Gel stain question


I've almost finished construction of a liquor cabinet for myself <g>. About 6' x 36" x 16 - constructed of both oak ply and solid oak. I plan on using a dark mahogany gel stain on the piece.
Never used gel stain before and a few questions come to mind -
1.)Do I need a shellac sealer coat( or ANY sealer coat) on oak?
2) Instructions say to do a small area at a time - will this not produce lap marks where the edges meet?
BTW, I bought it at Rockler - I believe the brand is General Poly Gel stain.
Thanx,
Vic Baron
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Gel stains have some poly mixed in but you can put more sealer over them if you like. If you do two coats of the gel then you probably don't "Need" a sealer over that. Second coats of gel stain are quite a bit more useful than a second coat of a typical oil stain. Dark stains especially look much darker with a second coat.
Yes lap marks can be a problem if it dries before you do the next section. I like to do all of any given face at one time.I like to use a stiff brush and really put a lot of gel on the surface, way more than needed, then wipe it down with a cloth. If the area is just to big, then do the same to a smaller area but leave a wet edge to start the next section after wiping most of the first section.
Because you are using Oak, and you want to go dark, you need to be careful to get the stain down into grain lines. Circular crubbing with a stiff brush will help.Oak is notorious for haveing little white streaks of grain after the stain dries, specifically water based stains with surface tension problems in the little grain valleys. Gel is much better at filling, but scrub it in to be sure.
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I was wondering how gel would work with oak grain - thanx! Given the dimensions of the piece, I should be able to do the major flat surfaces in one step. I planned on two coats anyway so an extra sealer may be redundant.
Thanx for the help -
Vic
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I have some "mission oak" stain from Rockler that I've used on oak. I didn't seal with anything first, and I didn't have problems with little white streaks. I tried both shellac and "Nordic Oil Finish" over the stain, and both worked fine. The gel stain is better than liquids if you want to keep the color consistent, and not too much darker in the pores. Good luck, Andy
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I have been using gel stains since about 1989. Do you need a sealer coat. Sealer coat on the wood before applying the stain? Absolutely not on Oak. Although many gel stains have a sealer/varnish in the stain, I advise you to varnish with the product of choice be it shellac or a water or oil based product.
Small areas tend to be easier to work with but you can apply and immediately wipe/buff away the excess. Typically lap marks can be removed by simply applying more stain in that area and wiping. Take care of that immediately for best results although I have been able to go back the next day and get good results when I over looked a problem area.
Beware of gel stains that have been sitting on the shelf too long. The consistency of the stain should be close to that of Vaseline. Thicker gel stains will dry out too quickly and wiping the excess away will be more difficult. I advise you to check the stain before leaving the store. Stir if necessary.
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using
immediately
immediately
Stir
Good points, Leon. The stain seems fresh. Tried a few tests on scrap and it seems relatively easy. I should be able to do the major areas in one sitting. With the back off, getting at the shelving and the interior should be a snap.
I mix my own shellac and prefer to use that as a top coat when applicable. I'll play a bit with the test pieces and see what I like. I also like Minwax wipe on poly for a top coat on some occasions. Might as well test that as see what looks, feels best.
Thanx,
Vic
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Being a liquor cabinet, I would suggest the Poly over Shellac due to the effects of alcohol on Shellac.
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AHA!
I hadn't thought of that - nice catch :)
Thanx,
Vic
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