27 Photos of Gun Stock Refinishing
Russ Chastain 11.01.17
Some years back, I refinished a Winchester 94 30-30 rifle whose bluing was beyond hope. The results weren’t great, but I felt it was worth sharing here anyhow. And what’s the point of giving a new finish to a gun without also sweetening up the stock? So I fixed that up as well.
As with painting, stock finish is all about preparation. You need to remove the old finish and remove dents and scars from the stock while removing as little wood as possible. Here’s how I did it, from start to finish (pun intended).
I decided to try Lin-Speed oil for this project, since I was already trying something different on the metal finish. It hadn’t worked well for me before, but that had been a long time ago and it was time to give it another chance.
The old finish showed some scars, which makes sense. The old rifle was more than 40 years old, so it had multiple dents and dings in addition to the barrel band wear seen above. Darkness where the finish is compromised means that gun oil has soaked into the wood, which weakens it.
The butt stock had its share of scrapes and scars, too.
The wrist, or grip portion of the stock, is stained dark from oil. There’s also a dent near the top edge of the wrist, as you can see. I didn’t try to make this wood perfect, but I did try to remove as much oil as possible.
I used Strypeeze Paint and varnish Remover to remove the old finish from the stock. After applying the stripper, I worked on it with a stripping pad (like Scotch-Brite without abrasive) and steel wool to get rid of the finish.
After that I washed/rinsed it in mineral spirits and finally washed it with grease-cutting dish soap and water to remove residue, then left them to dry in an air-conditioned room.
Aside from the oil stains where the stock abuts the frame there at the front, this shows how oil has gotten into the stock at the dent I mentioned above.
More oil in the stock, but we ain’t see nothin’ yet.