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Be careful on how you apply the oil. If you use the wrong type of cloth it will leave small bits of lint and dust on your stock and is a pain to try to get out. Some use their fingers without any cloth to apply the oil as this leaves a very clean finish.
 
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I've had good results with using a blend of 1/3 oil based stain (whichever colour you like), 1/3 oil based varnish (gloss or semi, whichever you prefer), and 1/3 paint thinner or mineral spirits. It doesn't matter which you use, thinner or mineral spirits as it volatolizes away, leaving only the stain and varnish mix on the wood. Varnish will give you the best protection from water/snow/dirt.

The key here is to remove all the old finish, and have clean, dry wood. Use a finish remover and clean up the wood as required. Good surface prep will give good results. The mixture is very thin, and I rub it on with a rag. Put on one coat per day, for 3 to 5 days, and lightly rub it down with steel wool in between coats. Make sure you clean off all the dust you create from rubbing with steel wool before you put the next coat on. Understand that varnish doesn't like to stick to anything, including dry varnish, so you must rub it down with something abrasive between coats, otherwise it might flake away over time.

Importantly, don't use water based stain or water based varnish. If you do, and there are any steel wool particles left on the stock from rubbing, they will rust and you will have rust spots on your wood. You could use synthetic steel wool or very fine sandpaper if you want to use water based finishes.

It will be obvious when you have enough coats on the stock. When you think you have enough have your wife, or better your girlfriend, take a look at it as it will be a real panty dropper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. The shot guns varish is blistering and flaking off.
 
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