Staining kitchen and bath cabinets - gel or real stain?

karynNovember 15, 2012

On the surface it looks like gel stains are more "paint like" than actual stain - though I've never worked with it to tell for sure. We'd like to try doing a little staining of hideous cabinets as face lifts - and then escalate to doing more if it works well.

With both you need to clean the surface and sand previously finished cabinets.

Actual stain might take a little or a LOT more sanding?

Both seem to need top coats which would optimally be sprayed on for best result. (no brush strokes)

So what's the difference then - the few (amateur user) gel project samples I've seen looked like badly painted cabinets - uneven color with brush strokes all over. It would be nice if the finished look more wood-like than painted on.

And what about Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations? This looks even MORE like thinly veiled marketing of expensive PAINT. Or is it just their branded gel?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sloyder

regular stain penetrates into the pores of the wood, whereas the gel stain sits on the top. Yes gel stain can be like a paint if you apply it as such.

When I apply gel stain I just put a small amount on a rag,and buff it on.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karyn

Thanks - so if you sand unevenly even slightly will the amount that soaks in (or not soaks in) cause uneven staining? Seems like it would, so then the difference in prep work would be just roughing up the surface for gel and sanding down to bare wood for stain perhaps?

These are the cabinets we're thinking about doing - same ones in all bathrooms too - so we would start on one of those first to test it out.

Yes that bathroom is hideous \- we are just buying this house and will fix it up.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 7:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sloyder

If you are using regular stain, then you have to strip down to the bare wood.

Gel stain you should be able to clean the surface, and remove the topcoat,lightly sand surface, then apply the stain.

I believe that the entire cabinet should be stripped down regardless of the stain, in that way the stain will bond well with the surface.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karyn

Thanks again sloyd - very helpful info!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 3:28AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Table saw for hobby work.
I searched this question on here and I did find a few...
greenhavenrdgarden
protecting black walnut salt and pepper mill
Hi all, Just got a set of gorgeous discontinued William...
frodiggs
Finish for mantle
We had someone make a mantle from pine and while it's...
Jennifer White Green
Fence construction & what to use for finish
My fence is coming along nicely! Started last fall...
kashka_kat
southern yellow pine ceilings - how to tone down yellow
Hi, all. We are currently building: natural cherry...
hjs
Sponsored Products
Westek Under Cabinet Lighting Fluorescent White Convertible Light Outlet
$26.23 | Home Depot
Stirling Three-Light Brushed Nickel Bath Light
$159.30 | Bellacor
Remer by Nameeks H02US Tub Spout - REMER H02US
$327.00 | Hayneedle
American Imaginations Bathroom Wall Mount Rectangle Vessel Sink in White for
Home Depot
24 Inch Brushed Nickel Towel Bar
TheBathOutlet
Eurostyle Laurence Leather High File Cabinet in Black Leather & Chrome
Beyond Stores
Anti-Limestone Rain Shower Head in Chrome Finish
TheBathOutlet
Kichler Transitional Bath Vanity Light
1800Lighting
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™