    Quality Counts @ Dahlberg's Taxidermy

  12. #12
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    OK - I need me some. Where can I get some paraloid? I boiled the grease out of a griz skull (well - I steamed it out too much). The grease is still there, so I plan to soak it in acetone. I am afraid that it is going to be chalky like you mention.

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