Hi guys. I took on my first stock refinishing job last week. It's a walnut stock on a Rem 700. Instead of stripping i sanded the whole thing, turned out looking very nice. The original finish had completely warn off of the checkering so that made it easy. I bought a pint of semi-gloss Minwax Helmsman polyurethane to coat it with and also bought a spray can of the exact same stuff. I used the spray can for the checkering and used a small foam brush for applying to the rest of the stock. I applied about 3 coats sanding with 220 in between to get good adhesion. I wasn't happy with the finish so a sanded lightly again and sprayed the whole thing this time- man I should have done that to begin with, looked much nicer and smoother. I noticed now with about 4-5 really good coats on this thing it looks pretty good but it has a slightly rough feel to it and I would like to be able to remove the slight roughness but not lose the shine that I have. What would you recommend at this stage for a finishing polish up that will smooth it out and really shine things up? Really fine wet sand then automotive polish? Appreciate your experienced opinions.
Well, I didn't hear from anyone so I went ahead and polished this thing out tonight. I ended up wet sanding the final coat with 1500 grit. This definately smoothed it out but of course took some shine out of the finish. I went over it with automotive Turtle Wax Polishing Compound and that brought back about 90 percent of the shine (darker) color. I got all carried away and put 2 coats of regular Turtle Wax on it too. She's as smooth as glass now and looks pretty darn good for a first refinish job. I definately learned a few things that I would do differently on the next job. Like spray all coats rather than brush on and sand with much finer sandpaper than 220 between coats as well.
Don't know how I missed this thread or I would have responded sooner as well..
Here's my .02 cents..
On bare wood, I apply oil, my own custom mix, with my fingers. After about 10 coats or so, I wet sand with mineral spirits and 600 grit paper. I repeat this process until I have the finish to my liking. Usually about 40-60 coats. Then I wet sand again with 600 paper and mineral spirits.. I then hang the stock and start spraying my final coats. This will allow you to apply the last few coats about as near perfect as you can. After a few coats, then wet sand... I usually work my way to 6000 grit paper in the final stages of sanding. There are a few different techniques for the final buffing. Some use pumice, some use rottenstone... Without giving any trade "secrets" away, I do not use either, nor do I use wax. I have developed a method of hand rubbing in the final stages that is sure to please...I can bring the stock to a high gloss or tone it down to a satin/matte finish with all the beauty and depth the piece of wood deserves. Wood has heart and soul, and a proper finish will allow the piece to speak for itself.
Hope this helps..
"Character is who you are when nobody is watching"