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.
There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who
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.
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 -
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
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
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.