SOS--- gel stain all blotchy

nosoccermomOctober 2, 2012

I finally got around putting Great Finishes gel stain Java on my oak bathroom vanity. The side is the plasticy kind of melamine. After sanding and putting the gel on with a sock, it's all blotchy and stripy. Do I just wait for it to dry and add several more coats, or do I remove it and go with a regular paint? It feels like the gel is just sitting on the surface. Help!

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lindac

You are putting gel stain on melamine?? It won't work as you have found....wipe it off and maybe paint will stick.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:49PM
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nosoccermom

I don't know whether it's melamine, laminate, or foil. They are builder grade oak cabinets, solid frames and doors, and smooth, "fake" oak on the sides.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:59PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Like lindac said: "It won't work as you have found....wipe it off and maybe paint will stick."

Key word there being PAINT.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:37PM
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cat_ky

Dont forget to use a bonding primer or the paint wont stick well either. Good Luck

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:43PM
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mahatmacat1

Good bonding primer is crucial. Then paint.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:45PM
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patty_cakes

Definitely prime, but it doesn't need to be oil base.*DO* allow to dry at least 48 hrs. before applying the paint. I wouldn't suggest using the two-in-one primer/paint.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:04PM
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beekeeperswife

I primed first, then used it on the plasticy ends. Why not wait until it is very very dry, touch with your fingernail and make sure not tacky. Then do another coat. See what happens. If it still looks bad, then do the primer.

It takes a long time to dry. Don't be surprised if you wait a week. I know, what a pain. But it's worth it.

Bee

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:42PM
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nosoccermom

Actually, not all is lost. It seems that it's drying and looks not as bad as initially, so thanks so much for the encouragement, Bee :)
Did you wait ONE week before you did the second coat, or altogether? Also, did you use a clear top coat?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:59PM
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beekeeperswife

I did my projects during the heat of the humid summers. And yes, at least a week. Ugh. The GF gel stain--yes to the top coat. The Old Master gel stain--nope. It had a shine to it, and the timing was so tight with listing the house that there was no time to do the top coat. That was our dresser. I think the realtor was taking photos about an hour after we put it in our room. And it is still in good condition, even after the move.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:39PM
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nosoccermom

Well, I'll see what happens. If it fails, I'll sand/strip it off, prime and use paint or gel.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 10:03PM
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terriks

I know that gel stains are used on fiberglass doors, so maybe it will be okay on the melamine/laminate?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 11:02PM
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nosoccermom

Quick update: After the second coat it looks a lot better and can't be wiped off. Bee, what did you use as a top coat?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:25PM
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beekeeperswife

Not being a smart a$$, but the General Finishes Top Coat. :)

really.

I think the satin finish.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:33PM
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tinan

How does gel stain work on non wood surfaces, what is there to "stain" (as in have grain show through) does it just work like paint, then?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:01PM
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nosoccermom

To follow-up. So far, so good. I'm happy with how the bathroom cabinet looks. I put a poly top coat on, and as of now, nothing has come off. On the non-wood surface (the fake wood one), it looks kind of like paint.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:01AM
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