Gel Stain question

cheyjohn_z5November 2, 2007

I am very much a novice, so please bear with me. I saw a show on HGTV the other day where they went over a finished wood floor with gel stain to darken the wood. I have hard wood floors but don't like the light color. I doubt I would be able to do the whole refinishing of them so have left the carpet down for now. When I saw this show, it gave me hope.

Would I just wipe the stain on and then off to get a darker wood. Would the floors have to be prepped at all. How long before we could walk on them? Sorry for all the questions. We have a VERY small house and my husband is handicapped, so I need to know some things before I can try this. Thanks!

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Gel stain is not a finish.
It requires protection under a top coat or it will wear off very quickly (and unevenly).

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:56AM
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And I forgot to mention that they said that on the show. Thanks for reminding me! I think I am going to give this a try in a corner of the room and see how it goes.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 1:01PM
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You didn't say what kind of finish is on the floor now. If it's a varnish or polyurethane, or even an old wax finish (like I had to do when I was a kid!), it's gonna have to come off before you can stain.

You need to get someone with some experience to look at it.

Good luck, John

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:26PM
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What you would be doing with the gel stain is a glaze - a color between coats of finish. You will have to prep the floor by cleaning and scuff sanding so you get good adhesion of your top coat (and you do need the top coat, as stated above). It will add more color but particularly will accentuate the grain pattern by lodging in the pores.

There is also a limit of how much darker you can go with a glaze before you start to get a muddy appearance.

I generally let a glaze dry 24 hours before applying a top coat, too soon and you will have adhesion problems.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 6:56PM
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I really want it just to be darker and from watching this show, it seemed (seemed?) like it would work. They didn't sand the finish before applying and this is why it caught my attention. If I have to sand with a machine, it's not gonna happen. And I definitely don't want a muddy finish. Thanks for all of your help. I guess I better do some more research before attempting this.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 6:27AM
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Scuff sanding a LIGHT hand sanding. Like all finish procedures, a sample to test procedures and products before committing to your final project is always in order.

You should read Bob Flexner's "Understanding Wood Finishes" (2nd edition) comments on glazing.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 10:57PM
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Thanks, I will do that!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 7:29AM
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