Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gel Staining Cabinets: Six Steps

The first part of this project - including materials list and links - can be found by clicking here.  Here is a reminder pic of the before and after:

Here is how you do it:

Step 1: Remove hardware, put it somewhere safe (for me, that was a place where my kids couldn't eat it).  Also remove all drawers and doors.

Step 2:  Lightly sand the entire surface to be stained.  For my entire cabinet, with drawers and doors and everything, it probably took about 20 minutes.  Just enough to rough up the surface and help the stain stick to the wood.

Step 3: Clean everything.  I used flushable wipes because they were right beside me and I am a lazy whore.  Make sure you wipe every part of every surface you plan to stain so you don't have bumps of dust or toothpaste spit or whatever other grossness is flying around your cabinet.

Step 4: Cover anything that you don't want ruined!  This stuff is insane and stains fast.  I taped a big plastic drop cloth to the floor.  I also taped every edge, including the floor.  TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS.  It will pay off!  The stain is so dark that small mistakes look big.  I am very glad that I took my time when taping.

Step 5: Get to staining!   I applied four thin and even coats of stain with a 2 inch foam brush, letting each coat dry for 12-24 hours.  I just dipped the foam brush right into the can.  Don't glob this on!  A small amount goes a long way! 

I tried to use painters pyramids so that I could paint both sides of the doors at the same time, but they did not work for me at all and I kept getting scratches in the stain.  So it took me a little longer to do the doors because I did one coat on one side at a time.

Also, do not freak out after the first or second coats.  They look pretty terrible.  The third coat looks good but the fourth coat is clutch.  Do all four.

AND, you don't wipe it off.  You just brush the stain on like paint and then let it dry.

Step 6:  Apply the poly/acrylic topcoat.  Super easy, just paint it on in thin layers.  I did three coats of this, and I let them dry for at least 12 hours.  The can says it is dry in 3-4 but I didn't want to risk it. 

We let the top coat dry for 5 days before we added the hardware.  I have no idea if this is necessary but I was worried about scratching it up and plus we were busy and it was a convenient excuse. 

That's it!  This was so easy and I love it so much, I am going to stain our oak kitchen cabinets.  And then I may just make sweet love to them.  I don't care who knows it.


*~*Lis*~* said...

I've got to redo my kitchen - think early 1970's - but I'm on a budget and home with kids allay so it hasn't gotten done in the 6 1/2 years we've owned the house. They are painted though - would I have to strip the paint first?? THAT'S the part I can't find time for.

Hailee said...

You're Cacbinets look awesome!!

But thats not why i'm here :P I saw this link, and it made me think of something you would write and i just had to share, i think you'll appreciate it, hehe :)


Katelyn said...

Haha. There's another one I see all the time and it makes me want to stab my eyeballs: "I could of" or "should of" instead of "could have", "should have", "could've", or "should've". Ahhhhh!

boringyear said...

I am in awe that you can do something like this while looking after 2 kids. I can barely unpack the dishwasher most days and I only have 1!

Rose said...

The cabinets look great! I love that the elf made its way into the picture.

J said...

what color did you use?

StacyTexas said...

I did this project, too! Turned out great, but it took 6 coats for my cabinet. Perhaps it's because I did thinner coats--I had more success using paper towels rather than foam brushes. I also skipped the final polyurethane step because I prefer a more matte finish. It looks very expensive, and my contractor working on building a closet for me at the same time I was doing this told me it would have cost me $1000 to hire him to do it--the time to drive over at least 6 times to do the cabinet is pricey!!

jason moreau said...

Beautifully done! I am headed to Lowes tomorrow! Ha would you mind telling me the color you used ��

From a brown eyed girl said...

I have a question, when it come to sanding, I don't have to go all crazy right..? bc one time I sanded a night stand for an hour, & you stated it took you 20mins for all of you cabinets...?

if so, thats amazing!