It is basically four steps:
1. Take down -
This one is obvious, but I do want to add that it's important to strip off the factory layer of substance on the wood.
I would use a "fine" steel wool to get that top layer off or your stain/sealant will not absord into the wood. I would recommend against any sandpaper as it just strips off too much wood.
2. Stain -
In my case, I chose to use a Red Oak stain. This process actually takes a day per coat, so two days for me. I really wanted a rich wood color and not a "looks like a stain" color, if that makes sense at all.
3. Seal -
I used Tung Oil for this. I've seen others use everything from lacquers to deck sealers. This is just an important step to preserve the wood.
For this step, I chose to do three coats, so it took three days of drying (mandatory 12 hours per coat). I went with a low gloss, so that I didn't have the shiny stock look.
I wanted to improve the aesthetics a tad, but I figure it is an AK afterall; it should be a little rough around the edges.
A special note: hit it with the steel wool after each coat before the last, so that you get a smooth finish.
4. Reassembly -
This gun has simple parts and a simple structure. It is a piece of cake to take down and put back together. Some of the wood may have "loosened" during the stain soaking steps, so fitting may be tighter.
This post was edited on 4/15 at 8:17 am