View Full Version : Finishes

August 16, 2009, 12:56 AM
I picked up a set of Yugo bolt-action rifles on the cheap a bit ago, mostly because they were in less-than-stellar condition. I'd always wanted a project to 'resurrect' a gun so to speak. And these definitely need a little TLC; new stocks, refinishing, the works.

My question, however, is where to find a good do it yourself stainless finish. Simpler the better since this is more or less a learning experience. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Bill DeShivs
August 16, 2009, 02:09 AM
There is no "stainless" finish. Stainless steel is a material that some guns are made from-there is no finish on it. Yours are not made of stainless.
There are finishes that will prevent rust. Hard chrome, or nickel plating are very good, but they can not be done at home.
The only home finish that is viable will be paint. There are specific gun paints, but they require sand/bead blasting, then parkerizing, and air brushing to properly apply., then oven baking to cure.
There are also some that come in spray cans, but they are less durable.

August 27, 2009, 03:07 AM
Are you talking about finishing stainless steel or a simple way to refinish wood without staining it first? If you're talking about wood, it's tough to beat a good, easily-repaired finish like Birchwood Casey's Tru-Oil. The trick is to block sand the wood to where it looks dead smooth and flat. I have a rubber 3M sanding block for big surfaces and a PinkPearl eraser for smaller areas. Always sand with the grain. By the time you've block sanded with 200 grit production paper until there are no sanding marks, you're done. Fill the wood with about four heavy coats of TruOil and let each coat harden for a couple of days. Then cut the finish back to the wood with your Pink Pearl sanding block and 320 grit paper. Next, apply daily light coats of TruOil until you get desired surface finish thickness. You should use small amounts of finish, so sags and runs should never occur. However, if they do, you can remove them with your Pink Pearl and 400 grit Production Paper. You can often smooth them off by rolling a fingernail over them while they are soft; this also reduces drying time so you can sand them away sooner. When your finish is sufficient, lightly buff it with superfine steel wool, wipe all dust and steel wool fibers off, and rub a couple of drops of TruOil into the finish as a polish. Great results -- nothing fancy.

August 27, 2009, 05:39 AM
Back in the 70's or 80's sometime, my memory isn't what it used to be, I sent my blue finish Colt Trooper MKIII off to an outfit that put a new finish on the gun that looked exactly like stainless but as mentioned earlier was not stainless steel, just a coating. It looked great. Unfortunately I no longer think that I have any details regarding the company that did the work or the cost. I will look again and advise if I locate any information.

August 27, 2009, 08:17 AM
Do it yourself finishes usually don't last or look good. Should be several companies in your neck of the woods that would strip, polish, and refinish. Consider parkerizing.

August 27, 2009, 09:31 AM
Ok, I'll probably take some heat for this statement but:

The biggest problem with do-it-yourself-finishes is that they're do-it-yourself! Firearm finish manufacturer's want to sell their product. That's a given. However, the problems surface when their advertising makes it seem so simple and easy to do. "Just clean with our degreaser, spray the new finish on and let it cure for a week" etc. etc. Trust me on this: It ain't that easy to do a finish job that looks good and will look good next year too. You can always spot the paint jobs on cars that were done in the driveway.

Now having said all of that: You can do a nice looking refinish at home if you spend the time on preparation. That's 75% of the job and will make the most difference on how it looks next year.

As far as a silvery or Stainless looking finish goes, Nickel or Hard Chrome are the only way to go. The spray on silvery finishes look like silver paint and it get's dirty very quickly because the finish is not perfectly smooth. We've applied quite a few different colors on firearms right up to and including Hot Pink but I won't do any type of silvery look unless it's plated on. Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
Mac's Shootin' Irons

August 27, 2009, 10:22 AM
The absolute easiest bullet-proof do-it-yourself finish for metal is GunKote. For a long-gun, it gets a little harder because most home ovens aren't large enough to do the baking in. However, if you happen to have a friend with a commercial oven, that little inconvenience goes away.

August 27, 2009, 02:08 PM
Doyle...Your are correct regarding Gunkote although I don't think it's the most user friendly do-it-yourself finish available. Krylon has that spot. To properly apply Gunkote, the metal has to be warmed, the finish sprayed on and then the metal cured. I've been using it for our Tuff-Gun finishes for about thirty years now. Both, my warming oven and my curing oven are computer controlled so the temperatures and times are exactly where I want them. (Depends on the metal)

For the do-it-yourselfer, use LOTS of ventilation and clean the oven out if you use it to cook food in. The curing vapors from Gunkote contain quite a few bad things and it will transfer to the sides of the oven. From there it can transfer to your pizza!

I once was going to set up a demonstration of how well Gunkote would hold up to various chemicals. I took several 6" long strips of metal, Gunkoted half of each, left the other half just abrasive blasted. Some of the strips were soaked in Acetone overnite and others were soaked in a bucket of pool shock chlorine. (1 pound to five gallons of water)

The next day, the Acetone soaked ones look fine with no deterioration of the finish. The ones in the concentrated chlorine were another story though. The chlorine had eaten all of the metal away and left only the finish. The Gunkote finish was like an eggshell with nothing inside! The demonstration was ruined of course but I was impressed! Anything that will harm the Gunkote finish will harm the person holding it even more!! (Note: Everything that I've said about Gunkote applies to the 2400 Series. That's all I use) Keep yer powder dry, Mac.

Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
Mac's Shootin' Irons