Will naphtha (lighter fluid) damage a wood stock?


April 23, 2013, 01:02 AM
I send my shotgun for repair and they sent it back with a thick coat of grease including on the wood stock, I think I remember reading somewhere that naphtha was safe on wood, is that correct? I need something that will dissolve thick grease but wont harm the finish.

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April 23, 2013, 01:14 AM
Depends on what the finish is on the stock. Some finishes Naptha will harm others it won't.

April 23, 2013, 01:23 AM

Generally though, lighter fluid (dry naphtha) or mineral spirits (solvent naphtha) paint thinner will not harm a modern stock finish.

If it's a hand rubbed oil finish on a $2,000 custom handmade stock however??
I would not care to bet on it.


April 23, 2013, 07:03 AM
Call the manufacturer and ask what kind of finish is on the wood.

April 23, 2013, 11:23 AM
I've used lighter fluid on just about everything to remove sticker residue and goop ever since my brother used to work in an eyeglass store. Apparently, that's what they used to use to remove the sticker residue off of eyeglass lenses. I think that you'll be fine using it on a wood stock as long as it's a modern finish.

April 23, 2013, 11:43 AM
They said its a poly finish. He said he also thinks there is only one coat. Its a Remington 870 express.

April 23, 2013, 03:14 PM
Thick coat of grease? Never saw that before unless it's a milsurp gun. I'd have ask him what they recommend for cleaning it and get the guys name. That way if the finish get damage it's not your fault. I've used mineral spirits on poly or oil finishes. Just don't get it around where the wood isn't finished. You don't want it under the finish. It may make the edges lift.

April 23, 2013, 04:16 PM
He just said to use rem oil to remove it but I doubt it will take it off. By poly is that a polyurethane finish? If it was a water based poly will the naptha remove the finish?

April 23, 2013, 06:11 PM
It shouldn,t. Poly cures insted of just drying by the solvent evaporating. Some water based polys have a cross linker that makes them even stronger. Mineral spirits is vey mild and reallly doesn,t effect a dried finish. Like I said just don,t slop it around where the wood isn,t finished. You don,t want to get absorbed and go under the poly finsh. Wipe as much greas off with paper towels and wet one with Ms and wipe a section. Just keep using paper towels to absorb the melting grease.

April 23, 2013, 09:11 PM
spilled lighter fluid did take the finish off my 870 express.

April 23, 2013, 09:30 PM
It appears to be a one step wood stain with no clear coat it it not a "smooth" finish, does that mean the naptha is still okay to use? what about something like denatured alcohol?

April 23, 2013, 09:32 PM
As a retired furniture maker who has seen and used just about every finish (all chemistries), YES, it will harm. The degree of harm is directly related to how long the exposure.

April 23, 2013, 09:39 PM
thick coat of grease including on the wood stock

I got stuck here.


Try Murphy's Oil Soap after you've wiped as much as possible on a warm day with paper towels/rags.

April 23, 2013, 09:43 PM
An 870 Express? Wipe off what you can with paper towels and use a rag damp with paint thinner for the rest.

Sun Tzu warrior
April 23, 2013, 10:46 PM
I don't know what to tell you about an unknown wood finish with grease on it, however, I install a lot of machines that are sprayed with cosmoline for the trip accross the ocean. Kerosene is the best way to remove cosmoline. when the kerosene soaked rag gets saturated with cosmoline, throw it away and use fresh.
Sorry, I know this will not help you any, but may be useful to some milsurp buyers.

April 23, 2013, 11:06 PM
Well you have allot of choices. You need to try one. From my experience with many milsurp, old classics and newer guns. MS will clean without stripping a dried finish. If someone put a wax finish it will remove that. But poly, varnish, shellac it shouldn't. If the finish is chipped/scratched down to the bare wood any solvent can get under it. Like I said wipe as much grease off with paper towels. Then fold one into 1/4 ters and dampen with MS. Wipe of the grease. Look at the finish to see if it,s coming off. Do a small part and let dry to see whats going on.

April 24, 2013, 01:55 AM
what happens if it gets under the finish?

April 24, 2013, 08:06 AM
It's not rocket science.

If you're worried about the finish, then wipe off all the grease you can with dry paper towels, then take the rest off with a grease-cutting detergent like Dawn dish-washing soap.

April 24, 2013, 10:38 AM
I would never use dish soap on a stock.

April 24, 2013, 04:54 PM
Paint thinner.

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