Monday, July 27, 2015

Gel Stained Bathroom Vanity - Kids/Guest Bathroom

I am moving backwards here! I showed you my kid's bathroom on Friday and now am breaking it out for the more labor intensive pieces of my work.

Gel Stain...By now most everyone has heard of it. Right now the trend is the darker the better. I personally like either white or very dark, I am not really a in the middle sort of girl.

I use General Finishes which I bought at Woodcraft and bought it in the Java finish and I bought the top coat poly. Together these little quart cans were just over $50 but have been used on numerous projects, so it is worth the cost.

The jury is out on whether you have to sand or not. I have not on any of my project thus far and all is holding up beautifully. I do however use DeGlosser to pre-treat the wood. Once I degloss and allow 15 minutes for drying I am ready to stain.

The side of my cabinet is a laminate sheet (I think that is what it is??) but I had read to sand it lightly so the stain took, but I didn't samd and so far my stain is just fine. I admit I probably should have sanded it but its the side of the cabinet and no one stands there so I cannot see it getting scratched or damaged. When I do my master vanity I will sand the sides to see if there is a difference and report what I find.

I follow the standard plastic baggie or glove on hand covered by an old sock method to apply the stain. But I also use a small paint brush for corners or other tiny areas that I cannot effectively cover with my hand.

The stain tends to look its best with 3 coats, but I have had pieces that took 2 coats. For my cabinets it was 3 coats to cover everything evenly. I apply 1 coat of gel stain and allow a full 24 hours to dry. I follow this same process for coats 2 and 3. Day 4 I apply the clear top coat, just 1 coat because I don't want it to be too shiny, and allow another 24 hours to dry. After this I had to flip the doors and repeat the entire staining process for another 4 days.

It's up to you if you want to do the inside of the doors, but I had to, it would literally eat me up knowing I didn't do it and it would be an unfinished project in my world, so the extra 4 days was worthwhile. After my 8 days of staining and drying  I was able to rehang the doors and add on new hardware and new soft stopper pads on the inside of the doors.

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