Gel Stained Master Bath Cabinets

The cabinets are completed...
Read why I did it and see a "before" tour HERE.
I'm thrilled with how they turned out!
Here's how I did it....

Removed doors, hinges and drawers...
That's Ace supervising

I labeled the doors...just because... probably not necessary with only four doors

Taped off the wall and counter top...
Then lightly sanded everything with a sanding block.  
I also wiped everything down using a sponge and a little soapy 
water with Dawn dishwashing soap to remove any remaining 
grease or residue.  Wiped clean and dried.

Then we get to the fun part...gel stain!
You brush it on with a foam brush, a roller or even a cloth.
And yay me, I remembered to wear gloves this time.

You can read about my last gel stain adventure HERE.
I'm actually using the rest of the quart I bought for
 that previous lasts a long time because you don't have to use a whole lot of it.

The brand is General Finishes, the color I used is"Java"...yum.
They have a link on their site where you can see if it is available in your area.
I ordered mine online

After you apply it with a brush or roller, you immediately wipe off with a soft cloth.
I don't have a picture of the wiping part because I was...wiping.

I wipe once then leave it, you can always touch up later. 
 IF you mess up, you can quickly go back over with more gel stain, then RE-wipe.

The thing to remember when using gel stain like this is that you aren't really "staining".
This is more of a topcoat application where you are basically using it to change the color.

You control how dark you want the finish by how much you wipe off since again, it's not REALLY staining.
Of course it does stain/color the wood some but not like the traditional way you think of stain.

Other reasons I'm loving gel stain is ...'s REALLY easy to work with, it's thick, like the consistency of pudding.
#2...You can still see the grain of the wood.  You can lose that look sometimes when you use paint.

I left them to dry in my air conditioned garage and they were dry to the touch after about 6 hours.
They dried smooth and tacky free, basically picture perfect you could say....just like they are supposed to....
UNLIKE my drying torture/agony dilemma the last time

I ended up leaving them overnight since it was late and applied 2 coats of  
Minwax Satin Polycrylic with a foam brush the next morning.

After drying, I reassembled everything and put my new knobs on.

Ok, I gotta stop and talk about these knobs for a sec...
First of all I LOVE them....they are made of bone or something I think.
Secondly, cool knobs that don't cost a fortune are hard to find.

EVERYWHERE in blog land everyone is always yapping about Hobby Lobby's knobs.  
Well I don't have a Hobby Lobby where I live, there's one in either direction about an hour away but not here.  So the next time I went to Pensacola, I made a special point of stopping in Hobby Lobby to check out this so-called knob mecca. 

After being completely overwhelmed by that place in general, I round the corner to the knob aisle and well,.... the angels started singing and the harps were playing because I had just found knob heaven.
NOW I see what all the fuss is about!

I was DYING! and ready to replace every knob in my was Nirvana...
You can ask my Mom and sister, they were with me and witnessed the whole thing...

So what's my point?  I love my knobs and run, don't walk to Hobby Lobby if you need knobs.

So yeah... Did I mention I'm loving my cabinets?

Oh, one other thing...Plaid Enterprises mentioned me on their blog 
Plaid!... As in craft paint and supplies Plaid....Eeek!
 They sent me an email this morning out of the blue...I was pretty excited.  
You can see their website Right HERE where they mention my dog beds ;)

Join me on FacebookPinterest
or visit my Etsy store to check out the new items.
Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my cabinet makeover


  1. Way cool on the blog post!!

    are you doing affiliate with Carol Tuttle?

  2. cabinets looks great,, i've never used gel stain before.. but would love to try it.

  3. They turned out great! I have golden oak in the bathrooms and kitchen and I hate them. The gel stain sounds like it might be a great option for me.

  4. your blog and photos even impressed my husband! Thanks so much.

    I now have the go ahead with my baths and kitchen. Yipee! Good thing I like to stain.


  5. Cabinets look great! I am dying to give my kitchen cabinets a makeover! I might try looks super easy.

  6. Why do you think they dried so fast compared to the bedroom set? If I have honey oak cabinets in my kitchen, can I apply this to then with a cleaning and light sanding?

  7. did you sand in between your poly top coats? How many top coats did you use? In the picture on your blog it looks like there were bubbles in the top coat finish during application but not in the final pictures. I really like those knobs!

  8. Those are pretty cabinets. I like the idea of painting them with chocolate brown color. It was a good move for you to renovate your cabinets giving your kitchen a new look. By the way, I like the knobs that you used on those cabinets. Their designs complement well with the designs of your cabinets. I don't know if you used screws to adhere those knobs but it would be a better idea to use screws to make it sturdier and stronger.

  9. Thank you very much for this information, you just gave my wife and I the information we were waiting for, I can't wait for the weekend to start this project!!!

  10. I think i'm going to try stain mine this summer. :) Thanks for the post!

  11. I really like the look of the new color. The question I have is; when you open them up are they still a different color on the inside? If they are this is the main reason I couldn't do mine. It would bother me every time I opened them up and saw the inside a different color. I guess Im weird1

  12. No, LOL, I did not stain the insides of the cabinets :).

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. This is so awesome! I found you on Pinterest and I have been looking to repaint my cabinets and now I can. Thanks to you! :)

  15. Your did a wonderful job. I have recently seen where a gentleman used a paint brush, didn't wipe anything off, and ended up doing two coats. He came out with the same results. I guess I'm not sure why anyone would need to wipe it off if it's a top coat anyway!? Have you ever tried just painting it on and letting it dry? Thanks for posting your project!

    1. Hi Chris! I'm sure you could brush it on and not wipe, it would give a more solid appearance in the end result. I wanted a little of the background color to show through to give it a little more of a wood look and not have just the smooth, solid color.


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