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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. I am using GF gel stain to redo a table.

Any tips from people who have used it before? I seem to maybe be wiping too hard as it doesn't seem to be getting that much darker per coat. I am waiting a day in between coats.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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Never used it as a re-finish. I've used it as a finish on raw wood and love it.

I've applied a second coat to darken things up. All that I can remember is that the second coat required less stain.

BTW - I usually apply the gel stain using a WHITE Scotch Brite pad. (It's extra fine.) The nice part is that this knocks down any grain that may have razed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's raw wood. I stripped the poly with Stripper and sanded down past old stain.

rrich what was your method? Sock? Cloth? Brush?

How long did you wait before wiping off? 2 mins or so?

When you wiped off did you apply pressure wiping off to really remove the excess stain or did you very lightly wipe off?
 

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I haven't used that brand of gel stain. A gel stain is like you mixed a can of paint with a can of varnish. It would get more and better coverage if it was brushed on like paint. Use as soft of a paint brush as you can find.
 

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Curmudgeon in Training
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I think General Finishes gel stain has a urethane component in it. So a second coat isn't going to "soak in" like standard oil stain. I've used general finishes oil stain a few times and have also had trouble getting it dark enough. If you don't let it sit long enough or get enough penetration on the first coat, you may have to lightly sand between coats to make minute scratches for a second coat to "grip" into.

Although, General finishes has some nice colors - see the project stained just last week with GF "Candle Lite."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I am waiting 24 hrs. It is cold in the garage. 55deg maybe. Am I not waiting long enough?
I sanded inbetween last coat and it seems the same darkness again. The grains are not all one direction so wiping lightly against the grain is hard without messing up the grain next to it. So I have to wipe it with medium pressure and then lightly buff the left over out.
http://imgur.com/a/dQlmi

That is a pic of table before staining
 

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I am waiting 24 hrs. It is cold in the garage. 55deg maybe. Am I not waiting long enough?
I sanded inbetween last coat and it seems the same darkness again. The grains are not all one direction so wiping lightly against the grain is hard without messing up the grain next to it. So I have to wipe it with medium pressure and then lightly buff the left over out.
http://imgur.com/a/dQlmi

That is a pic of table before staining
I wouldn't recommend sanding gel stain between coats. You are laying pigment on the surface and if you sand it the amount of pigment would vary from place to place and make the color uneven. The way I would use it is to brush coat after coat until you get the desired color and then put a coat of a clear coating such as a polyurethane over the top. Then sand that between coats until it gets to the desired smoothness. I'm afraid this may account for the variation in the color on the table. It's hard to say without being there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its not a variation in color problem. It's the darkness level overall.
I think maybe I am melting the last coat and just re doing the last coat every time. Then re melting it the next coat.

I'm just going to wait 2 days and I brought it inside to dry better.
 

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I've only used gel stain once, and like you had trouble getting the "darkness" I wanted. Gel stains sit on the surface more than soak in and if you wipe too much you'll never get the color you want.

What finally worked for me was using a dry brush to remove excess. It also helped greatly to even out the color across the piece.

Apply the stain and then use the dry brush. Brush vigorously with the grain, periodically using a clean rag to wipe the stain off the brush. You need to work quickly so the gel doesn't dry before you get an even color across the whole piece.
 
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