There’s really no delicate way for us to segue into this project so we’re going to throw it out there:
We found a deer skull and painted it. And we like it. A lot.
Here’s the thing: we know this post is going to turn some readers off. Frankly, we don’t care. Our house is a reflection of us. This is not a cookie-cutter, buy-this-at-Target kinda house, and we like it that way. So if the sight of naked skulls grosses you out — come back tomorrow and check out our freshly-painted vintage pendant light.
The rest of you, feast your eyes on this:
We have kind of a thing for skulls. We also have kind of a thing for nature. We love to camp and kayak and fish and hike. That’s how we stumbled across our friend Yorick. A couple of months ago, we went on a hike and found a full deer skeleton. Actually, we found two full deer skeletons, but one of them wasn’t, um, clean yet. The other was completely stripped clean and when we picked up the skull, we realized it was in perfect condition.
The deer died of natural conditions, and had obviously been lying out for a long time. We picked up the skull and took it home with us. We also grabbed one spinal vertebra because it looked cool.
Both the spine and the vertebra were completely picked clean. There was only one problem we could see:
The areas that were partially buried in dirt had become stained brown.
We could have soaked the bones in bleach to whiten them. Instead, we decided to bronze our skull.
Oil rubbed bronze, that is. We shook up a can we had lying around and got to work.
Here’s how Yorick looked before:
You can really see the staining in that picture. Here’s how the skull looked after one coat of ORB:
Right away, we could make out details in the skull that weren’t as obvious when it was a plain old white skull. Like these holes above the eyes:
Or the interlocking seam down the center of the skull that formed when the skull fused together.
We did 3 thin coats, spaced an hour apart and here’s what it looked like after it dried:
We think it doesn’t really look like an organic object anymore. Instead, it looks like it’s cast out of solid metal.
It’s like it would be heavy if you picked it up. We totally expect people to pick this thing up, by the way. Which is why we made sure the bottom was perfectly painted as well:
We loved the ORB skull so much, we decided to paint the vertebra to match:
Right now, the deer skull and vertebra are living on a bookshelf in the living room:
This is only temporary housing. We’re planning on building more bookshelves and we’d love to have one in a crisp white to set the bronze skull in. Wherever they end up, we’re pretty smitten with the way they turned out.
Now the only question that remains is what we’re going to do with all the other deer and cow skulls we have in a box in the garage? Oh, did we forget to mention that? We’ve found a ton of skulls over the years — most of them are from Bradley’s aunt & uncle’s ranch in Texas. They’re just sitting around waiting for us to do something with them. We’re not sure if they’ll all end up as skeletor decor inside the house, but we’re pretty geeked about experimenting with different spray paints to get different looks. So far, we’ve agreed on glossy white, bright yellow and bold blue. We’ll keep you posted on how those turn out when we get around to it.
Stuff we learned from this project:
- We can’t please everyone. We admit it: we had a little anxiety about this post. We like our readers and we don’t want to piss ‘em off. But at the same time, we have a vision for our house and it’s not based on popular opinion. This is who we are peeps. If you don’t like it, there are other blogs.
- We’re not the only weirdos out there. Check out all of these deer skulls for sale on Etsy. And, if you’re ever in NYC, make sure you stop by The Evolution Store in SoHo. It’s like a natural history museum you can shop at. We’re like two kids in a candy store there.