DIY Taxidermy: How to Camo-Dip a Deer Skull

This DIY taxidermy trick isn’t for everyone, but it is an eye-popping option that will spice up your walls and provide a change from shoulder mounts and bleached skulls. You can choose whatever colors you like best, too.

1. Clean It

The most difficult part is cleaning the skull. Boiling it is probably the quickest method, even if it is a bit smelly. Dermestid beetles do a fantastic job, and you can usually get it done for a nominal fee. Or, if you have a few months, you can bury the skull and let nature do the work. Once the skull is clean, it’s time to have some fun.

2. Prep and Prime It

Use painter’s tape to cover about 5 inches of the antlers, starting at the bases. Apply an even base coat of spray paint to the entire skull. I prefer a flat-gray primer for the base coat, but you can use whatever color you like. Take your time, and apply several thin coats to ensure even coverage without drips and runs.

3. Spray It

Get a clean bucket or a plastic tote large enough to hold the skull. Fill it with clean room-temperature water. Next, create your color palette. Holding the spray can 3 to 4 inches away, cover the surface with the first color. Then repeat with another color. You can spray as many alternating color rings as you like. Next, use a paint-stirring stick to gently move the colors into a swirl pattern.

4. Dip It

Slowly submerge the skull. As you dip it, you’ll see the paint adhering to the bone. Once the entire skull is submerged, hold it in place as you grab your stir stick again, and swish any unused paint to the sides of the container and away from the skull. Lift the skull out of the water and admire your handiwork. If you prefer a gloss finish, allow the skull to dry completely, then top off with a clear coat.

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