Staining With No Stripping

5 Materials
3 Hours

I hate stripping. It is messy, time consuming and to be effective, it usually involves harsh chemical products.

If you also hate it, you will like this tutorial. I will show you how I re-stained the top of this buffet without stripping or sanding it down using gel stain.

This is how this buffet looked before. It was in pretty good shape, so I decided to re-stain the top without stripping or sanding it down.

I sanded the top lightly using fine sandpapers (220 then 320 grit), always going in the same direction of the grain.

Next I removed all the sawdust with water and vinegar and applied the gel stain using a foam brush.

Using a piece of t-shirt, I removed the excess of stain. Then I waited about two hours and applied a second coat of stain, then a third.

The next day, after the stain was dry, I sealed it with three coats of General Finishes Water-Based top coat, satin.

For a smooth finish, I sanded between coats of sealer using a 320 grit sandpaper.

The more coats of sealer, the better your piece is protected. For this piece, I applied three coats.

Here is how it looks now! Watch the video tutorial in which I show you how I did it, and also tell you about the five mistakes you should avoid when applying gel stain without stripping and sanding down your piece.

Let me know if you have any questions! If you want a more detailed tutorial, check out my blog post (link below) and my Facebook page.

Thanks for reading!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 29 questions
  • Patrick Waters
    on Dec 7, 2018

    What are the 5 mistakes of using gel stains?

    • Joann
      on Mar 21, 2019

      Shuganne, I could like your comment a thousand times over. Perfect and respectful reply !! Couldn't have been said any better. I myself dont have time to watch many videos so I get what I can from the post. Thanks a million from me and probably a million others.

  • Victoria Williams
    on Dec 7, 2018

    It looks gorgeous. What is the blueish purple color you used on the front?

  • Sara Noonan
    on Dec 8, 2018

    Any help on getting water stains out first or is that where the sanding comes from by removing them? Thanks!!

    • Joann
      on Mar 21, 2019

      Sara l, have you ever tried a damp towel and an iron for on water marks? It works wonders I never would of believed it until i tried it.

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