Basic supplies needed for gel staining

Gel staining is a game-changer in the world of DIY. I love it’s thick consistency because it is way less messy. General Finishes is the brand I’m familiar with and am always very happy with the results. This stain stays where you put it- that’s what makes it unique.

I use this stain when giving a “refresh” to veneer, when staining from bare wood and when staining from sanded wood. The biggest thing to remember is that stain will stay on your skin for a LONG time if you get it on yourself. Suggestion – ALWAYS wear gloves!

Here’s what you’ll need before you get started:

  • Krud Kutter cleaner & degreaser – Specifically if you’re staining a surface that has had wear, this cleaner removes what you can see and what you can’t see. Any sort of grease, grime or dirt doesn’t allow the stain to properly adhere to the surface. You’ll be amazed (and also disgusted!) with what comes off. This isn’t needed if you’re staining untreated wood.
  • Gel stain – I use the brand General Finishes. You can visit their store locator to find a retailer near you.
  • Gel stain top coat
  • Stir stick – a lot of the “good” parts of the stain settle at the bottom so giving it a good stir before using it every time.
  • Foam paint brushes – You can buy them at any hardware store but sometimes you get lucky and find them at the Dollar Store. When this happens, I scoop up a couple of packs!
  • Rubber gloves – you can use disposable ones but since I do a lot of staining, I buy the yellow dishwashing ones.
  • 120 grit sanding sponge – mainly used when staining veneer. I find that sanding sponges don’t leave heavy scratch marks.
  • Paint can opener
  • Blue shop towels – these are used for wiping away the excess stain
  • Painters tape – I use Painter’s Mate from Home Depot – this may be optional depending on your project
  • Old rag & bucket – I bought these bar mops cloths from Canadian Tire years ago and I’ve used them so many times that I’ve lost count. Once they get dirty, all you need to do is throw them in the washing machine.
  • Old sheet/tarp/something you don’t mind getting dirty – You’ll want to cover the area of the floor where you’ll be doing your staining.

If you’d like a step by step on how to apply gel stain over a veneer or existing finish, click here!

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