I love that antlers are making such a big appearance in decorating but I'm not a fan of the idea of a real antler sitting around. I know I might be odd but I just am not feeling having a body part of a live animal sitting in my house. I know that deer don't have to be harmed to get their antlers but it just creeps me out...call me strange. I do however love the look antlers give to your decor so when I ran across these silver metallic floral pick antlers at Michael's I knew I had a craft project. I picked these up before the holidays for around a dollar each so you really can't beat that! With the popularity of antlers I would imagine that the craft stores will continue to carry some form of antler in floral department.
As you can see it's a pretty antler even in the silver but it's not the look I wanted.
This was the look I was going for so that it'd look a bit more realistic so out came the spray paint and wood stain. First I used pliers to remove the floral pick by tugging it out. It was very easy to remove but if you can't get it off you could also cut it off right at the base of the antler. It does leave a tiny hole so if you wanted to fill that just use a little filler there. I didn't bother because I knew my antler would be displayed with things around it and you'd never see it anyway.
To achieve the look of a real antler I used Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint. This is a gorgeous off white and works well for so many projects. I didn't cover the antler entirely so that some of the silver color still showed through a tiny bit. It's really trial and error. I have done at least 5 of these now and every one of them turns out slightly different which I love so just play around with the coverage. Once the spray paint is covering your antler on all sides and it's dry you will now need to use some wood stain.
For my wood stain I used Minwax Espresso and Classic Gray. Always make sure to shake the Classic Gray stain because all the pigment sinks to the bottom and without shaking it you will get little to no coverage. I used an old tshirt and dipped it into the Espresso stain and quickly wiped it all over the antler. I then wiped the bulk of it right back off. I worked quickly so the stain wouldn't get too dark but if you don't work fast and need to redo it just add another layer of spray paint and try again. Once the Espresso stain is wiped off I then did the same thing with the Classic Gray. After I wiped the gray back off I then took my Espresso and dabbed it onto some of the raised areas of the antler so it would have tiny bits of dark spots and did a few areas in the Classic Gray stain as well. I let it dry and that was it.
I know it may not be a perfect match to a real antler but I was certainly pleased with how it turned out. So pleased that I went on to make some for my mom and more for myself. I loved that each one turned out differently so they are unique.