The look of mounted deer heads and antlers is improved by mounting them on a finished plaque. A wide variety of woods are available for plaques. Light-colored woods such as pine, ash and oak can be stained in any color desired. Darker woods, which include walnut and mahogany take on a lustrous shine when finished and waxed. Exotic imported woods can be made into a one-of-a-kind plaque, giving a distinctive look. Wood can be purchased from stores catering to woodworkers.
Things You'll Need
- Plaque template
- Jig saw
- Sandpaper, medium and fine grits
- Soft shop rag
- 2 boards, 1-by-2 inchs, 12 inches long
- Acrylic stain or clear finish
- Brush, 1 to 2 inches wide
- Wood wax
Put the template on the board and trace the design. The size of the plaque depends on the size of the antlers or deer head to be mounted. A reliable visual estimate is to make sure the amount of plaque showing around the mount, balances with the head or antlers and is not over or undersized.
Use a hand or table jig saw to cut out the design. Cut carefully, following the exact line drawn from the template.
Sand the surface and edges all around the plaque, using medium-grit sandpaper, until they are smooth. Sand over it again with fine-grit sandpaper to bring out the grain and give the board a slick look. Wipe the sanding dust off the board with a clean towel.
Lay the plaque face-up on two pieces of 1-by-2 boards so there is space under it. Paint a thin coat of finish or stain over the face and edges of the plaque. Allow to dry 24 hours.
Paint a second coat of finish over the first dry coat, and let it dry 24 hours. Turn the dry plaque over and paint one coat of finish on the back side, and allow 24 hours to dry. The plaque now can be used as is or coated with wood wax to give it a shiny finish.