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General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain

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Forum topic by pintodeluxe posted 10-23-2013 06:47 PM 2977 views 3 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1472 days


10-23-2013 06:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: general finishes general finishes antique walnut gel stain gel stain antique walnut

I made up some test boards to decide on a finish for a cherry trundle bed I am working on. The sample boards were coated with a 3:2 ratio of denatured alcohol to shellac seal coat. After scuff sanding with 320, I applied several stains to the sample boards. The unanimous favorite was General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain. It yielded a warm brown tone, free from blotching.
I worry that it will be difficult to remove the stain evenly on a large project such as this. Has anyone had experience with this gel stain? How is the workability and what did you apply it with – rag or brush?

Thanks!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush


15 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1472 days


#1 posted 10-23-2013 08:14 PM

Also, has anyone had issues spraying lacquer over G.F. gel stains?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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BinghamtonEd

1352 posts in 1028 days


#2 posted 10-23-2013 09:26 PM

I don’t have an answer but I’d be interested to see the various samples on cherry that you did, just out of curiosity!

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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a1Jim

112105 posts in 2235 days


#3 posted 10-23-2013 09:41 PM

I’ve found a rag works best with Gel stain (not my favorite) but you have to try not to get it in grooves because it can be hard to clean out. It’s generally a wipe on and wipe off process. Try it on another sample. I feel sanding to 160-180 is plenty . The finer you sand it the more it blocks stain from penetrating. Finishing the finish is another story sanding 400-600 is fine between coats or a top coat if it’s the look you want.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1472 days


#4 posted 10-23-2013 10:19 PM

Thanks for the replies. I am not sure I want to use gel stain on such a large project. Still worried that wiping the stain off will yield uneven results, especially where the grain changes directions at joints etc.
I wish I could match the color of Antique Walnut with a liquid wiping stain.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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mbs

1439 posts in 1598 days


#5 posted 10-24-2013 02:18 AM

I used minwax gel stain on a mahogany door and I couldn’t keep a wet edge because it dried too fast. I had to re do parts of it.

I made mother door and my wife helped me finish it. The weather was cooler and it worked fine.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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kdc68

1980 posts in 935 days


#6 posted 10-24-2013 02:58 AM

It’s going to be a beautiful bed ! My two cents is this. Apply with a rag. Focus on those areas that you may have difficulty later removing by not over applying. Once you let it set up a bit then it’s time to remove the excess. It takes some elbow grease. Work the areas that you were careful with first before it dries too much and be hard to remove and blend to the surrounding areas. Keep rotating a clean area of the rag and have extras on hand to make sure you are able to even out the color. I haven’t used gel stain on anything as big as your project, but my best guess is to do this in sections and not to tackle all at once. Do the headboard complete before moving on to the footboard. Do the footboard complete, then do the rails complete.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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Vincent Nocito

437 posts in 2022 days


#7 posted 10-24-2013 03:55 PM

I used the GF antique walnut gel stain on my A&C picture frame. It worked well and I am pleased with the outcome. I use a stain application pad (eg. Woodcraft Item #147127). I have found that foam brushes don”t hold up well. I flood the surface and almost immediately wipe it down with either a cloth (cheap terrycloth wash clothes work well) or paper towels. It is a messy proposition on large projects. Break the finishing down to manageable chunks. I agree with a1Jim about sanding. I usually only go to 150 grit. Allow plenty of time (2-3 days) for the gel stain to dry before the final topcoat.

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BigRedKnothead

5017 posts in 641 days


#8 posted 10-25-2013 04:03 PM

I’m sure there are preferences involved, but I like gel stains. I used a rag to wipe them on liberally, then clean paper towels to remove the excess. Then tend to blotch less imo.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1472 days


#9 posted 10-25-2013 04:51 PM

Ed,
Here are the sample boards. All samples were brushed with a 3:2 mix of denatured alcohol to shellac seal coat (slightly thinner than a 1# cut of shellac). I have found it is the perfect mixture to prevent blotching, yet achieve the rich, darker colors. Cabot Walnut, Rodda #19 Fruitwood, and Varathane Dark Walnut

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Varathane Early American and Varathane Dark Walnut. They looked okay, but I still had some blotching and dark spots.

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General finishes Java was too dark for this project. The two gel stains I tried were a real bear to wipe in a consistent way, and that was on a small sample board, let alone a large project.

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I loved the look of the G.F. Antique Walnut (top of page), but was unwilling to mess with gel stain, so we took a trip to our favorite Rodda store for a new stain. The first stain we had mixed was a Rodda #22 Spiced Walnut. It had a rich, warm brown tone with no blotching. The workability was excellent, with no lap marks or streaks. The Spiced Walnut has good clarity, and does not obscure the grain. Yet it has a high solid / low dye content so it blends boards together well. Best of all it is a dead ringer for the G.F. Antique Walnut color that I liked initially.
I think we found a winner.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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BinghamtonEd

1352 posts in 1028 days


#10 posted 10-25-2013 05:15 PM

I really like that spiced walnut, as well as the fruitwood. Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1472 days


#11 posted 11-04-2013 05:16 PM

Here is how the color turned out…

And here is the completed project page… http://lumberjocks.com/projects/91676
Cheers!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Kaleb the Swede

1158 posts in 628 days


#12 posted 11-04-2013 05:24 PM

Great advice Willie. Came at the perfect time as I am in the process of getting ready to start the finishing on a cherry and maple dresser. What type of Shellac did you use? I was planning on using the dewaxed Zinssers Shellac. I don’t know if you did the flake stuff or not? Either way I think that bed turned out beautiful. Great JOb

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1472 days


#13 posted 11-04-2013 05:36 PM

Kaleb,
These are the products I used. It is shellac Seal Coat, which is a clear dewaxed product. I thin it 3 parts denatured alcohol to 2 parts Seal Coat. This results in a thin washcoat (thinner than a 1# cut) that can be easily brushed on. After it dried, I scuff sanded with a 320 grit flexible sanding sponge, then on to staining.

Best of luck with your project!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Kaleb the Swede

1158 posts in 628 days


#14 posted 11-04-2013 05:45 PM

Thanks a lot Willie. I think I’m going to give that a try.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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kdc68

1980 posts in 935 days


#15 posted 11-04-2013 05:47 PM

pintodeluxe....been following your thread waiting to see the results and if you were going to gel stain this….even posted my $0.02 on gel staining a project this large…Well it was worth the wait… The bed turned out beautiful !....Excellent work !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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