Restoring your old beech wood gunstock makes a great indoor project, and with these easy to follow steps you can bring back its true beauty. Before getting started, it’s helpful to have a few items handy.
Step 1 - Prepare
Not a great deal of preparation is necessary, but if possible, remove the stock. This precautionary measure will prevent damage to the metal areas. Having the stock separated also helps makes it a lot easier to work with.
Step 2 - Remove the Old Finish
The final look of the beech wood will depend on how well you remove the old finish. It comes off easily with steel wool, which will also leave the area nice and smooth. Do not use sandpaper for this step because it can scratch the beech wood or create an uneven surface.
Step 3 - Sand
Even if there is more serious damage to the gun stock, still refrain from the use of heavy duty sandpaper. Instead, try a 220 grit sandpaper and gently work a deep scratch. Work it carefully and use a sanding block to prevent waviness and dips in soft spots. Another proven method to remove unsightly dents is to iron them out with a household iron. Simply place a damp rag over the beech wood and press an iron over it. Place the heat setting according to the type of material of the damp rag. The steam actually raises the wood, causing the dent to vanish. You can then use the 220 to even out a raised surface. Wood pressing is highly effective and does not take much steam to yield results. Just be vigilant not to burn the wood or the cloth.
Step 4 - Stain
Now simply choose your desired finish. Clear gloss polyurethane leaves a hard finish, while other types leave a more natural appearance. Beech wood offers a wide range of color and depth. Some people apply it by hand, while others use an aerosol spray. If you decide to go by hand be sure to use a lint free cloth or paintbrush. If you go with the spray, watch out for any runs that might form. These should be removed between coats with the steel wool. A minimum of four coats is recommended, but the final look is totally dependent on your preference. Whatever brand or grade of finish you choose, be sure to closely follow the instructions and warnings on the label. Allow the stock to dry over some old newspaper or cloth.
Step 5 - Enjoy a Job Well Done
Following these steps will give you great results. Once the gunstock is complete you can congratulate yourself on giving an old piece of wood new life.