Friday, February 27, 2009

Minwax Gel Stain - Advice Needed

Ok Ladies..... I am in need of a quick class. Since I am new to re-finishing items I am looking for a few pointers from the professionals. So, any of you gals that re-finish wood items, sand items, paint items and stain items - PLEASE leave your pointers here.
Ok, I have seen alot of you gals using Briwax on some of your items that you have re-done, but I have also seen some of you use a stain on your items. Do you paint your items and then apply the stain over top of them to give them the antiqued/primitive look? I was looking at the store tonight and saw Minwax Gel Stain. Have any of you used this on your wood items? Can you give me some pointers? Ok, let's move to sanding. I have been sanding by hand which isn't a problem for me however could someone tell me what the difference is between the medium and fine hand sanders? If I am sanding a cutting board for example then what type of hand sanding block should I use?
Any and all helpful hints would be much appreciated. Is there something else out there similar to Briwax that will work just as well that might be a bit cheaper? My husband hates that I am spending so much for certain items (URGH). I guess my thinking is that I am saving in other areas such as thrift store shopping (ya know)? Can't wait to hear some of your thoughts and helpful pointers. Thanks Ladies!!
Oh - one more thing.... I got some paint samples tonight and I am moving 1 step closer to starting my cupboards. I am so excited, but nervous at the same time. Any of you Ohio gals wanna come and help? I'll fix you lunch (lol).

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Carmen said...

Hi Lisa! I have a photo on my blog tues. feb.24 of a shelf I stained with the minwax gel stain. I originally had painted it then wanted to darken it so I went right over the paint with the stain and I love the result. The gel stain is great, so much easier and less mess than the runny kind!

Susan said...

When Jimmy re-did our coffee table he painted it, let it dry, distressed it, used a cheap foam brush to apply the stain (the runny kind cause that's what we already had) and let that sit for a few minutes and then he wiped if off with an old towel. I really like the outcome. Have a great weekend.

Janene said...

I will be no help to you...I love my Briwax...simply because it doesn't take long to wipe it on and buff it off. So no drying time!
I don't know where else to get the Briwax any cheaper...but I promise that I will keep my eyes open and let you know.
A lot of girls use the gel stain...maybe that is better than the stain that I have.
Good luck to ya...I'm sure you will get a lot of helpful hints...these bloggers are wonderful crafters!

Char said...

well...I like to paint my item first...I usually give it an undercoat of black, if the item is gonna be another color, like red or mustard....then I sand...I like a 60 grit takes off alot....but, i have learned to control it...and take off what i need...and oh, I like the electric palm sander...much quicker....then I use Dark Walnut Stain....I do not like the gel stain...just my personal preference...let sit for a few minutes...then wipe off....that is usually it!...hope that helps!...I do like the Briwax too...I did my dining room table top with the wax...just cuz It gave it a nice "seal".

A Hole in the Basket Primitives - Ann said...

Hi Lisa,

I really like gel stain. It's not runny. I use an old Tshirt to wipe it on in small sections and wipe off. It dries much faster than liquid so you need to work quickly. I've never used Briwax so I can't help you there. Like Char, I undercoat most of my items with black, top coat color, sand to rough the item up a little and then stain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
I use gel stain(love it) and have been using it for about 15 years. I make old t-shirts into my staining rags and I just rub the gel stain on in small sections and wipe off any extra. It dries really fast. All I do is paint my item, then sand it to my liking, and then apply the gel stain. When sanding I use a higher grit of sandpaper if I want more areas sanded off down to the wood.
I have thought about trying the Briwax that some of our blogging friends are does cost more than the gel stain, but I love the way their finish projects look.

basketsnprims said...

I also have a power sander that I use as it's so much faster. I also use the regular walnut stain, I've never tried the gel stain. I would like to try the briwax but it's quite expensive, so I'll stick with what I have. good luck.

carolyn at cranberry crossings: said...

Good Morning! I only do small projects, so I sand everything by hand. If I ever do something big, I will use an electric sander. The rougher the grit of the paper, the more it will take off. The smother or finer the sandpaper, the smoother the finish. Some people start with the rough and end with the smooth. That's about all I know about it! LOL!
I paint my items first, then sand and then I go over them with stain, or if I'm out of stain, I use brown umber paint. BUT! If you use paint, you have to wipe it back off quickly or it's there. The good thing about paint, is if you use the craft paint, you can wet a paper towel and gently remove some of it if you get it too dark. You have to do it before the paint has time to cure though, like within 20 minutes or so.
If an item is shiny or has polyurethane on it, I sand it all over really well before I attempt to paint it. Otherwise the paint won't stick. Or I guess you could use a good primer.
I have used Minwax gel stain and it works great. And it's not as messy as some of the thinner stains. I just buy what's cheap or on sale. Oh, and I rub it on and wipe it off. I never "paint" the stain on.
I'm sure there will be others to give you some better tips, but this is just my way of doing it. I hope it helps.
By the way, I want to paint, distress and age my kitchen cabinets too, but I'm scared! LOL!
One reason is, we might be moving in a year or so. If I do them like I want, it might keep the house from selling! LOL! The general public just does not understand us prim people!
Have a great weekend!

Karen said...

Wow, looks like you have lots to go on here!

Leslie said...

I thought I commented but maybe it was one of those days that I was having issues or got distracted...

I use gel stain. I am currently out of it but I will be getting more. I love it better than regular stain because it won't run so it's great on items that stand up. :)

I put gel stain over the walls in my half bath and on my kitchen cupboards. Love the effect on both and wouldn't change a thing! If you go to my blog, look at the labels for my posts in kitchen and bathrooms and you'll find the photos :)

Have a great day!