I have been dying to try out the gel stain sold by General Finishes for quiet some time. I needed something small to use it on, so that I could see how well it works. So often people want to re-stain their cabinets, but that can be an extensive and tedious job. My hope was that the gel stain would prove to be the perfect solution for bringing outdated cabinets to life, as well as other wood treasures. I love the idea of using gel stain on already stained wood instead of sanding down to the naked wood.
My sweet (and very trusting) friend had a unique magazine rack that she wanted updated, and gave me carte blanche with it. Said friend and her husband have a beautiful home and exquisite taste, so I spent some time thinking about how to refinish it. Here is what it looked like when I picked it up:
It’s such a unique piece, I was excited to revive it. This was the perfect piece to try out the gel stain on, so I headed down to Woodcraft here in San Antonio, and picked up the supplies.
I decided on the Candelite color.
Part of the success to using stain over the previous stain is sanding. After a thorough cleaning, I gave it a light sanding all over using 220 grit. I wiped it down again, making sure to remove all of the dust from sanding.
I then began applying the gel stain with a lint-free cloth.
The great thing about stain is that you don’t have to be an expert to apply it. The only thing you need to know is use a clean, soft cloth and don’t stop moving. If you leave it sitting for too long without rubbing it in, you will have weird marks that you won’t be able to get rid of without sanding.
The gel stain takes a little longer to dry, which worked to my advantage. I started to apply the second coat while the first coat was still sticky, creating a more aged look. If you prefer an even tone, then wait for the first coat to dry before applying a second one, if a deeper tone is desired.
Be sure and rub the stain into all of the blemishes so that it adds more character.
To add a little interest to this piece, I decided to add a some color using General Finishes Milk Paint in Basil.
I put a couple of light coats on the bands of the magazine rack, and then sanded it once it dried.
I love the detail on the back…
I’m thrilled with how this product works, and can’t wait to use it on some bigger projects! And I’m really excited to deliver this refinished magazine rack to my friend.
Peace & Love,