View Full Version : Refinish

February 24, 2009, 11:57 PM
What would be the best way to strip the old finish from a wood stock.:confused: I want to refinish one of my old guns.

February 25, 2009, 12:03 AM
I found Citristrip to be an excellent stripper. It works far better than my old can of Bix solvent stripper, and doesn't stink up the house. Took the finish out of checkering even. I love the stuff, highly recommend it. Don't let the orange aroma fool you, wear gloves or work where you can wash your hands quickly. That stuff will really go to work, on the wood or on you.

February 25, 2009, 12:14 AM
Any idea about the old finish(s)? I know that you don't want to hear this but the best way is manual labor (sanding).

Chemical stripping can drive the old finish into the wood pores and create more problems. Scraping is a job for experts.

Refinishing wood/antiques has been a business sideline since 1938. Rifles since 1946.

February 25, 2009, 12:30 PM
Take this for what it is worth as I have only refinished one stock. I used a chemical stripper that I got from Lowes. I applied the stripper and let it soak per the directions. Then I used a cheap plastic scraper to scrape the stripper and some of the old finish off. I had to repeat the process several times before I got down to bare wood. It was a lot of work to get the old finish off, but I had no problems with the stripper getting the old finish into the wood pores. The plastic scraper caused ZERO damage to the stock.

For the checkering, I really gooped the stripper (gel stripper) into the checkering and let it sit until if was a thick, boogery consistency. I used a nylon bristle brush (from a gun cleaning kit) to brush the stripper and finish out. Again, it took several applications of stripper to get all the finish out.

Once everything was all done, I gave the whole stock a light sanding with steel wool (minus the checkering), worked the stock over with a tack cloth, and moved on to the refinishing. It turned out to be a great project with no issues whatsoever......well except a lot more elbow grease than I imagined.

Link with pictures:


March 3, 2009, 06:31 PM
Storm, that's the same method I used for the checkering. Citristrip on heavy, let it sit a couple of hours, nylon brush took it down to the wood in no time.

Mine was a Remington 700 ADL with pressed checkering. Though the wood showed some rough spots where the checkering was pressed in, the stripper got ever speck of old varnish out of it. It did a wonderful job, clean as a whistle with no sign of anything being driven deeper into the wood -- whatever that might mean. A dozen or so coats of Lin-Speed, some rottenstone and it looks great now.

March 3, 2009, 06:58 PM
If you have deep checkering, use a soft toothbrush (but not your wife's) with the stripper.