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#6354260 - 07/01/16 07:18 AM Refinishing Wood Furniture
Sick Train Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/05/11
Posts: 289
Loc: Corpus Christi
Any of you guys have experience in refinishing wood stocks? I purchased a Romanian SAR1 AK 47 and decided to refinish the wood furniture on it since someone had painted them brown and they looked horrible. I've never tried this before but figured they couldn't come out any worse than they already looked. I used Citristrip to get the paint and varnish off. Then sanded it with 100 & 220 grit. Applied a total of 4 coats of minwax red oak stain. It's been at least 30 hours since the last coat of stain and the wood still looks shiny and wet in some areas. Not sure if I didn't wipe enough off in between coats or what. Had figured that by now they would have been dried enough to start applying the wipe on poly. Should I continue to wait however long it takes to dry or take some 0000 steel wool or fine sandpaper to them and apply another coat of stain? Just read on minwax webpage that I can just apply another coat of stain then wipe off and it will take of the extra stain that was on there. So might give that a try first. Took a couple of quick pics to get an idea of what I'm looking at. What do you guys think?

Here's what I started with. Notice the paint on them.



This was after 24 hours of the last coat of stain.





Edited by Sick Train (07/01/16 07:42 AM)

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#6354349 - 07/01/16 08:42 AM Re: Refinishing Wood Furniture [Re: Sick Train]
Colt W. Knight Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 2036
Loc: West Virginia
You didn't get all the original finish off.

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#6354371 - 07/01/16 08:58 AM Re: Refinishing Wood Furniture [Re: Sick Train]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4867
Loc: Central Texas
Just a guess, but you may have applied too many coats without waiting for earlier coats to dry. I have certainly had that problem and so have quite a few others on a woodworking forum I frequent. Oddly enough, the products in question seem to all be by Minwax. Coincidence? Heck, I don't know.

In my most recent problem that was similar to yours, I took mineral spirits and wiped off the most recent coat of finish, let the underlying coat dry and then reapplied the last coat.

What I think is happening is that if earlier coats aren't dry, solvents remaining in those coats keep newer coats from drying. I had some similar problems with a new paint type about a year ago. Darn stuff would not dry and was making me crazy. I called the paint manufacturer and got to their technical guys. They said that newer paint and finish types were designed to be lower VOC, were somewhat different compounds, and dried slower. He said to apply thin coats and be sure they were dry before adding a next coat. Don't take that as gospel to the last detail, since I'm going on memory, but the 'let it dry' part is so true.

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#6354409 - 07/01/16 09:28 AM Re: Refinishing Wood Furniture [Re: Sick Train]
Colt W. Knight Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 2036
Loc: West Virginia
The tough part about refinishing these old rifle stocks is that they have a ton of oil/grease embedded into the wood fibers. This will screw with your chemical stripper and the absorption/drying of the new finish. Plus, you really don't know what they were finished with before. Getting it stripped and the wood prepped for the new finish is super tough.

The way to get around that is apply a sealer to the wood that creates a a barrier to prevent the old stuff from messing with the new stuff.

I agree with 603 - Minwax is king of of the DIY market, but they are not professional products and they are really tough to get really good results with. I don't know any pro wood workers using minwax stains.

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#6354421 - 07/01/16 09:34 AM Re: Refinishing Wood Furniture [Re: Sick Train]
charlesb Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
Do your best to start off with bare wood.

I've had the best luck by mixing Minwax stain (mahogany is my favorite) with Tru-Oil. I usually mix one part stain to four parts Tru-Oil.

I let it dry at least two days before preparing for the next coat. Thin coats dry better, and faster. If you are not in a rush, a week between coats is really best.

I go over it lightly with fine steel wool, then wipe it clean of all steel wool residue, dust, etc. before applying the next coat.

Toward the end, I let it dry longer between coats, quit using steel wool, and start using 400 grit wet-or-dry paper (wet) on a flat backing on the larger areas between coats.

I finish up with a thorough drying, followed by Birchwood-Casey "Stock Sheen", a mild abrasive that knocks off the worst of the gloss, leaving a sheen instead. Then it is time to apply Renaissance wax, and I'm done.

It winds up being slightly shiny - but not glossy. That's a personal preference, many prefer a dull or a glossy finish.

Most military arms look best with the finish being on the dull or flat side.


Edited by charlesb (07/01/16 09:41 AM)
_________________________
Kind regards, charlesb

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#6354512 - 07/01/16 10:34 AM Re: Refinishing Wood Furniture [Re: Sick Train]
Sick Train Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/05/11
Posts: 289
Loc: Corpus Christi
I believe that I applied the coats too thick and when I wiped I did it very lightly not removing all of the stain in between coats. I'm going to try applying another coat and letting it sit for 5 mins then give it a good wipe down and see how it turns out. If it turns out good then I'll apply the wipe on poly. If it doesn't work out too well then I'll give some mineral spirits a try and if all else fails then I'll have to strip it all back down and start from scratch.


Edited by Sick Train (07/01/16 10:35 AM)

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#6354683 - 07/01/16 01:27 PM Re: Refinishing Wood Furniture [Re: Sick Train]
Hunt Dog Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/25/13
Posts: 706
The big problem is that you probably didn't have really good quality wood to begin with. Then add in a variety of the problems previously mentioned.
Let it dry, sand, seal and paint it black.

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#6354965 - 07/01/16 06:21 PM Re: Refinishing Wood Furniture [Re: Sick Train]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4867
Loc: Central Texas
There are always ways to put a finish even on the worst of woods. A buddy asked me to refinish the stock on an old single shot 22. Heck, I'm a woodworker, so I said I'd do it for him. Bad mistake. The old finish was painted on. The wood beneath blotched worse than any wood I ever saw. Stain, and I had several types, just would not work. After trying several approaches, I finally sprayed on a couple of coats of a dewaxed shellac to seal the wood, sanding between coats lightly. Then I used a thick wipe on stain/poly in walnut and painted it on with wadded paper towel. The wadded paper towel gave the finish the look of wood grain. Took a while and a couple of tries to get it just right. Let all that dry, used the shellac again to seal it, and then put on a varnish. Looked great, and you had to look close to see that it wasn't really wood grain. Way too nice looking for an old single shot worth $25 on a good day, but my buddy was pleased, as was the grandson that got the rifle.

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