When I bought my new chair (see here for last weeks post and here for all the details), I knew those legs needed some help. There was no way I was leaving them the way they were. Unfortunately they’re not real wood, so a normal sanding job and stain just wasn’t going to do the trick. That’s when I decided to turn to a new product that I had never used before; gel stain.
From what I understand, gel stain doesn’t soak into the wood like normal stain does. In fact, it sits on top of the surface instead. And since these legs weren’t made of real wood, this was the exact product I needed!
I used Minwax Gel Stain from Lowes. This is what the product looks like if you’re out looking for it:
It only comes in one color (or at least the one from my local Lowes) because the more you apply, the darker it gets. I actually had never used gel stain before and learned a few lessons during my first experience. When I put my first coat on, I made the mistake of thinking a simple shake of the can would mix up the stain. After a good shake, I opened up the can and assumed it was mixed. WELL. Gel stain is very thick (which I didn’t know) and it turns out that for the 1st two coats, I was just using the unmixed stain that was sitting on top of the actual gel stain. So just to warn you guys, MIX WELL. After I realized my mistake, I mixed the REAL stain for a few minutes using a paint stirrer. It was still a little… “goopy”, but it was good enough.
I first roughed up the legs using a sanding block. Since it wasn’t real wood, this didn’t do much other than get rid of any shine the legs had.
I then taped off the fabric areas with masking tape and began staining.
Once I had the stain properly mixed, all I had to do was apply one coat of the gel stain. It was rather thick and totally different than I expected. I used a brush to apply the stain and wiped off any extra stain after about a minute of it sitting there. As you can see, by wiping off the additional stain using a brush, it added a streaking effect to the legs. I really loved this because I wanted the legs to look like real wood and this effect helped in that regard.
The can said to wait 8-10 hours for it to dry, which I found absurd. I thought there was no way it would actually take that long to dry. Well…. another lesson learned. It actually took a few days to dry. Wow, right?? Technically they dried after about 8 hours, but they remained REALLY sticky for dayysssss. I was worried, but after about the 3rd day, they were totally normal and not sticky at all. It will also look really shiny before it’s all the way dry. Don’t worry, the shine calms down once it dries.
And here she is after she’s all done!
And if you missed Tuesday’s post, here is where I placed her:
So what do you guys think?? Will y’all attempt using gel stain for any of your upcoming projects??