Gel stain help - big project!

canuck88May 4, 2009

Hi all,

I've seen some impressive results from celticmoon and others who have used gel stain over top of previously finished wood.

I have a huge project I am planning to undertake with this method - a large circular solid oak staircase. The staircase is currently a light golden oak color, and I'd like to 'stain' it a darker shade. I'm opting to try this method because painting the balusters, risers, etc. would be such a travesty since it is such beautiful wood.

I also can't strip it and start over - there are 80+ spindles, and it would take a lifetime (or $$$$).

Luckily there is a carpet runner, so I can test everything out under where the runner is.

Here are my questions:

1. Using a brush to apply the gel stain on the spindles will be very difficult - is it possible to use a cloth or sponge to get the same effect? Using a brush on the treads, risers, and handrail would not be a problem.

2. Can a wipe-on poly be used on top of this gel stain finish? Again, I was thinking of using a wipe-on poly for all areas except the treads (on which I would use a more heavy-duty finish).

3. The only stain that is available in my area is Minwax. Any tips on working with this specific stain?

4. Am I crazy for trying to take this on? lol


PS - cross-posted to home decorating

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I don't use gel stains as a glaze, but I know people that do.

There are plenty of places you can order glaze or gel stain from, so don't believe you are stuck with Minwax.

If the gel stain is oil-based and it is flashing off too quickly for you to manipulate, you can add a tablespoon or two of mineral spirits per pint as a retarder.

Here is a link that might be useful: glazing techniques

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 9:00PM
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