How to Refinish a Maple Gun Stock

By Wade Shaddy

Maple is excellent for gun stocks. It is tight-grained, beautiful and almost indestructible. Some of the most expensive stocks available are made from maple. It finishes nicely but over time, depending on how much the stock is handled, the finish wears off. To properly refinish a stock with a finish that will never wear off, rub it down with penetrating oil. Penetrating oil sinks into the wood where it hardens inside the pores to permanently protect it from the inside out.

List of Items Needed

  • Linseed oil
  • Cotton cloth (T-shirt)
  • Sandpaper, 100 grit and 180 grit
  • Rotary tool with sanding accessories
  1. Remove the bolt if it has one, the magazine, or any parts that come off easily without tools. Don't disassemble the gun any further.

  2. Sand the stock by hand with 100-grit sandpaper to remove any existing old finish. Hold the gun with one hand while you sand carefully moving in small strokes, always parallel to the grain.

  3. Re-sand the stock with 180-grit sandpaper in the palm of your hand.

  4. Fold a cotton cloth into a small pad. Add 1 tbsp. of oil to the cloth. Rub the oil-dampened cloth to the stock, rubbing the oil into the stock. When the cloth runs out of oil, add more. If you get oil on the metal parts, don't worry about it, just wipe it off later.

  5. Wipe the stock with oil until it is glistening and wet. Let it sit for one hour and then wipe it off. Apply another coat of oil after 24 hours and wipe it off.

  6. Pick up the gun after one week. Hold the gun with one hand while you polish the stock with the palm of your hand. Act as if you had a pad in your hand but use the skin of your palm instead to smooth and rub the stock hard until it becomes warm to the touch.

  7. Pick up the gun weekly or even daily for up to three months or as often as you can. Using nothing but your hands to polish the gun until it glistens. After three months, add a drop of oil to the palm of your hand and continue polishing the gun weekly or as often as you like until you are satisfied with the finish.

Tips and Warnings

  • Put the gun somewhere in sight in your living room. Polish it every evening if you want. The more often you rub it down, the deeper the finish.
  • Sand the wood around the metal parts using a rotary tool with sanding accessories to help prevent accidental scratches.

© Demand Media 2011