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March Craft - Gel Stain/furniture repurpose

This month's craft is kind of a cheater craft. I don't even know if it fits into the "craft" category, but it is a new technique that I just learned and have been playing around with a lot! And.... it's FUN! When my dad was here visiting for several weeks, he built me a table. This cute little table sits in our breakfast nook, and is just what I wanted. We got the wood from the lumber yard and before I painted it, it was just regular wood, nothing fancy or expensive. We were thinking about using our table with a cute black bench that I have, but ended up moving the bench. I tell you that because that was the whole reason I learned how to use Gel Stain.

Gel Stain can be found at home depot, by the paint and stain section. It comes in a variety of colors (or shades). We chose a cherry/mahogany stain, in order to match our other piece of furniture.

So.... here's what you do with gel stain:

1. take any piece of wood furniture, sand it to it's original wood. This is my least favorite part, but sometimes you have to do it. Or if you're lucky, whatever you are dealing with might already be in just the wood form (like unfinished frames, letters, boxes, etc.)

2. Paint your piece, whatever color you like. I did my table with black, semi-gloss paint. I also used gel stain and paint, with a shelf and magnet board for my boy's room. The shelf and magnet board I painted a light turquoise color (pics coming soon, but babies are sleeping at the moment, and I forgot to snap a couple while they were awake). So you can do any color of paint you'd like, just think about how it will look with the stain over top.
3. After you paint it, let it dry completely. Once it is dry, take a little sanding pad or block, or electric sander ( I highly recommend owning one of these, we have used ours A LOT, it was 30$), and start sanding in spots. I like to do the edges and the places where you would see natural wear and tear.

4. After you are done sanding, clean off your surface, and get ready to do the gel stain! To do the gel stain, you just follow the directions on the can.... but here's my two cents.
*wear gloves if you have some, I didn't and I had to go to church with brown stained fingers and finger nails
*use a "non" porous rag, not a washcloth, it will just soak up the stain.
*start staining! You are going to "rub" stain over the ENTIRE piece of furniture, paying close attention to the sanded spots. Once you stain the whole piece, you're DONE! Just let it dry well!

I can't wait to experiment a little more with gel stain. It was so simple and really adds another dimension to your furniture or project. We found a 10$ dresser on craigslist that I painted turquoise for the boy's room and I'm planning on antiquing it a little with our gel stain. It comes in a white-ish color that I think would look really pretty under some blue, green, or yellow paint. It gives your furniture an antique or weathered look. Our mahogany stain looks REALLY pretty and vintage looking with our blue shelf in the boy's room. I'll put up some pictures, pronto!

Enjoy, have fun, and PLEASE share if you do a craft or project with gel stain!!


David and Shelly said...

VERRRY cool, kara. Neat!

Jill said...

Oh my! What a great product and what a great dad!

Cassi said...

Wow that is cool and I have never heard of gel stain before!

Shalee said...

How great...any chance your dad will come visit me too?! Thanks for the great idea!