How To Gel Stain Wood Furniture

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It's easy and affordable to update wood furniture with stain. Wood stains come in many different colors from cherry to coffee, find the one that suits your decor needs and you're ready to give new life to a favorite household piece.

How To Gel Stain Wood Furniture

Check out this video and tips in this article on how to flip a piece of furniture using gel stain from Minwax.


Prep The Piece

Start off by using a medium grit sanding sponge to gently rough up the piece of furniture. Make sure any spots that are scratched or chipped get some extra attention with the sanding sponge. This way when the stain is applied those spots don't stand out after you are drying. Once the piece is completely sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it dry for 15 minutes.

Prep Yourself and the Work Space

When working with stain and it's family of products it's best to do so in a well ventilated area. Make sure windows and doors are open to keep air flow going.  If you are working indoors, set up two fans in the room. The first will be used to bring fresh air into the space, while the other will blow the fumes out to another room. Next, put a drop cloth down on the space you plan to work so you're not ruining floors or a table during this project.  Avoid getting stain on your clothes and hands by wearing an apron and gloves.

Give It A Test If You Are Unsure

If it's your first time using stain or unsure if the wood surface you are using is good for stain, then there is nothing wrong with testing it!  Use the bottom of the piece or an area that is hardly or not seen to test the process out. You being comfortable with the process and happy with its outcome is key.

Start With A Wood Conditioner

Not only are wood pores irregular, they can absorb stain unevenly sometimes. Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner helps reduce the blotchiness that can occur when staining wood furniture. Use a natural bristle brush and apply the wood conditioner. It's fast and easy and will help give you the piece of mind that the stain will have a better end result.

Start Staining

After you have waited the specified dry time on the wood conditioner, you are now ready to gel stain the furniture. You can use a natural bristle brush to apply the stain. Make sure when applying the stain you are going in the same direction as the wood grain. Step back often to make sure there are no drips or runs of the stain and fix those before they dry. Next, follow up with a clean rag and wipe the furniture down, once again going in the direction of the wood grain. Wiping the piece down helps remove any excess stain. Take a look at the piece after 8-10 hours. If you want a deeper color on the wood, you can apply after a second coat after the 8-10 hours.

Apply A Clear Coat

Once you have achieved the look and color you want out of your stain you need to apply a polyurethane clear coat. This should be applied 24 hours after you have applied your last gel stain coat. By applying the protective finish you are able to help ensure the piece can withstand everyday wear and tear on the piece.
Published on 1/11/2021.
Always follow manufacturer's instructions before using any product.
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