When we moved in to this house, most of the woodwork was a sort of light brown orangey Oak. It served its purpose well — in the 80’s and 90’s. Time to move on. Jen saw some blogs where people used gel stain to stain wood in their houses so she thought it was worth the effort. We figured, “Hey, let’s give it a try and if we don’t like it, we can always paint over it later.”
Gel stain is kinda thick with consistency between paint and paste. You don’t brush it on; rather, you get some old socks, cover your hand, and dip it in the can. Then you just “paint” the wood with the sock. After three coats, we reached the color we wanted, which was a dark brown Java. Jen then applied a few coats of clear coat to the surfaces for durability and a shiny finish. Prep work included a light sanding and a wipe down with tack cloth.
Jen has successfully stained our fireplace mantle, stair railing, the kitchen island, bathroom vanity, and four kitchen cabinets. We have many more kitchen cabinets to complete so it’s a work in progress. It’s looking good.