Coloring Bleached Antlers
A common problem for the shed hunter is how to get the color back into antlers that have been in the sun and are bleached. With some experimentation you can get those antlers looking like they just fell came off. When experimenting it is highly recommended that you try these methods on a shed that has little value and not that 14 point set that is sitting on the mantle.
Method One – Wood Stain
Purchase a small can of wood stain, the brand does not matter but stay with oil based, staying within the darker colors, oak, pecan and dark walnut have all worked well in the past depending on the color desired and the degree of bleaching. Using a rag, rub the stain onto the antlers until the degree of color desired is achieved.
Method Two – Coffee
Ok, this one sounds funny, but look at a coffee drinkers teeth! Seriously, a nice rich color can be imparted onto antlers by simply soaking them in cool brewed coffee, the great thing is this is also relatively inexpensive.
Method Three – Oil
Often antlers can be brought back by simply oiling them with motor oil. Wipe them down with oil on a rag and allow the oil to soak in, once the oil is soaked in, wipe off the excess and polish them.
Method Four – Shoe Polish
Brown shoe polish can be used to help darken and polish antlers, simply wipe it on and then buff it down to a nice shine.
Method Five – Potassium Permanganate
Potassium permanganate can be purchased at drug stores (possibly) or through mail order/internet sources, it is what most taxidermists use to bring back a set of mistreated, sun bleached antlers. Simply make a solution of potassium permanganate and brush onto the antlers, after 5 minutes wipe off, continue until the desired color is reached.
With some experimentation and persistence those sun bleached antlers can shine again.
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