Antlers vs. SunlightContributors to this thread:
Elk Assassin 03-Sep-19
Quinn @work 03-Sep-19
Lost Arra 04-Sep-19
Mule Power 04-Sep-19
Elk Assassin 04-Sep-19
Grey Ghost 04-Sep-19
From: Elk Assassin
Hola Fellas- Just a quick question that I hope someone knows something about. I have a deadhead elk that I want to display on the outside of my cabin. I am wondering if there is any product that will protect the brown coloration of the antlers from the sun. I know folks stain antlers to bring color back, but my question is, is there anything you can do to keep the antlers from losing their coloration in the first place. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!
A spray can of clear polyurethane maybe.
From: Quinn @work
The polyurethane will flake off after a year or two or at least it did on mine.
Try a 50/50 solution of urethane and denatured alcohol. It will soak in leaving a natural look. I used it on my indoor mounts and keeps the antlers looking fresh, not dry. I don't know how well it will work outside, but you might try. It may be something needing to be recoated every couple years.
Flex seal clear spray. That stuff works on everything!
I’ve never used it, but automotive clear coat. Autozone or similar carry it.
From: Lost Arra
Helmsman spar urethane has worked well for me on exterior wood surfaces. I don't know why it wouldn't work on antlers. I seal my wood arrows and selfbows with it. I'm interested in that Flex Seal.
I have some on my front porch, that have kept their color for 15 years. Clearcoated them with a spray can of Marine Spar Varnish.
Having said that, they are mostly in the shade all day.
My experience is that if they are in the sun, rain, and wind, they will bleach out o matter what you put on them, after a few years that is. Not as fast in the northeast and Pac NW as they will in dry climates like Montana and Utah, though, for example. There they will bleach out much faster in the sun. If you put it on the mostly side, it may gather moss after a few years too. Maintain it regularly (ie., once or twice a year), and it won't bleach or get mossy as fast.
mostly SHADY side that is...
From: Mule Power
Hard to stop the affects of Mother Nature. You could always restain them every so many years. Good luck.
From: Elk Assassin
Thanks for all the responses. I suspected there wasn't going to be any magic bullet, and it looks like you guys confirmed that. I'll likely try something to stave off discoloration as long as possible and then learn how to re-stain them when they ultimately do lose their coloration. I'm still all ears if anyone has any other suggestions though.
From: Grey Ghost
Sikkens Marine Varnish.
Just rub in some plain ol dirt and then linseed oil
You could try applying/periodic re-applying alder bark juice to give them that "Rosie' look...if you have alder trees where you live. They (Rosie antlers) tend to hold their color quite a while, and have a rick orange-brown coloration.