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Old February 12, 2010, 06:37 PM   #1
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I picked up a really nice '92 Winchester. The wood is in great shape but it looks like someone put on a varnish or polyurethane coat so the wood is kind of shiny. At some point I would like to get the shine off and get a more original look. Is it as simple as a very light sanding (maybe 400 or 600) and a rubdown with BLO or something similar? I don't want to make it any darker, the tone is fine as is. Sorry, tried to get a good photo but no luck.
Learning to photograph guns is on my short list of things to learn!
If anyone has any foto tips I'll take those too. Thanks.
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Old February 12, 2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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It's difficult to advise you without knowing what type of finish has been applied or how thick it is. Simple sanding may not be enough. You may be better off using a quality chemical stripper and taking it down to bare wood, and depending on how much labor you want to invest, either go with a satin polyeurathane or a hand rubbed oil finish. Done right, neither is going to be something you can do in a couple of hours, but using the poyeurathane would be the least labor intensive.
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Old February 12, 2010, 09:52 PM   #3
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To remove the old finish, get some Citri-strip. It is effective stuff without being harsh on the wood. Remove the wood from the metal first though.
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Old February 13, 2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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Use CitriStrip to remove the finish, sand to 400 grit, then refinish the stock. If you want an original finish like a factory Winchester, use shellac finish, available in many woodworking supplies stores (looks shiny but thin on the wood). Or for an easy finish, just use TruOil, which you can get pretty much anywhere gun care supplies are sold (deeper penetration, shows the grain well, seals nicely).

For gun photos, put the gun on a neutral background (grey, green, or sand color works well), use adequate lighting (flash often looks bluish), and make dure the photos are focused.
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Old February 13, 2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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If the finish is in OK shape, and you just want it less shiny, you probably don't need to strip and refinish it. Try rubbing out the finish with auto body rubbing (not polishing) compound, or with 4/0 steel wool and a good paste wax. Either will reduce the gloss. (Just be careful not to cut through corners and edges, especially with steel wool.) If you like the results, you've saved yourself a bunch of time. If you're not happy with that and you still want to start over, you've lost, what, 20 minutes or so...
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