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  #1  
Old 06-05-2003, 10:07 PM
M1991A1 M1991A1 is offline
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How to darken wood grips?




I have some walnut grips from Houge that I would like to darken. My brother has a pair that are real dark from Houge and I'd like mine to be that dark. I read that they will darken if left in sunlight, but it doesn't seem to be working. Anybody know another way? Maybe I haven't left them in the sun long enough, so far two days.
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Old 06-05-2003, 10:33 PM
gigi*riva gigi*riva is offline
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Have you tried staining them? Minwax makes a "dark walnut" or "colonial walnut" or somesuch that is quite dark. There are so many makes and colors for stain these days I can't imagine you NOT finding a suitable color...
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Old 06-06-2003, 02:40 PM
M1991A1 M1991A1 is offline
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The reson I put them in the sun to darken them is because the Ahrends grips I recently got say "Exotic woods are quite sensitive to sunlight and will darken in time". I may have misunderstood this, but I thought if I put them out in the sun that they would darken. Anyway, I went and got some Minwax stain and will try it out afterwhile.
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:40 PM
JiminCA JiminCA is offline
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They will darken with use. Sweat on em a bit.

Other than that, they're probably from a lighter piece of wood than your brother's and that's just what you got.
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Old 06-06-2003, 08:12 PM
M1991A1 M1991A1 is offline
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Used the stain, and I got to admit I did a pretty good job(thanks to 8th grade shop class). Anyway, they came out the darkness I wanted, left the stain on for 5 minutes and wiped it off. Do any of you guys know how long I should let them dry before putting them back on my pistol?
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Old 06-06-2003, 08:32 PM
gigi*riva gigi*riva is offline
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Indeed they should...wait as long as the stain manufacturer says to wayt before applying final finish...then oil em up with boiled linseed, tung oil, or tru-oil...I'd personally avoid the urethanes or other varnishes that build-up...
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:55 PM
yucapote yucapote is offline
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Quote:
How to darken wood grips?
paint them
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:16 PM
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Scooter .45 Scooter .45 is offline
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I make cocobolo grips out of 1/4 thick stock that has the dark orange/brownish color on the outside and after working them down, they can be pretty light on the inside. After 2 or 3 days in the sun (before applying finish) they take on that darker orange color that everybody loves in cocobolo. I've even put them under a swing arm lamp with 60w bulb inches away and that makes them darker too. Strange but true.

Never noted that with the walnut, but some finishes bring out the natural wood color better than others. Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil is a good inexpensive finish, $4.97 from Walmart. Some gunstock manufs. use automotive clear coat for a durable, high quality non-yellowing finish.

On walnut I've found the BC makes them darker and prettier than auto clear coat.
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  #9  
Old 06-10-2003, 02:48 PM
Bobster Bobster is offline
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Cocobolo wood has oil in the fibers which rises to the surface after sanding or what ever. The will then be fine and will even glossy up. I sanded a set of grips with 1500 grit , let them cure for a few days and hand buffed them with rag, and they are like glass, and the grain is bright, contrasted and colorful.
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Old 06-12-2003, 08:13 AM
dodah dodah is offline
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I took my Cocobolo's and stained them in black. When they dried they turned a beautiful dark, dark, black cherry.
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Old 06-12-2003, 08:50 AM
Bobster Bobster is offline
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Dodah, that's sounds great. I do like dark wood. I wanted ebony grips, but it seems they come in black and brown stripes as is most ebony. The staining sounds cool. I have dark mahogany (old) on my S&W police magnum and it is a stunning combo.

Other ideas?
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Old 06-12-2003, 09:44 AM
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If you're interested, I have gaboon ebony which is considered the blackest variety. You have to look extremely close and have a good imagination to see anything other than solid black. Don't mind hand-selecting as black a cut as possible for a set, just let me know.
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Old 06-12-2003, 10:52 AM
Bobster Bobster is offline
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Thanks Scott, I'm on the way to your site
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2003, 03:56 PM
duncan duncan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by gigi*riva
Have you tried staining them? Minwax makes a "dark walnut" or "colonial walnut" or somesuch that is quite dark. There are so many makes and colors for stain these days I can't imagine you NOT finding a suitable color...
stain them

or the polyurethene spray also darkened up some tulipwood grips just nice for me!
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  #15  
Old 06-13-2003, 09:14 PM
M1991A1 M1991A1 is offline
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I stained them last week with minwax dark walnut. They turned out great and the next day I got some satin poly(something or other) and sealed them. I'm still waiting for the back side to dry, but so far they look real good. Thanks for the advice guys.
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:43 PM
Pochos Pochos is offline
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How to darken Kimber Custom Raptor II grips

Gents,
I just received my new Raptor Custom II what a beauty !
I would like to darken the grips but I am wondering if they are sealed from the factory..and this will cause the stain to become less effective. My predicament is that the Raptor Grips have an unique pattern not easy to find aftermarket.
Thank you for your comments.
[email protected]
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  #17  
Old 06-09-2011, 07:47 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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I like Tru-oil for things, but you have to be careful when applying it to things that are checkered. If you just wipe it on and let it dry. You will get a grip that has a sheen to it that while nice on some things looks poorly on something checkered. The use of a tooth brush on checkering gets a nicer finish.

I did a pair of K-frame service grips that look great after using the tooth brush.
The checkering is nice and matte, while the smooth part of the grips has a decent sheen to it.

I also re finished a pair of smooth K-frame target grips.
Three of four applications of Tru-oil, with buffing in between.
Two coats of the Birchwood Casey sheen cutter, then a hand waxing turned out an extremely attractive pair of target grips. They were trashed before I started.

The one thing I did that turned out poorly was a pair of 1911 grips.
The wood was Walnut and they were full checkered. The Tru-oil was rubbed on with a soft cloth and when dried looked horrible. I have yet to strip them.

This was the learning experience what led me to the tooth brush.



I did use the the redish colored Minwax on an M1 stock before to get it back to the Springfield red. That worked well. I would recommend it.
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  #18  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:10 PM
old doc old doc is offline
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Minwax now has a stain called " Gunstock ". It is a dark brown with a bit of red in it.
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  #19  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:15 PM
boykinpup boykinpup is offline
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Apply stain to get your desired color, then for an old time finish, put coats of Johnson and Johnson floor paste wax on your grips, then just buff. You wont believe how tuff this finish is, if you get a little scuff, apply more wax and buff again. I have a flintlock rifle stocked by Mr. Hartly 40 years ago, he used this finish on this stock and it still looks great, rain, sun, snow, just add more wax and buff. Good to go.
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  #20  
Old 06-10-2011, 09:49 AM
Michael C Michael C is offline
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I will throw in my 2 cents....I use alcohol based leather dye to stain gun stocks for the last few years. I do alot of military rifles and it works better than any stain I have found. Dark brown or med brown and thin it with alcohol. Light coats until the desired color is achieved. It's hard to take out of the wood so go easy at first. Walnut sometimes likes a little conditioner so I use Boiled Linseed Oil with turpentine first.
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  #21  
Old 06-10-2011, 03:12 PM
Plaidad Plaidad is offline
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M1991A -
Walnut does not darken from sunlight, it actually fades. You can see this on antique furniture. Walnut furniture that sits by a window long enough almost turns blonde.

Several companies make tints for wood - Trans-tint is one, Behlen is another. I think this would be your best bet.

George
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2011, 09:18 PM
smoothy8500 smoothy8500 is offline
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+1 on Micheal C's alcohol based leather dye. It works great on walnut stocks.
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  #23  
Old 06-11-2011, 09:58 PM
Dave Waits Dave Waits is offline
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I tried the Feibings Leather dye, didn't like it. Looks way too phoney. It would probably shock alot of younger Military collectors to know that the Gov't Arsenals, especially SA never used any kind of Stain on grips or stocksets. Up until early 1943 they dipped them in tanks(Large) of heated BLO for two minutes, brought them out and hung them til they stopped dripping and then they went to a drying room. After early 43 they switched to Tung-Oil and used it until Springfield Armory closed.
But, nobody wants a new-looking Stockset or grips, so they dye them with stain to give them that old look, then cover them with some kind of oil, usually the unauthentic BLO.

What I use(And, I'm certainly not saying it's the only way) is Minwax Special Walnut Stain and then Minwax Tung-oil finish over that, usually four coats. gives a nice medium-dark Walnut color with a hint of red. Works equally well on Walnut or Rosewood grips too. I know this isn't the right forum for it but, here's my Match-Rifle done this way.

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