How to Refinish Gun Stock [7 Steps] in 2024

If you’ve ever attempted to have a pistol stock refinished, you’ve soon learned that you’ll almost always end up paying someone more than the rifle is worth. 

As long as you have somewhere to work on it, that is. 

Spending a few hours each day for a week will provide results comparable to the best furniture makers and gunsmiths. 

Let’s now learn how to refinish gun stock by following the steps.

How to Refinish Gun Stock: 7 Steps

Step 1: Disassemble the Firearm

There are far too many various ways to disassemble a handgun and far too many different types and models to attempt to explain how to dismantle your (or your client’s) firearm precisely. 

The most important thing is to separate the stock and arm (because this is a compressor shotgun) from any metal parts. 

Use the appropriate equipment for the work and take your time! You don’t want to make things more difficult for yourself in the future! 

Make sure to mark all of the small components and, more importantly, how to reassemble everything.

Step 2: Let’s Get Stripping!

Yes, before you do anything else, you have to remove the old finish from the stock. 

First and foremost, ensure you’re wearing the appropriate safety equipment! Second, for 3 reasons, I used a product named “Magic Strip Citrus Action.”

  • It is suitable for usage indoors.
  • It’s also biodegradable.
  • The title contains the word “magic.”

Make sure your inventory is free-hanging in the open when you set that up. To keep my stock from touching any objects, I used a coat hanger. 

After applying a thick layer of the stripper, I wait 24 hours. When you return, your stock should have a bubbly sheen all over it. Grab your stock and clean it in a utility sink with hot soapy water. 

Remove all the additional grit and grime from the outside of your stock with a piece of steel wool. When you’re finished, hang the stocks to dry.

Step 3: De-grease Your Stock

Some old pigment and grease will remain lodged in its pores even after cleaning your stock. Take your goods out of the bag and hang them out to dry. There are many other benefits to soaking the stock in hot water. 

The wood fibers will swell and fill in any dings that have developed over time. However, it won’t help with fractures in the wood, but it will provide you a beautiful flat surface to work with.

Also, as seen above, the treatment process will reveal any weak places in your stock. The prior owner dropped the handgun, causing a lovely break in the stock.

Step 4: Fixing Cracks!

I could see the stock had a substantial crack once it had dried. To correct this issue, you must reassemble the wood fibers as much as feasible. 

If the crack runs the length of the stock, you may want to consider buying a new stock or solely using it as a display piece.

After lightly sanding your stock to remove any sawdust, combine your epoxy with the sawdust until it resembles a glop of mushy wood mud. 

Use a needle to completely insert your new wood gunk into the crack, using a clamp to squeeze the pieces together and hold it in place. Wash away all of the residues from the surface and let it dry.

Step 5: Sanding!

After the stock has dried and the gaps have been healed, I apply a small amount of lemon oil to reintroduce natural oils into the wood. It permits the fibers to rise up and become more resistant to subsequent cracking.

Now begin sanding, working your way up from low grains to roughly 400. There was no need to go higher than 400 grit, believe me.

I prefer to use sandpaper cushions instead of regular sandpaper since it makes it easier to bend around the currency’s edges and saves me time and work.

Step 6: Staining

Choose a stain for your stock; I prefer water-based staining and usually use two different types to highlight the stock’s qualities.

I begin by applying a pre-stain fixer to the wood, which provides a neutral foundation for the rest of the staining. Consider it the foundation of a building.

Secondly, I used a “gunstock” stain and coated it to all stock surfaces using cheesecloth. I simply let it sit for a few minutes to seep into the darker sections of the wood grains.

Finally, I applied the deeper “walnut” stain in the same manner as before. 

This time, I let it sit on the wood for as long as possible to fully absorb it. Allow drying after wiping away with a clean edge of cheesecloth.

Step 7: Sealing and Waxing

After you’ve acquired the color you desire in your stock, you’ll need to protect it from these factors for the rest of your life.

Put on your gloves and stow the goods away from the ceiling. Take some Tru oil and rub it all over your stock with one finger in a clockwise direction. 

Make sure you don’t use so much Tru grease that it drips. Allow 8 hours for the Tru oil to dry.

When you arrive home from your 8-hour pizza run, gently sand the top with steel wool and add another coat of Tru oil. 

If you get drop marks, repeat step 1 and do the procedure all over again. All you must do is sand that portion harder and reapply more Tru grease.

Also check: Best Gun Cleaning Kit

Top 3 Best Gun Stock Finishes

1. Flitz Gun Care Kit

Flitz Gun Care Kit

With this package, you’ll have everything you need to get your rifle looking great. This is the method to go if you simply need a little shine and wax to make sure you’re looking your best.

It’s really Carnauba wax, which is among the best in terms of both durability and appearance. You’ll get everything you want for the stock and the metal of your rifle with our great gun stock finishing kit.

So, whether you’re looking for a comprehensive kit that will allow you to take care of every aspect of your pistol, from the wood to the metal parts, you’ve come to the correct place. 

And you’ll have something that’s both cheap and simple to use, even for inexperienced users.

2. Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil

birchwood casey tru-oil

Tru-Oil has been around for quite some time, and there’s a purpose for it. It’s because it’s lovely and of excellent quality. 

It’s created with natural oils, including linseed oil, and the result is a lovely, non-yellowing, non-cracking finish.

If you’re still not convinced, this oil is utilized by many more people than simply gun owners. It’s also popular among guitarists, who consider their oils very seriously.

You’ll obtain a terrific seal with Tru-Oil. You can put it on your stock’s inside as well as beneath the Buttplate, but that’s not all. 

You’ll be protected from UV rays while still being able to use your pistol normally. When you consider the humidity and temperature protection it provides, you’re on the right track.

3. Birchwood Casey Walnut Stain

Birchwood Casey Walnut Wood

You’ll adore this stunning stain, which is also incredibly easy to apply.

Even those who have never handled their own refinishing will be pleased with the results.

It’s actually a dark brown, which will complement your rifle stock even more than before. And it’ll dry quickly, so you won’t have to deal with the mess that other stains and oils may cause.

You’ll never have to fret about it bleeding or becoming murky while you’re working with it. This high-quality staining makes getting the look and style you want a whole tad simpler than with other options.

With only one bottle, you’ll be able to complete many different stocks, or if you simply need a few touches up, you can buy this product in a stylus that’s even simpler to use.


A gunstock is a component of a hand rifle that offers structural support and to which the hulled action and shooting mechanism are connected. 

Its back portion is sometimes known as a hip stock, a buttstock, or just a butt. 

The stock also minimizes muzzle rise by channeling recoil directly into the shooter’s body, allowing the gunner to firmly hold the gun and simply aim with steadiness.

It is held against the user’s shoulders when firing the gun. is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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I'm an passionate gun cleaning expert from NY US. My goal is to save you time by doing the leg work for you and putting all the essential information in one location to be confident about the cleaning your gun.

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