Fiberglass door staining

I recently purchased an unfinished Pella "Carbonite" (fiberglass) entry door. Today I decided to apply the first coat of gel stain. I bought a Minwax gel stain that was not part of a door staining kit. The directions on the can said to apply the gel stain with a brush, so I did. I put on one coat of gel stain to one side of the door and I decided to let it dry.
While allowing the first coast to dry tonight, I decided to do a little research into these doors to see if there were any pointers to get the best possible results. Now I've come across web sites and old newsgroup postings telling me that the gel stain needs to be worked into the fiberglass using a rag as if applying shoe polish, then brushed out.
So, this leads me to the following questions:
1. Which is the right way? Just brush it on like the can's directions say, or work it in like shoe polish?
2. If I've done this the wrong way, should I remove my incorrectly-applied coat of stain and start fresh or can I just apply another coat of stain the right way and conceal my mistakes?
3. Is there any way I can get some test pieces of fiberglass to experiment with technique before I continue with this project?
I put only one coat of gel stain on only one full side of the door. The other side has not been touched, and I will leave it unfinished until I get this straightened out.
The coat of gel stain that was applied, incorrectly or not, looks kind of uneven so I'm not sure whether this is normal or the result of my putting it on there the wrong way.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, Greg
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I have used Minwax gel stains many times. I apply the stain with a rag or brush, then wipe off the excess in 5 or 10 minutes using a rag. If the result is too light, repeat the procedure. Using a test piece of fiberglass (if you can get it) is an excellent idea. You may be able to "fix" what you've done by wiping with mineral spirits, depending on the stain. I get better results putting the door on two saw horses, as it is much easier to apply the finishes, avoid dripping, and see what you're doing.
On 15 Nov 2003 17:29:11 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Greg Arena) wrote:

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I assume you let the stain dry after wiping it with a rag before putting on another coat - correct? How many coats do you typically have to apply? Do you get an authentic-looking wood finish in the end?
One of the things that motivated me to do an Internet search on this topic after doing the first coat last night was that my current entry door, which is also fiberglass but was finished by the previous owner, looks a lot more like real wood than what I've done so far. I'm replacing the old door because I want a different style and because it really looks terrible on the side facing outdoors due to age.
Thank you for your response, Greg
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If it looks uneven you are best off removing it and starting over. You can brush it on but even it out with a rag, Once youve stained it dont try touching it up or you will activate and smear the first coat of stain , unless you wait about a week for the first coat to cure
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