Gel-Staining HELP!

I have a few brand new "wood-grain look" fiberglass doors that we want to gel-stained to preserve a wood-type look. I am not a trades guy, but am pretty handy. Did cedar siding with someone last week and can pretty much get the hang of most things quickly.
However, I've been hesitant to gel-stain the doors myself as i've heard that it can be tricky. I've called paint stores and painters. Some paint stores have told me that they dont' know what gel staining is! Most painters have not done it and others have not shown up or seem too unreliable. We have just finished a new house and there is so much that work to be done. I am at my wits end with respect to the gel-staining.
I really need to get this done (temp ugly doors still up and people with blinds are calling to finish on hte french doors) as we've been waiting far too long. Is this something I could do myself? I would really appreciate some tips on how to do it and whether it can be done, what to watch out for etc. I am staining one front door completely flat and three other outside french doors.
I have tried doing a bit of net searching, but run mostly into gel-staining as part of a science lab. I have also seen suggestions that it is easy cause it is a gel and does not run like other stain. I've stained wood with a brush before no problem. But do you put it on with a brush and then wipe it down with a towel? With the completely flat panel door. Do I wipe down horizontal or vertical sections. Do I put it all on the whole door, then wipe down the whole door? I don't want to ruin the doors. I am gel-staining black.
I want to have the inside of the fiberglass "wood-grain look" doors be white. Any suggestions on what the best thing is for this, paint, stain? etc.
Finally, silly question, but if the outside of hte door is black and the inside white, is there a standard as to what color the edge should be.
Sorry for the long post, Appreciate any feedback.
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Try it you can clean it off with thinner if it looks bad, brush or rag it on and rag it evem
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The gel stain seems to leave a little more residual product on the surface than regular oil Minwax-type stains. Make sure to wipe it off in the direction of the simulated grain. Leaving a streaky stain residue is easy to do with with gel stain and it looks terrible. Do a test in the bottom corner to make sure you like what you see.
As for the edges, assuming the door opens in, the jamb side and the exterior should be the same color - the lock side and the interior should be the same color.
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Gel stain is a fantastic product for the right application. It's good for wood doors where the natural grain is uneven or undesirable and you want to cover up more of it than a regular stain would. And it's also made specifically for fiberglass doors. You can control how much of the underlying surface shows through by the thickness of the application and whether or not you rub it off. In the case of fiberglass, you do not rub it off after applying.
It's definitely something you can do yourself. I'd get a couple pieces of sheet metal or similar material and experiment on that first. I did my own front doors with it a couple years ago and they came out looking perfect.
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Also post to rec.woodworking where many use gel stains albeit on wood. Visit www.homesteadfinishing.com and use the search capability, also www.refinishwizard.com
On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 06:01:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (bby) wrote:

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Hey I really appreciate the help. Now that I have some more confidenc in being able to do it, i'll try to talk my wife into it
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