Dave-0 Registered User

Does anyone have any recommendations of how to slightly darken the stock of a shotgun. I bought a Beretta 686E Sporting a year or so back and it’s a perfect gun but from an aesthetic point of view, I think that the wood is too light in colour. I was thinking of trying some sort of rub on wax. Nothing too drastic, just something i can do myself. Has anyone tried something similar?

CJhaughey Registered User

Traditionally a dark wood stain was made from Walnut hulls, put them in rainwater and then boil them down with a nail in the pot.
This makes a dark stain that will darken wood.
Your stock is probably sealed with a wax/lacquer and may need to be stripped back before you can darken it.

1 person has thanked this post

What finish do beretta use on their shotgun stocks ? I always thought they used tru-oil which is a oil/varnish finish , if it is then the original finish would have to be removed , it could be an awful lot of work for very little gain.

Dave-0 Registered User

You are correct, I have no intention of stripping or taking any chances at all. I would be afraid that I would only make a dogs dinner of it. The original berretta finish does appear to be varnished. I need to have a look in a few hardware stores to see if there is any darkened bees wax / French polish type stuff. I could try a bit on the inside of the forearm stock and if it’s ok go for the whole lot.


there is nothing that will work on a varnished finish in my experience if you want to darken it it you will have to remove the varnish and go for a stain or an oil finish with a bit of colour in it


The british gunmakers used to use a substance called alkanet root dye , it gives a red colour to the stock and they finished with boiled linseed oil , the problem with the linseed oil is it oxidizes with contact with the air and darkens , thats why old shotguns have such dark wood.
The tru-oil used by beretta is not an oil finish as such, but a very thin varnish. I don't know what removes it though. If you look up guitar building websites they will have information on using tru-oil as its very popular as a guitar finish.

pedroeibar1 Registered User

I agree 100% with Rowa / Landkeeper.
Berretta use an oil finish on most of their stocks – that would have to be removed first, then stain applied and a new oil finish built up. Not difficult, but time-consuming. Alternatively you could buy an aftermarket stock & forend – they start at about USD500-600 for Beretta and increase in price according to quality / grain of the wood.
You would be wasting money & time putting anything on top of what is there already.

BIG BANG Registered User

There is a chap that makes gun stocks in Enniscorthy Co Wexford. He might be able to advise you on what to do. He has a web site www.gunstocks.ie

1 person has thanked this post

Want to share your thoughts?

Login here to discuss!