DIY: restoring that rack

by Justin Hoffman | May 15, 2024
DIY Sheds main

Searching for shed antlers is a fun pastime many of us enjoy. As each season begins, however, it’s a race against the clock to find fresh drops worthy of bragging rights.

Picking up old sheds comes with the territory — and although often weathered and sun bleached, there is an easy and quick DIY fix to restore that once-vibrant hue.

Coffee grounds provide the perfect natural stain to bring back the brown that has faded from your finds. Here’s the step-by-step on what to do.

Tools: Steel wool, plastic gloves, plastic sheet or old towel, bowl, water, coffee grounds, soft bristled toothbrush, clear spray paint.

DIY Instructions

1. Rub steel wool over the tines to smooth out any imperfections or roughness.

2. Prepare coffee grounds, either from the filter or fresh out of the jar, into a paste by adding water.

3. Using a pair of gloves, rub and press the mixture into the antler. The lower two-thirds, and especially the base, should receive more than the upper sections.

4. After the antler is thoroughly covered in grounds, set aside and let dry for a few hours.

5. Once thoroughly dry, work a soft bristled toothbrush over the antler to remove the dried grounds.

6. If the colour is not up to snuff, add more grounds to the spots that need darkening. If too dark in areas, lightly sand with a high-grit paper to lighten the effect.

7. Finish with an optional coat of clear spray paint to protect and restore the missing shine.

Give this coffee trick a try on some of those old and faded antlers you have in your collection. It does a bang-up job and leaves you with some sweet-smelling sheds to boot!

Originally published in the April 2023 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS


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