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Pain in the A$$
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Does anyone have any experience using the General Finishes Brand Gel Stain and their Polyacrylic Top Coats? Is there an different brand that you'd recommend over these?

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2005555/16544/general-finishes-java-gel-stain-pint.aspx

Apparently my wife is bored at work as she seems to be emailing tons of links on upgrades to our home. We have been talking about redoing our bathroom cabinets, and if they both turn out nice we'd like to do our kitchen cabinets as well.

She read in a online blog about using the above products and how easy they were. This leads me into "how easy is it to redo cabinets"? My biggest downfall in projects is quality finishes. I have read 100s of threads and articles online and they are all great. However, I am a school-of-hard-knocks learner when it comes to some things and I really continue to struggle with getting finishes that I am happy with.

So, will we be able to do this? Or will it turn out worse than the country light oak finishes currently look? Also, what pitfalls should I expect? And what are little tricks that will make my project go more smoothly?

Thanks in advance for your help. I appreciate it all!!
 

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I use general stains and dyes , very nice and good col . I found they dry very fast so becarefull of lap marks. I use vermount poly whey
water base urathane on top of these stains and dyes with great results
Rick
 

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Like anything with finishing, testing the products before you commit to your real project is the ONLY way to learn and see how "easy" it is. There is a learning curve with any new finishing process. Don't commit to your real project until you are totally happy with your test results. If you will be working on your existing woodwork, use a shelf or the inside of a door as part of your testing samples.
 

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I have used the General gel stains, satin gel and the wipe on Arm-r-seal gloss. They are easy to use and give good results. If you stain a wood that tends to blotch use the satin gel as a seal coat-works like a charm.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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Discussion Starter #5
Well I spoke with a local hardwood dealer who also sells the General Finishes. She talked me out of using them and convinced me to get the Old Masters stain followed with a water based wipe on poly.

I'll let you know when it's done. About 1/2 done now.
 

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The Man
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Well I spoke with a local hardwood dealer who also sells the General Finishes. She talked me out of using them and convinced me to get the Old Masters stain followed with a water based wipe on poly.

I'll let you know when it's done. About 1/2 done now.

Uh oh! Is the old masters oil based? Water over oil will give you adhesion problems unless the oil is extremely extremely dry.

I'm surprised she talked you out of general finishes. They are the best products I've used so far.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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Discussion Starter #7
Masterofnone said:
Uh oh! Is the old masters oil based? Water over oil will give you adhesion problems unless the oil is extremely extremely dry.

I'm surprised she talked you out of general finishes. They are the best products I've used so far.
Process going very well so far. We've almost got our two bathroom vanities done. When we got the stain, the sales rep pulled out multiple already stained cabinet doors and went through the steps with us. Spent a lot of time with us. He said we had to use the water based poly as the solvent based poly reactivates the oil stain and then just wipes it off.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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I have used General gel stains. (Both oil and water based.)

The real question is how much pigment do you want to remain on the wood? Both are a wipe on wipe off product. The water based products tend to dry faster and therefore leave more pigment on the wood. Let either dry for at least 24 hours and you can put your film finish on. (Definitely polyurethane for bathroom cabinets.) You can use oil based or water based.

I prefer oil based polyurethane because it can be thinned and wiped on. Over a period of a week, it is so easy to build a flat and smooth finish. A coat today, lightly sand tomorrow and another coat. Repeat. I usually thin about 50% with mineral spirits. So 7 coats is really 3-1/2 coats.

A word of warning. If you want a satin or semi-gloss finish, use gloss for all the coats except the last one or two.
 
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