Staining Cabinets ~ This Is The Best Stain EVER!

Yes, I know that's a huge claim, but I really think it's true! And... no one is paying me to say that!  Of course, you know that my 'go to' to find information or ideas is PINTEREST.  No surprise there, right?! So, hubby wanted the cabinets we got (FOR FREE! Thank you, Butch & Kim!) to be stained a nice dark coffee color. Have you ever heard of General Finishes Gel Stain? This pic is from my INSTAGRAM, it is part of the photo a day series, I LOVE doing! It was the "first" time I've ever used this.

General Finishes Gel Stain
Anyway... I read several posts on how to apply the gel stain. First, lightly sand the drawer/cabinet/whatever. Wipe the dust off well, and apply stain. There are basically 2 techniques to applying the stain. I definitely preferred one over the other.

But I must first show you the before and after because, I am truly amazed at the transformation!!  Here is the before from an Update On The Garage Post.  Of course, they are just stacked there... But keep scrolling!

Ugly Orange Oak Cabinets

And the AFTER...... Can you believe they are the same cabinets? Truly they are! Hubby and I are so happy with how they came out.  There's something wrong when the garage cabinets look better than your kitchen cabinets.... right??!!  Well, hopefully, it wont be long now.  :)

Cabinets After General Finishes Gel Stain

So, let me take you though the cabinet staining process.  Ok, I already sanded and wiped down.  And you aren't sanding off the entire finish. Really, you only need to sand for about a minute a door.  They don't even look like they've been sanded, but I honestly did!

cleaned & sanded- General Finishes Gel Stain

I can barely stand that orange oak color... Ugh! Let's get to staining!!! The first, was the sock method. Put on some gloves and put a sock on and just wipe the stain on. I did that for the first coat, and I wasn't too impressed. It didn't seem like much.

1st coat- General Finishes Gel Stain

Let's move on to the next technique.  This is the one that I liked a lot more!  I went out and bought a bag of cheap foam paint brushes. It came in a bag of 12 for $1.50. They seemed easier, less messy and better coverage.  Check it out here in this picture.  Can you pic out the 2 cabinet doors that I used the foam brush on? Well, I gave it away... :)

coat #1- General Finishes Gel Stain

It takes a long time for the stain to dry.  Of course, it was hot and humid in my area, which extends the drying time... I gave it 24 hours.  It sets pretty quick, but when they are dry, there is no tackiness. On to the 2nd coat.

2nd coat- General Finishes Gel Stain

Okay... we're getting there.  Hubby actually liked this stage.... Uhhh... No.  We are not going back to the 70's.  Do you remember that look? Blech!

coat #2- General Finishes Gel Stain

You can see the 2 doors, they look so much better after the 2nd coat. Another day... Keep pluggin away. :)  Here we go with the 3rd coat!

3rd coat- General Finishes Gel Stain

Now that's more like it!  I was wondering how it was going to hold up. I did try to scratch it with my fingernail and it wouldn't come off.  But Hubby did hit a side cabinet and it marked it a little, but easy enough to touch up. It is important to paint in the direction of the grain. As you can tell, it almost makes it's own "grain" markings.

Coat #3 - General Finishes Gel Stain

This looks soooo good!  You can still see those 2 doors are darker.  I did go over the others once more, just to deepen the color. Love, Love, Love!!! As you can see we are definitely making progress.  So, if you want to change that icky orangey oak color to a beautiful coffee color, check out General Finishes. I ordered my can online at Amazon.  So glad I bought the quart!

General Finishes Gel Stain

Can't wait to show you all the other progress, we've made!
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