Time between coats of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by wpshooter, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    What have you found to be the proper/sufficient amount of time between coats of applying Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil to a gun stock ?

    The product instructions says 2 hours.

    I am believing that is NOT enough time.

    What is your experience ?

  2. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Dependent upon your ambient conditions, probably not. When I've used TruOil in the past, I let it completely dry then dressed it down with 600-grit and cleaned the surface prior to the next coat.

  3. flintlock

    flintlock Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Upstate NY
    I have let it dry for up to 24 hours, depending temperature and humidity. Like Stone Chimney says, dress it down and apply following coats.
  4. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Another question.

    I read a post on another forum on which the poster said that they recommended SKIPPING the instruction to use steel wool to buff or clean the tru-oil coating on the stock between the first several coats and to only do the buffing/cleaning just before the last coat is to be applied.

    What do you think about this ? Buff lightly with steel wool or something similar between first few applications or not ?

  5. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    I let it dry for 24 hours.Then I lightly hit with 600 grit paper.Each coat I put on ( 6 coats,more if needed I will add up to 10 + coats)I go up on the grit ending with 1000-1200 grit before final coat.After it is dry I give it 2 to 3 coats of a GOOD Carnauba wax.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  6. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    The problem with using steel wool is that people do not have patience. If you attempt to dress down the finish with steel wool while the finish is still the least bit wet the wool will 'shed' into the finish and now you have bits of rustable metal in your finish. The fact that most people put on coats that are WAY too thick just makes the problem worse.

    Here's what you need to do in order to get decent results with Tru-Oil:

    1) Mask off the checkering. Most DIY-ers fill up the checkering with finish and it looks like crap.
    2) Use sanding blocks. Sanding with fingertips causes uneven surfaces and it looks like crap.
    3) Do not oversand the wood so that it doesn't fit the metal any longer. Steam dents up rather than sand the other wood down. You guessed it, looks like crap.
    4) After sanding, use a quality filler and follow the directions exactly. If you don't, the finish will not be smooth and will look like crap.
    5) Let each coat dry thoroughly, then cut the finish down with either fine steel wool or fine-grit abrasive paper to even out the shiny spots.
    6) Use THIN coats. Just enough so that it looks wet when you put it on. Better to use 10 or 15 thin coats than 4 thick coats. Thick coats cause runs and uneven drying, and looks like crap.

    It IS possible to get a very nice finish with Tru-Oil but it is not a quick process. Most people try to short-cut, like the dingus on the other forum, and the result can be spotted across a room. These are the same people that would repaint their car with a roller and latex paint.
  7. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Oh, back to the checkering. Clean it out with the appropriate tool, like a riffler, which will give you the opportunity to straighten it out and repoint it if necessary. Do this AFTER the stock finish is completely cured so that you clean out any finish clogging up the checkering.

    You then can dab a small amount of finish in the checkering with a nylon toothbrush to seal it. Again, very very little goes a long way.

    Older Remington 700's and similar stocks with impressed checkering rather than cut checkering require a different approach but the concept is the same.
  8. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    Those are better instructions that BC has there SC. Just as a consensus, I also wait 24hrs between coats. I've made it before that allowed time before and I just ruined my work.
  9. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Thanks for all the instructions. That is the way that I have decided to go. 24 hours between coats and lightly buff with 0000 steel wool between each coat.

    No checking on these Remington 514 stocks, so not problem there.

    Thanks again.
  10. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Perhaps just my on personal opinion but I think the guy on the other forum was correct regarding SKIPPING the buffing with steel wool or other similar material between coats of Tru-oil.

    I am currently working on 2 different stocks and at least to my eye the finish seems better if you just wait about 24 hours between coats to make sure it is good and dry and then put the next coat directly over the previous coat without doing any buffing.

  11. Hawke

    Hawke Member

    Nov 21, 2010
    Dillon, Montana
    Hi there,

    I just this week finished up a project using exactly that product. I agree with your thoughts. I feel two hours is not enough time as well. I gave mine 24 hours between applications, which was probably more than enough time, but the end result was excellent and was just what I was looking for. On balance, I remember checking the wood in question the morning after I applied the tru oil, and it seemed ready for another application then. This was a difference of about eight hours. The only reason I waited the 24, really, is that's when I had time to apply the stuff. Come home from the gym, chase the kids into bed, apply tru oil, go to bed, wake up, go to work, come home...you see where I'm going with this.

    I use this long, rambling post to say this: try an 8-hour wait between applications. Don't forget a light rub with 00 or 000 steel wool between applications. You might even try wiping the wood with a slightly damp cloth after using the steel wool, to clear up any particulates you may free up with the rubbing. Just my $.02.
  12. EvanB

    EvanB New Member

    Tru-Oil the Professional way

    What Stonechimney said!!! Best instructions I've seen and duplicates my experience. No further advice necessary.
  13. Fatstrat

    Fatstrat Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    I do 12 hrs between coats. Then 24 for final dry time.
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