Gel staining cabinets!

lmead11October 16, 2012

Hi everyone! This is my first time posting here, but I've been "stalking" the forum for awhile now.

I'm so thankful for this forum because it gave me the idea to gel stain my cabinets. I've been wanting to give my kitchen a little face lift but didn't have a lot of money to do so. My husband and I just got married about a month ago and have decided with some of the money we got that we'd begin the face lift! We're going to get new appliances, hardwood floors and new countertops. Then I stumbled upon celtic moon's tutorial on gel staining and decided I had to try! I needed a test subject first though to make sure the process was really as easy as everyone made it seem. So I did the gel stain on our small bathroom cabinet. We were planning on replacing it with a pedestal sink in the future so if it turned out horrible it wasn't a big deal. actually turned out so good!! I'm so excited and am really thinking about doing the kitchen too.

Here some before and afters of the bathroom.


First coat... streaky and ugly, yikes!

First coat

Second coat.. looking much better!

And the finished product!!

Before & after

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Terrific job! Looks great.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Great transformation. And, who is that photographer in the mirror???

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Looks great! What brand and color did you use? I want to do this in our bathroom and family room but want something with some red for the bathroom and something a little lighter for the family room.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 1:59PM
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I used General Finishes in Java. It was so easy!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 2:08PM
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I used General Finishes in Java. It was so easy!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Looks terrific -- nice job!! Can't wait to see your kitchen transformation. (I'm in the middle of refinishing my kitchen table with General Finishes java. It really is easy!)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 3:34PM
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thx for posting the brand you used. I want to try this for my kitchen maybe in the spring. On my last trip to Lowe's I stopped in the 'stain' area and looked around a bit but didn't see anything (that jumped out at me) that I thought could be the 'gel stain' people here post about. Since I didn't need it yet I just went on to get the things I was really there to get.

But now I can start looking there again and get an idea of my 'color' options. I want a light 'color' for my kitchen.

Yours looks great tho - and the new hardware really sets it off. Good update!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 3:36PM
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ooooo NICE!

I feel like the proud teacher at a graduation party!

FWIW, my kitchen is still looking good after 6+ years. Probably time for a second round of touching up in a few places. It was supposed to be just a temporary fix, but I still really like the look of heavy oak graining and a very dark finish with the light counters.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Celticmoon- You should feel proud, yours was the tutorial that I followed!! I combined your tutorial with a blogger who I found that also gel stain her bathroom cabinets but they were very similar instructions. Thank you so much for posting your tutorial on here!! I went a little too heavy I think with the stain because they are really dark. I think if I decide to do the kitchen I will try to not go as thick. What kind of poly did you use? I used poly/acrylic satin and they are really shiny.. I don't know if I will like the super shine in my kitchen..

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Nice job changing that 1980's oak.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Great job - love the picture taker also!! Wow - I better not show my DH your DIY or we might have to do the same thing - same oak from the 80's - Actually, seeing what you did - I might just do that in 2 of the bathrooms - the third has laminate for cabinets.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:48PM
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