May 3, 2022

How to get a satin finish on gunstock

Getting that stunning satin finish on your gun finish can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Some gunsmiths specialize in creating satin finishes on gun stocks. The process requires a lot of patience and careful wood preparation. Gunstock finishing is a quick process you can learn for a fraction of the cost of buying a gunstock finished by a professional. Gunstocks start rough, and after two or three coats of finish, the rough spots are no longer visible. Satin finish gunstocks are popular and look classy.

gunstock finished with linseed oil

How to varnish a gunstock

  1. You can only begin the varnishing process when the color you’ve chosen for your stock has dried and settled correctly. The varnishing process will prepare the gunstock for the outside elements. 
  2. You will need to start by wearing a pair of gloves. The varnish is dangerous and should be applied while the stock hangs from the ceiling. 
  3. Apply the varnish in a circular motion with a nylon-bristle brush. Varnish is thin and needs to be used quickly before it begins to dry. Avoid adding too much varnish because the liquid will start dripping. 
  4. It will take the gunstock about two days to dry per coating. You will need about three layers to protect the gunstock fully. Therefore, you should budget about eight days to complete the entire process.
  5. Once dry, it is best to sand the surface with steel wool lightly. This task will help to remove any blemishes and achieve a more high-gloss satin finish for the gunstock. 
  6. Finally, you can consider adding some wax as a final topcoat to help further preserve the finish and shine.

How to get a high gloss finish on gunstock

To achieve a high gloss finish, you will need to use polyurethane. This protective film will need to be hand rubbed in to ensure it produces a high gloss shine. You can then use polish or wax to simplify this shine.

What is a satin gun finish?

A satin gun finish on a wooden gunstock is made with satin polish or a semi-gloss polyurethane. The look is natural and aesthetically pleasing. The finish is protective and can handle moisture well. It has nourishing qualities that keep wood soft. You will need 8-10 coats to create a satin gun finish. After this, you need to sand each coating. Wax can also be applied to the gunstock for extra shine.

What finish is used on gun stocks?

It is recommended to use an oil finish when protecting your gunstock. This option can protect against UV rays and moisture. It is easy to apply and will work well on both finished and unfinished wood. The gunstock finish will be fully water-proof and can last for several years.

Can you use tung oil on gun stocks?

Tung oil is an excellent option to use on a gunstock. Tung oil comes in satin, gloss, or high gloss varieties. Consumers prefer it because it is a naturally high gloss in its raw form. To use this product on your gunstock, you will need to apply two coats to the product. The more coats you add, the more likely you will get a highly polished finish. When used, you will need to rub the tung oil into the gunstock to help it stick. You will require steel wool to smoothen each skin. The process will also help you to get rid of any excess lumps. You can use tung oil on a gunstock, and some consumers can apply up to 8 coats for extra gloss.

Is boiled linseed oil good for gun stocks?

Boiled Linseed oil is excellent for preserving your wooden gunstock. This product helps to keep bare wood safe from moisture. The oil has had hot oil run through it, operating like a sponge. It seals the wood from the inside and closes the open pores on the gunstock. Apart from excellent water resistance, your gunstock will also be free from scratches.

Prep the Stock

  1. The first stage of the preparations involves disassembling the weapon. Each firearm will have its way of doing this task, but the key is to get the stock and forearm detached from the body. Another significant safety concern is to ensure that the firearm is not loaded. Try to document the process in some way to help you place it all back together after. 
  2. Once the product has been disassembled, you will need to strip off the previous finish unless it is unfinished. While the gunstock is free-hanging in the air, many consumers choose to do this. This method will allow any excess chemicals to drip off the gunstock. Add on a layer of the stripper, and then watch as the finish bubbles off. After the bubbling ends, you can wash the stock with warm soapy water. Allow the stock to dry once done. You can take care of any leftover remnants of the old finish with a piece of steel wool.
  3. Old oil finishes will leave some oil in the pores, and this needs to be removed with a degreaser. Combine a degreaser with some hot water and wash the wood. This process will cause the wood to swell up and correct any imperfections over the years. This helps you to make the gunstock surface level.

Mix Alum and Water

We add alum to water because it forms a sticky gelatinous precipitate of Aluminium hydroxide. This formula can attract fine suspended impurities in water. It helps to preserve the wood once settled following the sedimentation process.

Apply Mixture to Stock

You can apply this mixture to the gunstock with a nylon-bristle brush. 

Let it Cure

You need to wait between 24-and 48 hours for the stock to dry.

Soak the stock

Soaking the stock in a chemical stripper will help remove any remnants of the previous finish. As the stripper eats away at the finish, it begins to bubble off.

Sand it

The next stage is to sand off your gunstock. This motion will work to even out the surface and make the wood brand new again. You will need to begin with a lower number of grit sandpaper of about 180. It is best to perform this process by hand because using an electric sander will cause rub and swirl marks. The machine is too aggressive for this task and will likely damage your gunstock.

Wipe it down

Wipe the gunstock clean of dust and sand. Use a damp, wet cloth to wipe the gunstock.

Use stain

Use a stain to finish the wood and let it dry for one day.

In conclusion, gunstocks are made of walnut, walnut, maple, bamboo, fiberglass, plastic, carbon fiber, aluminum, iron, and brass. Raw wood or composite materials stocks are left in their natural state with color variations from wood species, knots, and wood grain. These raw stocks can be polished to a satin finish with 800 grit sandpaper. Stainless steel and aluminum stocks can be polished or brushed to a satin finish with 400 grit sandpaper. The finish should mirror the finish on the wood and any other metal parts. You should remove scratches and dents with 400 grit sandpaper. 

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