How to Apply Gel Stain and Gel Topcoat to Raw Wood

In this video we will demonstrate how to
apply General Finishes oil based gel stain to raw wood including a trick for
working with large surfaces and then we’ll show you how to apply gel satin
top coat. Gel stain carries a lot more colorant than liquid oil stain and this can
cause lap marks on the absorbant open grain of raw wood surfaces. We’ll show you how to avoid that. Even though gel stain is thick, be sure to stir it. You can see how this is gonna get a
little bit thinner and a little less gloppy, (That’s a technical term) if you
stir it. You can see how the stain smoothes out after stirring. When using oil stains
on raw wood, prep sand with 120 grit sandpaper followed by 150 grit. Don’t go
any finer with the sanding grit or else the wood won’t hold color. If it’s a big
project divide it into sections such as a leg, top or side and finish one
section at a time. Get a buddy to help you if you’re
working on large surfaces and don’t take a phone call while you’re working! This
is a walnut table leaf and it will lighten over time so I want to enhance and
control color by using gel stain. The first thing
I am going to start with and here’s the tip for making everything easier on large
surfaces, first thing I am going to start with is a slip coat of mineral spirits. This is gonna help the stain glide and
reduce lap marks. The other thing you could do if you wanted to on a really large surface would be too thin out the material with 10% mineral
spirits. The next thing we have to do is just simply get it on the surface
quickly, spread it out and wipe it off. I’m going to saturate my applicator, this foam brush, and I’m just going
to get the gel right on the surface. Don’t be afraid of it. and then spread it out with a shop towel or paper towel. Just get it everywhere. This is a table leaf that I sanded down for this video so a lot of the edges are already done. Just start taking off the excess right beside me I have a bucket ready to get rid of
the soaked towels and I will take that outside immediately and spread them out to let
them dry when I am done with this. As you get the product off the surface then start going with the grain Always a good practice. Now we’re coming down to the
final coat. Can you see this coming alive? Easy peasy, one of the easiest stains in the world to work with.
Check your surface to see if you missed anything and that’s all it takes! We will let this dry overnight and I’ll
be back to show you how to apply the first coat of gel satin top coat. I am back with a stained table leaf that has dried. Let’s put down the first coat of gel satin,
because gel stains have such a high solid content they look like they don’t
need a sealer but they really do. Think of stain as color and top
coat as protection. Protect the color! Gel satin only comes in one sheen and it’s
glossier than any of our other satin topcoats. There’s just a limit to how
much matting agent you could suspend into a gel solution. Don’t let the
thickness fool you, here is the pudding. You just stir it up to mix all the additives.
You can see how this smooths out after stirring. We love this finish because it has really fast build but when working on big projects like a kitchen we recommend a thinner finish
such as Arm-R-Seal or water-based High-Performance. Get my gloves on and
we’ll get started. It’s gonna be the same process, almost the same process as the stain. I am gonna put it out in a thin coat. The objective of this first coat is
simply to seal the surface. Clean these off with just a light polishing motion, not removing too much of the finish. Using this staining brush I am going to just let it drag on the surface. One last pull across. So that’s how to
apply the first coat. We will let this dry overnight. Here is the table leaf with one coat
of gel satin that has dried. It is ready for its second coat. First sand down the surface with a 220 sanding pad. l like to use used ones, they are just really soft. I am going to knock down the finish, staying with the grain. If you had edges and detail on your piece you’d want to go soft so you don’t cut through to the stain. Wipe off the dust. One more pass for getting the dust off. My technique doesn’t change much does it? Just get it out on the surface and move it around. Just a little bit of finish here. Use that for a polishing pad. This is a really light wiping. I’m taking
off just a little bit of finish. I am going to come back on these edges. Before I finish up. and one last pass. and this is just like a feather coming across the top. Almost a feather. Because of gel’s high solids content, it can harden in the can. So if you have leftover product like I do, you can improve the shelf life by
cleaning the chime really well and I mean really well. I like to use a foam
brush and then come back in with a towel. Many of our customers add Bloxygen Finish Preserver to the can. Put the top on. I always use a mallet or hammer with a cloth. Take a look to make sure you got a really tight seal and store your can upside down. We added a third layer of gel satin topcoat to our table leaf and let it dry 72 hours.
Here is how the finished table looks. Alexa’s tips. Color may pull from the
stain when applying the first layer of topcoat. This is normal. Always seal in gel stain color with
topcoat. Dry time to recoat gel topcoat: 12 to 24 hours. Dry time for light use:
7 to 10 days. Cure time: 21 to 30 days. Our finishes are
engineered to be compatible with each other test to your satisfaction when using
with other brands Find great design ideas for your next
project at Thanks for watching! If you like this video please like, share
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