How to Refinish Your Gunstock Using Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil

How to Refinish Your Gunstock Using Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil


Do you have an old, wooden rifle stock that could use a little love? Try using the Birchwood Casey Gun Stock Finish to bring your firearm back to life.

Using the finishing kit, you can easily refinish your rifle stock yourself. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Birchwood Casey Gun Stock Finish
  • Clean Rags
  • 0000 Steel Wool
  • Sandpaper Grits: 120/180, 280, 400
  • Wood Filler (if you have extensive damage)
  • Gun Cleaning Mat


First, remove the stock from your rifle. It is much easier to handle the stock during the refinishing process if it has been taken off first, and this will prevent any accidental damage to the barrel or action as well.

After the stock is removed, the most effective way to remove the old finish is to sand it by hand. While this may seem tedious, this not only takes off the old finish, but sets the stage for the new one. While doing this crucial step:

  • Be patient
  • Be sure to follow the grain of the wood
  • Use a sanding block to keep an even sand
  • Start with a coarser grain and work down to a finer grain


Once you have sanded off the old finish, look for any remaining scratches or gouges. If there are any, fill those in with a wood filler. 

After letting the filler dry, sand down the spots that have just been filled so that the rifle’s stock is even and smooth. 


Often, by adding some water to a walnut stain, the stain will dilute for a lighter colored stain. To get the color that you want, just add water and spot test the stain on a piece of scrap wood until the right consistency is achieved. If you decide you like the darker stain, no water is necessary. 

For most refinishing applications, a 50/50 water/stain mixture is just about right, but this depends on your personal preference and the original color of the stock.

Apply the walnut stain with a clean, dust-free cloth and let it dry overnight. After waiting at least 24 hours, use very fine steel wool to lightly remove any dust that may have settled while drying before moving on to the next step. 


Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil is sometimes easier to apply to your rifle stock using bare fingers. Tru-Oil can also be poured into a small paper or plastic cup to keep the oil from skinning over, making it easier to apply one drop at a time.  After finishing your first coat, hang your stock to dry for 24 hours. A few additional tips:

  • Use gliding strokes
  • Start with the least amount of oil - a little oil goes a long way
  • Rub the oil over small areas and gradually expand
  • Rub until your finger starts to feel tacky
  • Blend each stained portion together for a consistent look


After your stock has dried, rub it down with extra fine sandpaper or fine steel wool. Again, this removes any dust that settled and will help remove oil runs. Repeat steps 4 and 5 several times until 4 - 5 coats of Tru-Oil have been applied.


After you have applied all the layers of Tru-Oil to get the finish you want, let your rifle stock cure for at least a week before adding a satin finish using the Stock Sheen & Conditioner. 

The Stock Sheen will make the rifle stock less glossy, and it will make it a bit slippery. This can be a bit of a personal preference, as some people like a smooth, almost slick finish, and others don’t. For those that don’t, doing a final run-over of your rifle stock with fine steel wool will help dull the gloss left over from the Tru-Oil. 

With a little bit of time and elbow grease, it's easy to revitalize an old stock that’s been sitting in your gun cabinet for years. Now you are ready to enjoy your refinished rifle stock. 

The Birchwood Casey Gun Stock Finish Kit from Numrich is the industry’s best kit for revitalizing an old gun stock and is highly recommended by gunsmiths. 

If you need to remove rust or reblue the finish from an old firearm, Numrich's collection of Birchwood Casey supplies has everything you need to restore your antique or aging firearms.