Refinishing Wood on a Shotgun


May 16, 2011, 12:19 PM
I have a Fausti Traditions O/U shotgun that I got from a friend recently, and it has an aesthetics problem. The furniture, which is supposed to be walnut with a little checkering and a light stain finish (and actually looks quite nice) when unmolested, has had a gloss finish applied to it. (He didn't admit to it, but I believe he's the original owner, so I think he's to blame for it.) Apparently the finish wasn't to the standard of my friend (or whomever had it), and they tried to strip the forestock. The finish is gone, sort of, the wood is raw in a few spots, and the checkering is kind of lightly furry now. The buttstock still have the finish on it, and looks decent other than that.

My problem is that I would love the gun to look good again, but it's on the fine line of being worth it since the gun isn't high dollar. Firstly, I don't know who to even talk to about getting an estimate on refinishing the wood (assuming some artisan can even restore it), and secondly, it's probably going to cost more than it's worth to refinish the stocks.

I'm at work so I can't post pix now, but will when I get home. Until then, anyone have any ideas? Is there anyone that has had good luck with a stock pro? Anyone possibly make replacement / custom wood for this gun? I spoke to a guy at Fausti a while back and he said some wood was coming, but I never heard if it arrived or not.

Once again, stay tuned for pix...

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May 16, 2011, 12:24 PM
There's a gent in the Tampa area who has refinished stocks for friends' guns (I'm saving up). For complete strip, refinish, stain, some uber-strong poly/resin protective coating etc, ran them each about $600. The stripper he uses is over 150/gallon.

If you want to try it your self, strip the entire stock and then refinish so it will match

May 16, 2011, 12:40 PM
Update: I figured I'd call Fausti USA and see since it's been so long. The man there told me they can get the replacement wood, and it's $196. Not super-cheap, but not even close to very expensive. I may go this route, but I'm still curious what others say.

May 16, 2011, 01:28 PM
We all like for even our work guns to look good, even if it doesn't affect the gun's usefulness.

The replacement wood is a good idea, but I'd still try my hand on the original finished stock. It can be fun doing. I got a new Baikal 12 ga coach shotgun last fall and just didn't like the factory finish. Got some 0000 Steel wool and very lightly sanded the furniture. Then, after four coats of just regular TruOil, I now have a finish that people do a double-take on when they first see it.

I'm now proud to have "Boomer" sitting by my headboard, ready to help out if needed.

May 16, 2011, 01:30 PM
Refinishing wood is not difficult, if you know what you are doing, and can be done fairly cheaply. However it can be extremely time consuming and require many steps if you want the project to look professional.

I would have to see some pics, but it doesn't sound like a hard job.


May 16, 2011, 07:54 PM
Here's some pix of the gun and the wood. The buttstock is still finished. The pix make the finish look a little better than it is - it's not great and could never pass for factory. The foregrip has issues. The checkering is, as mentioned before, a bit hairy, and still has varnish or whatever in it in places. It is not sharp anymore, edges are slightly rounded. The white patch along the bottom of the foregrip is where it looks to have been sanded through the top layer of the wood. It's no longer the same looking as the rest of the foregrip.

Now, as a shooter, who cares, right? But the gun is too pretty to not be, well, pretty. Making it pretty again negates the bargain price I got it for, so...?

Red Cent
May 16, 2011, 10:01 PM
Aw man. What a shame. What is not touched is beautiful.

Go get a can of Jasco. Very strong paint and varnish remover. Paint brush it on thick. 'Course follow directions. Wear rubber gloves. Strongest and best stuff I have ever used.
I used a scrub brush to lightly remove the soupy mix from the checkered area.
May take a couple of coats.

After the wood drys, I sand mine with 400 grit if wood is not geeply scratched or dented. Use steelwool lightly on the checkering.

Very important. Use tack cloth to remove any and all debris. Then try this.

Spray the wood lightly with ArmorAll. Wipe in the wood with your hands. Then take some TruOil and put a few drops on the side of the buttstock. Rub it in. It is proven that ArmorAll causes TruOil to harden very quickly. Keep rubbing the TruOil until smooth. Repeat this process over all the wood. Spray lightly with ArnorAll, rub it in (not dry) then apply TruOil. You can put ten coats on in one day. It will not apply thick coats like TruOil by itself. This will produce a beautiful "hand rubbed furniture" look. It seals but the pores will not be filled. I did this to an old Remington 581. I liked it so much, I did this to two of replica 1873 Winchesters.

This picture shows the factory finish on the left and the TruOil/AmorAll on the right.

May 16, 2011, 10:06 PM
I have refinished and restored several gunstocks. Your stock is not the lost cause you seen to think it is. Moreover, the wood is very nice. and the stock is certainly worth saving. The fuzz on the checkering is probably old finsih that someone started to remove but failed to finish the job. At any rate, the checkering can be recut much cheaper and faster than cutting checkering from scratch. Actually, since the lines to follow are already there, you could probably recut the checkering yourself if you wished to try.

The stock on your gun was originally stained. In most cases with modern guns the stain is mixed with the finish which was probably some sort of varnish. It is virtually impossible to match the color when refinishing. That means that you will also need to refinish the buttstock so the color will be uniform. But that is no big deal. The hardest part is probably removing the stock from the action.

There are many sets of instruction on the net for refinishing gunstocks. Google and read a couple of them. If you then determine you want to give it a try, You can PM me and I'll give you whatever help I can.

May 17, 2011, 04:48 AM
I have been doing my own stocks, 2 so far. lots of work by hand. They are lookingg great Most importantly I did it. A great source of pride you don't have when someone does it for you.

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