What is gel stain? It’s basically a thicker, pudding-like stain, that is much more forgiving to work with than your typical, watery stain. PLUS, you don’t need to sand it down to a bare finish to use it like you would for a typical stain. Yay for gel stain!!
The biggest downside is the drying time. That could also be a plus because it give you more time to work with before the wood absorbs it.
But would it work on my honey oak bathroom cabinets??
Oh yes oh yes oh yes! (it’s the big Charleston contest…I couldn’t resist)
Here’s what I did:
1. you barely need to sand them down. Just to rough them up a little, I used a fine-medium grit and lightly went over them. Then clean them off with a wet rag. If they are really dirty, use a good degreasing cleaner.
2. use a foam brush to apply the gel stain with the grain of the wood.
3. You can apply more, or wipe some off, depending on the look you are going for. As you can see, I experimented. I ended up using one good coat of Old Masters gel stain in Spanish oak and left it at that to dry.
4. Let it dry~this is the hardest step!
Try to be patient… it took a good 3 days for it to be fully dry in our bathroom, but we do live in a state with high humidity.
We also used the same staining processs on our bathroom shelves above the toilet:
5. For extra protection, especially with kids banging stools up to the cabinets, I would seal them with a few coats of polyurethane.
It feels like we got a new vanity and shelves for a little $8 can of gel stain.
The handles are from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. I used some of Martha’s hardware in my kitchen too and have loved them. (no affiliation with any of these products)
Any questions?? Have you tried gel stain?