A friend here in McCall makes all kinds of rustic furniture. Use a gel stain.
Its thicker and wont run too much. You can also use wet coffee grounds in cheese cloth. Rub on and then wipe down the tines to hit the high spots so some "natural" looking white shows through. Coffee grounds also wont leave that chemical smell, for fast sells, customers dont get upset about unnatural coloration.
He has found that for some reason people pay more for antlers with "natural" color, than ones that are stained. He does use all natural color too, but being coffee is a natural product, he actually markets ones he uses coffee on as natural color antler pieces.
One benefit of a gel stain is that over time the color will hold and not darken. Natural color and coffee stains do darken with time, but thats just the nature of a protein vs chemical.
PS those look really awesome!! Nice work on the lamps.
I hunt because......
Those look great, can't help you much on darkening up the antlers. I would like to try that sometime and I really like how yours look.
Those look like they came out pretty nice. It looks like you may have yourself a side job.
I love them!
Can you handle the challenge.... hunt hard but safe!!
Those look great. I wish my wife would let me decorate the bedroom like that. I definitely think you could sell them.
They look great!
They are way nice!! Good job!
my wife and I are gonna try one soon that and an antler chandelier
The best way I have found to darken antlers is using Pine Tar. You can buy it in small cans at a animal feed store or off the Internet and a small can goes a L-O-N-G way. It is at feed stores because it is used to treat horses. (I am not sure what it is treating)
The pine tar will be REALLY, REALLY thick, the consistancy of peanut butter or thicker. Thin a small amount of it down using turpentine (from any lumber yard or paint supplier) but keep it thick, wipe it on the antler and wipe down to get a good coat on it. It will take several coats and will take a while for it to completely dry to where it is not tacky but when you are done it is the perfect color. You can even fade it out toward the end of an elk antler to give it ivory points. It works great and will not fade out. Moose antler are typically very light or white inside the palms and I have used this same method to darken them up. Besides, most animals rub their velvet off on their antlers on what? Pine trees and the pine sap gives them their color.