Removing finish from wood grips


December 23, 2007, 12:37 AM
I'm trying to take the finish off of my factory Springfield Armory grips. It's currently some kind of sealed lacquer-like finish. Does anyone know what the best way to take it off is? I tried rubbing alcohol but got no success. Maybe paint thinner?

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December 23, 2007, 01:15 AM
Good question...Im not sure if the paint thinner will work. If you havent tried it yet just go to your lumberyard there and ask the guy back in paints what is the best product for removing laquer from wood.

I remember using something that was sprayed on and then it bubbled up after awhile and then you just lightly scraped it off and then rinsed it off with water.

December 23, 2007, 11:12 AM
It is probably not just lacquer, but some sort of bar-type or epoxy finish.

They aren't going to sell you a gun that common gun solvent or paint thinner will take the finish off of.

I would be surprised if you can take it off short of using some very harsh paint stripper.

December 23, 2007, 11:33 AM
Have you ever tried oven cleaner?

December 23, 2007, 12:44 PM
Try soaking in acetone for a while.
Also try Klean-Strip in a spray can (Home depot).

December 23, 2007, 02:05 PM
Outside of using a stripper like methylene chloride, the other 'big hammer' is MEK (methyl ethyl ketone).
MEK will even destroy epoxy (longer time at room temp, pretty quickly if carefully heated).

There are a number of clear wood finishes that are not soluble in anything after they polymerize and cure.
The only thing you can do is break them down with relatively powerful chemicals.
Nitrocellulose lacquer is a solvent release type finish that can easily be dissolved again by lacquer thinner.
Various catalyzed varnish finishes can be very difficult to remove short of methylene chloride or warm MEK.

December 24, 2007, 12:22 AM
I found success. I just had to let it soak a little while in rubbing alcohol and it came off pretty easily. I like them much better this way. They still look about the same, although not shiny. When I first stripped them, they had kind of a dried-out, chalky white look, but after absorbing some oils from my hands, they look about like they did before.

My problem with the original set was that because they were sealed, there was no where for the sweat and oils from my hands to go, so they just got slippery. Now they absorb the sweat and oil and feel much better to me. That may ultimately cause them to rot or warp, but I shoot it with Hogues most of the time anyway.

December 24, 2007, 06:29 PM
The chalky white is most likely whatever finish was on the grips.
Only shellac is soluble in alcohol.
Lacquer is slowly damaged, and often leaves a chalky looking film behind when alcohol damaged.

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