Sand & Refinish Wood Pistol Grips

Refinish the wooden grips on your classic pistol.

Sanding and refinishing wooden pistol grips is not difficult, however, it does require attention to detail. The physical effort of sanding the grips – as well as refinishing the grips – is not demanding. However, care and observation is necessary in order to assure the grips’ reconditioning is notable in relation to the condition of the grips prior to the effort or removing an excessive amount of wood from the grips. If refinished properly, reconditioning the grips will remove dings and scratches and add luster to the look of the pistol’s grips while not assaulting their integrity.


1. Remove the grips from the pistol with the screwdriver. If the grips do not fall away from the pistol once the screws are removed, check for additional screws holding the grips to the pistol. If there are not additional screws, use the putty knife to gently pry the grips away from the pistol’s frame.

2. Sand the pistol grips gently with the fine-grit sandpaper by hand, being sure to wear your work gloves. Massage the handle with the sandpaper. Do not use long or rapid strokes. Short, light, circular strokes with the sandpaper will ensure you do not remove more of the surface wood on the handle than absolutely necessary. Best case scenario, you simply remove the teak oil from the surface of the wooden handle and any unwanted nicks or dings.

3. Spray the handles with the air-hose periodically. This will remove the teak oil dust that results from your sanding and expose the original wood. Once you see untreated wood where you have sanded, stop sanding and massage another area. Remove all the teak oil from the grips and clean the grips with the air-hose thoroughly.

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4. Swab the teak oil lightly onto the grips with the 1/2 inch paintbrush. Long strokes are not necessary, as the wooden grips will absorb the oil evenly. Cover the entirety of the grips – front and back – with an even layer of teak oil. Allow the oil to dry. After 24 hours, check the grips. If you like the color and surface feel of the grips, reattach them to the pistol and you are finished. If you would like a darker color or a more even texture, add a second layer of teak oil.