Gel Stain, Where Have You Been All of My Life?

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  April 30, 2014 — 4 Comments

I’ve been really dragging my feet on refinishing Jack’s new bed. After I realized that sanding it all down to bare wood was going to be unreasonably time consuming I thought that gel stain might be the answer, but I couldn’t find any at Lowe’s and it wasn’t available for free shipping on Amazon. I had read that General Finishes was a respected brand so I visited their website and learned that I could pick some up locally at a wood furniture store (All Wood Furniture on Airline if you’re around here). It was $25 for the quart which is about how much I would have paid online with shipping, but I got to pat myself on the back for supporting a local business.

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The consistency is even thicker than paint. I dare say it could be mistaken for chocolate pudding if it weren’t for the smell.

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I decided to test it out on an inconspicuous area before committing to a big project. I pulled aside one of the rails intending to do just a small area on the inside, but a little went such a long way and it went on so easily that I went ahead and did the entire piece. Here it is compared to another rail. This is without doing ANYTHING to prep, not even a light sanding–the instructions do recommend roughing it up a bit,  but I didn’t. I just brushed on a very, very thin coat with a brush and stood back in amazement.

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Y’all. It’s only going to take me one coat and no sanding to refinish the entire thing. I’m stoked! I tried it out on one of the guard rails that I got partway through stripping and although it did turn out significantly darker the splotchiness is not a big issue like I thought it might be. I can totally live with that, especially since there are four guard rails and I can’t see myself ever using more than two at a time.

I’m hoping to refinish both beds this weekend (if you remember we got them as a pair, but I think we’ll only be using one for now). My plan is to set them both up in the backyard so that I can access all sides without having to flip pieces over while they’re still drying. I’m concerned about where to go from there, though. It says that it needs 14 days to cure–does that mean that it can’t come back into the house for two weeks? It’s times like this I really wish I had a garage.

ALSO, today is the last day to enter the GIVEAWAY for an item of your choosing from Sprigs Jewelry and Accessories! Click here to enter! And if you don’t win you can use code LIVINGWELL10 to get 10% off through Mother’s Day, May 11. Happy Wednesday, my friends!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


4 responses to Gel Stain, Where Have You Been All of My Life?

  1. wow, that looks great! I would guess curing time means more that it won’t stand up to abuse or doesn’t want to be stacked together in that time. Like that sort of tacky finish nail polish has before it’s fully dry? I imagine you could lean the boards against a basement wall (if you have one) or even on your covered porch if it isn’t too humid there yet. I don’t know what actual warm weather would be like this time of year. Some parts of my state got snow yesterday….. :)

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap April 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      OMG snow! It’s an unseasonably cool 71 here today, but in general we only see hot and humid from May through August.

  2. We used gel stain to redo our kitchen cabinets and living room built ins. For stuff that won’t get a lot of use, it works great, but for our kitchen it has chipped like crazy. Now the problem is that I can’t touch it up without it looking bad because the touch ups will be darker where it layers over the old stain around the edges.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap April 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Oh no!!! Do you remember what brand you used? I’m feeling significantly less confident now.

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