Faux taxidermy has been on trend in home decor lately. I have never been a fan of any taxidermy in my house (HA!) but for some reason I have been loving the gold and white trend I’ve been seeing. I priced a few pieces online and almost fell over. Some small pieces were priced at more than $100 — for a piece of ceramic! Nope, not doing it. I don’t have a problem paying for something I’m passionate about, but I was not that passionate about a deer or steer head on my wall.
Cruising the aisles of Target one day, guess what I stumbled upon? Yep, they are carrying a few pieces of faux taxidermy. The lightbulb went off, and I grabbed a small steer head (less than 12 inches in diameter) that I thought would work well in my bedroom. This puppy (or should I say cow?) was $16.99, plus it was on sale for 15% off = CHEAP, so I snatched it up.
I had to come home and sell hubs on it. Hubs is not a hunter or fisherman, this was going to be a tough sell. Once I showed him the piece and ran my idea past him, he was on board. Seventeen years together (14 married) and he is finally trusting my home decor visions! I think my first experiment with chalk paint may have been the point of conversion. Oh, I digress . . .
I knew the blah-brown horns had to go, so my mind went right back to gold. I think gold will complement my bedroom when I finish my spring/summer refresh and will also be complementary when I turn it back to fall/winter with my white and navy palette (can a steer head be complementary?). I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use to accomplish the gold look on the horns. I definitely was NOT spray painting it — too messy, and do I have to mention the odor?
I knew from my experience with chalk painting that there were several gilding paste products on the market that would work well. However, on a whim, I headed on over to Hobby Lobby to see if they had anything that might work. Guess what? They did!
I found this metallic lustre wax-based product in the same section where the acrylic paint is located, and for the bargain price of $7.99, plus I had a 40% off coupon. Score! Turns out, this stuff is ridiculously easy to use. All I did was give the horns a wipedown with a dry cloth beforehand, dab a little paste (less than a pea-sized amount) on an old rag, and gently wipe it on in a very thin coat in the direction of the horn. Near the base of the horns I used a cotton swab.
The paste comes in a variety of colors including other metallics. It did not take much to get the horns covered completely and I have 99.9% of the jar left (or thereabouts!) to use for other projects. Timewise, I was totally done in less than 5 minutes. No joke, it was that easy.
Once I finished applying the paste, I took a clean rag and buffed it to a shine! Ta-da! One thing you may notice is that you can still see just a tad of the original color underneath some areas of the horns. I was going for a weathered look so I didn’t concentrate on getting everything filled in perfectly. This is an old faux skull, after all!
There are a few caveats with using this that I should convey, and the first is what I mentioned above: it is a wax-based product. You know that saying, “Wax on, wax off?” There is another side to that, and that is that wax removes wax. If there is an area that you want to see more color on, you cannot simply add it immediately. It will remove the wax from that area. You have to give it a week or so to harden, and then go back and add some additional wax.
The next is that there are no cure times provided on the product packaging. Notice how I referenced above to “give it a week or so to harden?” It is dry to the touch almost immediately after being applied and buffed, but the full curing process takes . . . who knows how long?! I tried to reach out to the company to ask — no luck. I spoke with a customer service rep who basically read me the package label. So instead, I experimented and added a bit more wax to mine after a few days but it was still removing some of the wax that I had initially applied. I tested it again a week later, and it seemed to pull less wax off at that time. I may test it again in a week or so and see what happens.
Hope you enjoyed how ridiculously easy and inexpensive this project was. I have plans to use some of this gold wax to transform a few more pieces around my bedroom (picture frames, I’m talking to you). So many projects, so little time . . . ♥