For a while I have wanted some antlers. There is a fine line to walk when you are talking taxidermy and animal parts in your house. If you get it wrong, it looks very, very wrong. But a well placed deer or moose antler or a cool pair of mounted horns can really add a natural and textural element to a room. They can also add a touch of masculinity, which is great if you want to make a room more man-friendly!
I got my deer antlers on EBay. They are naturally shed antlers so no need to feel guilty! Prices can really vary so it is worth creating a search and just putting in your top bid and if you don’t get it, wait for the next one. Some antlers were going for about $50 a pop but I managed to get a group of 3 for $81 including shipping. Here they are in their natural state and I must say I loved them. The colour and texture variations are really beautiful. I can totally see why deer choose to sport a pair of these. Very fetching!
Of course, with my penchant for spray painting things, I couldn’t just buy some antlers and leave it be. I wanted to add a bit of pretty to them! It also doesn’t make for very exciting blogging to just buy some antlers…
So my first instinct was gold (of course!). I had also wanted to try out a copper spray paint that I’d seen at Bunnings. And for the last one, I thought that I’d try some “yarn bombing” – or actually “twine bombing”. I bought some bright pink twine on the recent Adore Home Magazine shopping tour that I did a couple of weeks ago. (Btw, I highly recommend attending one of these as it was a great day out and a chance to see a whole bunch of new and interesting stores!) Here were my colour selections for the antlers:
Although I had seen antlers sprayed in gold all over, I decided that I didn’t want to cover up the entire antler and lose the natural beauty and texture they had. So I decided to spray just the tips for one, the tips plus some banding for one, and just banding in the middle for the one with twine.
First, I taped off the tips, and then I put aluminium foil over all other parts of the antler to protect from any over spray.
I simply put them on some cardboard outside and sprayed them. For the gold tipped one I used some spray primer first, then did the gold spray. For the copper though, I thought I would try without primer just to see if that step was really necessary. If you have a go at this one yourself, I would recommend using a spray primer underneath. It gives a much cleaner line than without the primer. In the final pics you can see a shadow around the end of the tips where the antler went a shade darker at the tape line. I guess the paint leaches into the porous antler a bit. Not awful, but primer definitely is the way to go. The other advice I have is to not use the Dry Mark Revolutions spray paint. This is the second can of this brand that I have tried and it is AWFUL. It comes out in huge droplets which makes it impossible to get a nice finish. It drips out of the nozzle onto your hands and makes airbubbles on the surface you are trying to spray. It is just generally crap. I will never use it again and am taking the can back to Bunnings as it is so bad I want my $10 back! The colour was also not good: instead of a bright, pretty copper colour, it was really just a slightly shiny poop brown colour. Not ideal. So steer clear of that stuff!! This is what it gave me:
I decided to cut my losses and not even try to see if it might be ok. I just let it dry and resprayed it in gold. The other one in gold looked so awesome that I figured two gold tips would be ok. After the gold tips dried completely (overnight) I pulled off all the tape and foil. I then taped off the middle section of one of them for my black bands. I decided to use a matt black spray paint and tried the new Rustoleum 2X spray paint. This is the goods, people. It has a built in primer I think and it was fantastic. This is my new favourite spray paint! I used the same method for taping off lines as I did for the tips and then covered everything around it in foil and just sprayed away! After it dried I peeled off all the foil and tape to see my finished product.
The last antler I chose to try the twine for something different. I just wrapped it around, keeping it nice and tight and pushing the layers of twine into each other every few layers to keep it all nice and firm.
I used a tiny bit of superglue at the end to hold the twine in place. It was very simple and took about 15 mins to do the whole antler. Here is the finished product!