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Finnish Pine Tar Finish -Images Missing-

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Finnish Pine Tar Finish -Images Missing-

#1 Post by Zeliard » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:55 pm

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The finish is pretty easy but does take time.

Here is what you will need.
Pine Tar.
And a 6oz container that can be sealed. I like a glass jar with a large top. As long as you keep it sealed up, the pine tar will last a very long time.

This is the Pine Tar that I use. You can find it on Ebay.


I mix the Pine Tar 50/50 with the turpentine. Approx. 2 oz. of Pine Tar is all that you will need to do one stock. It goes a long way.
Hand rub in a good coat until it is very sticky.
Allow it to dry for 3 or 4 days and then hand rub in a thin coat of Turpentine and allow it to dry, this may take 2 to 4 days.
After it is dry apply a 2nd coat of the pine tar mix and allow it to dry. This can take from 3 to 7 days.
Once it is dry apply the Tom's mix.
I had some computer trouble and lost a lot of pic's. :oops:
But here are some that Rising44 took once he put the stock back on his rifle.





Hi Gunny. I have no experience with the pine tar, so this may be one of those stupid questions, but.... will this produce those awesome color variations that look like burn marks on some Finnish stocks?


Not a stupid question at all.
The color variations are common in old growth Brich, sometimes called Flaming.
If the stock has any in the wood, the Pine Tar will bring it out.
You can help bring it out a little more by staining the stock with a redish brown or brown stain and then buff the stock with steel wool to remove most of the stain. The softer areas of the wood will have soaked in stain a little deeper and those will stay a little darker.


Would a pine tar finish look awkward on a Russian 91/30 stock? Anyone tried it? I've got a shooter I'm going to refinish in the spring...


You will find some Finn captured 91/30s that have pine tar finishes on them.
I have a barreled action coming in and the stock that I want to put on it needs to be refinished. I am thinking about putting a pine tar finish on it.


I'm in the middle of applying this mix to my Finned M-91 and it's not only very easy to do, I love the smell! You only need a very little bit of turpentine to hand rub the stock down, and when I say a very little bit, I'm talking about a dozen times or so dipping a couple fingertips in. My stock is looking awesome already!


I have used Brickmore brand pine tar with good results. On the thin side, and it produces a warm golden light brown stain. If you want thicker and a dark brown use the above that is shown. Never argue with the gunny. And look at that stock =D> =D> I have used it on a Finn and wood trunks. see Jamestown

https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/u ... do?pid=173


I did a post on Pine Tar a few years ago on just what the Finns used. You can buy Pine Tar at any equine supply store. It's very inexpensive to purchase.


I'm doing Candyman's pine tar finish and I've just put on the first coat of the pine tar / turpentine mix a few hours ago - I'm assuming that the sheen will decrease over the next few days as it dries correct?

Also, I'm just curious as to the purpose of the turpentine only coat between coats of the pine tar? take off the excess?


The sheen will decrease when it's dry and even more after you wax it.

The purpose of the turpentine only coat between coats of the pine tar is to help dry the pine tar. Yes it will remove some of the pine tar, but try not to rub it too much.


Is there a big difference between the Swedish Pine Tar and the Finnish stuff (no jokes about accents you guys hehe)? Or can they be interchanged?


There are other brands of Pine Tar on the market and other products that have pine tar in them. I find that if you use the closest thing to what was used back in the day, your results will be better.

Here is something that I think will help. When the Finns stored rifles they coated them with pine tar. This was to protect them in the same way that cosmoline is used. Some rifles were stored for a long time, but many were issued. Now it would be very hard to use a weapon coated in pine tar, so the rifles were cleaned with turpentine or some other solvent to remove the pine tar. This would leave a very nice finish on the stocks. Now while the rifles were in use a wax was applied to the stocks to protect them. As far as I know the Finns did not have a set forumla for the wax mix they used. I had a friend that I went to bootcamp and infantry training school with back in 1982. While in infantry training school in CA. we would visit his uncle. His uncle was in his 60s or 70s and had served in the Finn army. We shot the bull about the military and he told me that we had it easy when it came to cleaning rifles. He said that they had to apply a wax mixture made with pine tar to their wooden rifle stocks.
So remember that when you are applying a pine tar finish, you are trying to duplicate what took years in some cases. So by cutting the pine tar with turpentine you make it thinner without breaking it down. This allows the pine tar to soak into the wood. The turpentine also helps to dry the pine tar. By allowing a very thin coat of pine tar to dry on the surface, you start to duplicate that old built up finish. Waxing the stock with Tom's 1/3 mix or his new Finn mix gives you a top coat that is very close to what the finns used.

Here is another way to apply a Pine Tar finish.
#1 Apply a heave coat of Pine Tar to your stock.
#2 Hang it in the barn for a year or two.
#3 Clean and wax it. Your done. :wink:


I followed this recipe on my mosin stock a year or so back and it wound up looking pretty good, if a little light in colour.

Sooo my question would be, given the above, could I improve/darken it further by repeated application now the first has had the chance to 'soak' for a bit, or would I be getting diminishing returns, chasing my tail so to speak?

As an aside I certainly wasn't expecting the gentle pine tar aroma to be quite so powerful, think any further application will have to be carried out in the shed rather than the kitchen lest I provoke the wrath of herself once more! :shock: That said the fragrance has mellowed quite astonishingly and that stock smells absolutely fantastic now


Applying more coats of pine tar will not get the stock much darker.
The trouble is that most Mosin stocks are made of Birch. Birch runs in color from an almost white to a med browm. Birch being a hard wood, it dose not soak up color to good.

If you want your stock to have a darker color, you will need to stain it first. You will need to use an alcohol base dye or a water base stain.

For a water stain your stock must be clean and dry. Rit #25 will work great. Just stain the stock and allow it to dry for 30 min to an hour. the color will dry very dull. you will need to buff the stock with 0000 steel wool. Remember that the more you buff the lighter base color you will get. Then just apply the pine tar as listed above.

For alcohol base dye. Med Brown leather dye will give you a redish brown color and dark brown will give you more of a walnut color. Apply the dye, allow to dry for 30 to 40 min and then lightly buff with steel wool, then apply the pine tar.


I have found that the application of heat helps in penetration of the pine tar. I've never tried a second time, though.

There are at least two ways to get heat on the stock. One is to use a heat gun like painters use. The other is to do the Pine Tar in the summer and use the sun's heat. I did that, and I made a cheap little oven out of some scrap corrugated tin. I used string to bend the tin into a U shape, then put the stock in there slathered in Pine Tar, and I kept applying until none would penetrate.
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