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General Finishes gel stain reviews and pictures! This is an easy and affordable way of updating cabinets.
One of the things I wanted to do when I decided to stay home full time was to update our bathrooms. I wanted to do it very frugally and by myself.
I couldn’t stand our ugly oak cabinets anymore. I found this amazing product that I have used quite a bit and so I thought I’d share a General Finishes Java Gel Stain reviews with you.
I did not have very much experience with staining and I was a little skeptical after reading all the rave reviews, but let me tell you, I was not disappointed! In fact, I am a total fan now!
This is not like your typical stain that requires the wood to be heavily sanded and bare. This is a heavy bodied stain so it doesn’t penetrate wood the way other oil based stains. Which means the wood does not have to prepped very much at all.
Just a light cleaning and very light sanding are all you need! I have recommended this product to friends and family and they all love it too!
Here is the color of all the wood cabinets in our house:
The basic standard oak cabinets that tend to turn kind of yellow/orange. I first started off doing our master bath and I used General Finishes Antique Walnut for a slightly lighter color. You can find my full tutorial on my master bath remodel by clicking here. Here is the final product:
An amazing difference, right??? The cabinets did take almost a week because I had to do about 4 coats and I let them dry for 24 hours after.
To start, first, take off all your doors and take out drawers. I used TSP to clean all the wood and let them dry.
Then lightly sand – I mean lightly! I used a sanding block and maybe sanded each door for 30 seconds or so. Wipe off all dust and then time to start staining!
I found the easiest thing for me to do was to use a sock. I put on a cheap rubber glove and then put an old sock over that. Gently dip into the gel stain and start wiping with the grain on the wood. Just do light coats.
The first one or two coats will not look great, they will be streaky! Don’t dismay, it gets better by the 3rd coat! You can stop after you like how it looks.
Let it dry about 24 hours in between coats. After it was all dry I put the doors back on and put the wax on it. I did two coats of General Finishes Topcoat Satin and let coats dry 72 hours in between. I just rubbed it on with an old cotton t-shirt. That’s it!
I used the same method for the kid’s bathroom. Instead of antique walnut, I used General Finishes gel stain Java which is a little darker color. Java ended up being easier to work with it. It didn’t take as much to cover and I only had to do 3 coats. I liked the richer color for the kids bathroom. Take a look!
They needed extra space to store items so I got these spice racks from IKEA and stained them with the Java gel stain and put two on each wall.
To add a little cute and easy touch to their counter I put a little wood crate with a turtle, candle, and shells. I also made a shell picture frame.
I used an old wooden frame and glued seashells all around it from the dollar tree. I designed the word art on my computer in different fonts, printed it on blue cardstock, and put it in the tray for some good reminders!
After their bathroom, I moved onto the cabinets downstairs and used General Finishes JQ Gel Stain Java again.
I also did our staircase! It came out amazing!! It was a bit of work but it made a huge difference. You can check out my tutorial on a DIY Banister Makeover by clicking here!
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!