View Full Version : how can I strip paint off of a fiberglass stock?

June 9, 2009, 10:20 PM
I have an FN A1 SPR on layaway at the local gun shop, and they were giving me a good price on it used... The only issue that I've seen with it is that the previous owner painted the whole gun his own version of camo. I would like to restore it as close to original condition as i can.
The barrel also has some very light surface rust, is there a way that I can remove the rust and maintain the appearance of the gun without getting the whole barrel refinished.

June 11, 2009, 12:47 AM
That's a tough one. Usually anything that has enough solvent in it to remove paint can affect the resin in the stock. Hopefully someone's done this, it'll be a handy thing to know.

..sorry i couldn't help, i'm curious too :)

June 11, 2009, 08:34 AM
If it is really fiberglass, then go down to the boat supply store and get a stripper made to remove paint from boats.

June 11, 2009, 12:05 PM
The best way to remove the old finish from a synthetic stock is to sand it down. Start with medium and work your way to fine wet/dry paper. However, that's a LOT of elbow grease! When I refinish one with our stock finish here in the shop, I abrasive blast the old finish off. As long as you use a lower pressure from a further distance and keep the nozzle moving, it will work fine without eating a hole. If you plan on making it look original, you can blast it off but then you'll still use a lot of elbow power to make it smooth again. It's a lot less work to sand it smooth and paint it! Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
Mac's Shootin' Irons

June 11, 2009, 03:54 PM
It has a Mcmillan A3 tactical, I am not positive what it is made of... the guy at the store tried some gun scrubber and it removed the paint (on a small spot at the bottom rear of the stock) I figure that shouldn't effect the stock too much? I may just break down and after I refinish the barrel and action and get the whole thing coated... any ideas on what the best/ most durable gun finish that wont have any effect on accuracy?

June 11, 2009, 05:43 PM

June 11, 2009, 07:23 PM

June 12, 2009, 12:42 PM
Gunkote is the best finish for the metal parts (Internal & external) for a couple of reasons.

The 2400 series contains quite a bit of Mollybdenum Disulfide (Molly) which is a dry lubricant. That lubricant embedded in the finish will cause parts to move smoother against each other.

Gunkote 2400 series will burnish. That means that freshly coated internal parts that start out a little tight will wear against each other and end up with a perfect fit.

Both of those together result in a smoother action that requires less force to make "go".

Plus, the 2400 series is 100% non-reactive to aviation fuel, acetone, battery acid, chlorine, extreme heat, extreme cold, salt water, etc. Duracoat wont do any of these things. It has no built in lube, it won't burnish, it can't be used on close tolerance internal moving parts and the distributor can't say how it holds up to assorted chemicals because there were never any lab tests done on it! At least none that they're talking about. On top of that: Gunkote was developed as a finish for military firearms. Duracoat (Polane) was developed by Sherwin Williams as a finish for the sides of tractors. Ok, I feel better now!!

As far as the stock is concerned, Polane would probably be ok for that but I won't use it for anything. We use a finish that we call Tuff-Stock but it was really developed as a finish for the guard rails on offshore oil platforms. We just apply it a little different.

If you want a do-it-yourself type stock finish, I've heard quite a few people say that they've had good luck with the trunk type sprays that they get in auto parts stores. The biggest "trick" for a good looking finish is the preparation that you do prior to applying the finish. That's 90% of the work. Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
Mac's Shootin' Irons

June 24, 2009, 09:59 AM
I used this on a M14 USGI fiberglass stock with excellent results.

June 26, 2009, 04:54 AM
I used to make fiberglass horns, boats, etc.
The safe way to remove paint from gelcoat (the resin that good fiberglass is finished with) is to try a solvent test. Acetone, Toluene, and Xylene make great solvent and the relative efficacy is dependant on the paint and substrate. A swab test will tell you what works. If it melts the enamel, lacquer,or poly paint and the polyester substrate then obviously try something else. People cough at those citrus based strippers but I have found they work well for firearm furnishings. Orange citrus acids and a bag over the area of interest. Citric acid is amazing and has little approach on wood and polystyrene but does a number on most paint and varnish. Just my 2cent

August 20, 2011, 01:17 PM
Bosshoff - Thank you. I was doing a search to try and find out what to use on my M14 USGI fiberglass stock, and bam, there it is. Perfect!

- Chris

August 28, 2011, 07:33 PM
Real TSP from the hardware store, mixed in enough water to cover the stock. Soaking for 24 or so hours will loosen the paint and it will flake off. I would use a garden hose to rinse it, as the added pressure will get the stuff in the cracks/dings/low spots out. An old tooth brush helps the process also. Rarely, a second 24 hour soak might be required for old thick paint. A light sanding, to break the shiny surface, also helps the TSP to work. Not for use with wood stocks.
Safer and cheaper than stripper.