After much scraping and pulling and soaking, I finally got down to the bare skull on this 50 year old rack. And....it was yellow. Very yellow. Probably stained from 50 years of decaying grease since the fur and skin were LEFT ON this thing. Gross. I tried all kinds of whitening techniques - baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, bleach. No luck. Finally I threw in the towel and decided to dry brush flat, white ceiling paint over the skull to brighten it. Good enough for me!
The screw holes were already there from the skull being mounted in the shed all those years, so I used those to screw it to the wooden plate, then put wood putty over the screws and the screw holes and painted over the putty.
I bought the wooden plate at AC Moore, stained the front and painted the edging BM Hale Navy (a sample I had laying around). Coated it with spray poly and we were done Not too bad.
The gallery wall is still a work in progress....