Question: RE: Gel Stain for Vinyl-wrapped Cabinet


I have vinyl-wrapped wood grain kitchen cabinets that need a refresh. Would you happen to know if I can use Renaissance Brand 'Retique It' water-based gel stain on this type of product? Or will the chemicals react adversely to the vinyl? It's not cheap vinyl and I don't think I could tear off the vinyl even if I wanted to go that route, which I defiantly do not. Way too much work. Thanks for any info you can provide.

q question re gel stain for vinyl wrapped cabinet

This cabinet door is damaged. Someone spray painted over the damage to disguise it and this is what I found when I removed the spray paint. I don't want a big project just for this one cabinet but am willing to 'refresh' all of them if I can find some kind of gel stain that will adhere to the vinyl even if just a little bit, just enough to cover faded parts.

  23 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 14, 2020


    Here is info about the paint and some other ideas as well

  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Dec 14, 2020

    Hi DeAnn, I have not used retique but if you are unable to use it you could check out General Finishes. They have a gel stain as well that goes over a lot of things and it is a great product.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Dec 14, 2020

    Minwax make a good gel stain, here is how 1 person did a laminate project:

  • William William on Dec 14, 2020

    Yes you can use gel stain. I prefer Minwax products. You can go darker but not lighter.

  • Janice Janice on Dec 14, 2020

    Minwaxhas great products. I would do a test patch on the inside of a cabinet door before proceeding to ensure you like the color and how it interacts with the surface.

  • Yes, you can. According to the FAQ section of their website it can be used on plastic, so you should be good with vinyl wrapped cabinets.

  • Dee Dee on Dec 14, 2020

    I researched Ritique and the website says you can use it. I prefer General Finishes.You can call General Finishes and they will help you decide what to use they also have a form on line and they do return phone calls.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Dec 14, 2020

    I'd test on a small discrete spot like the inside of a door!

  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 14, 2020

    Hi DeAnn, I think you picked a great product, · Retique It Liquid Wood is a patented, revolutionary new product which makes virtually any hard surface stainable without having to strip off the old finish. The surface will become like bare wood because Retique It contains real wood. When you apply Retique It to a surface you are actually applying a thin layer of wood which can be finished using any color stain. Retique It is water-based, biodegradable, and has virtually no VOC’s, with no offensive smell and less damage to our environment. Retique It can be applied using an inexpensive paint brush or paint sprayer by professionals and DIYer’s alike. Cleanup is as simple as using soap and water. Retique It allows you to skip the time-consuming step of stripping the old finish. The adhesion and absorption properties are excellent, which allows your stain to absorb like it would on an unfinished wood surface. After applying Retique It, you can use any manufacturer’s stain, paint or sealant to create the look and finish you want. Refurbishing, refinishing, and revitalizing old furniture has never been easier! Applications include: Furniture, Drywall, Picture Frames, Cabinets, Doors, Cabinets, Fireplace Mantles, Hard Flooring, Wainscoting, Window Frames, Exterior Siding/Trim, Painted Surfaces, etc... Directions: First, clean surface and allow to completely dry. Then, apply Retique It with a paint brush or paint sprayer using long even strokes. Allow up to 2 hours to dry. Use soap and water to clean up drips and spills. Once it has dried, apply stain or paint to obtain the desired finish. Lastly, apply a top coat, such as polyurethane, polyacrylic, or hard wax oil to protect the finish. NOTE: Fill in any holes, divots or deep scratches with non-silicone filler before applying Retique It, if your project needs it.

  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 14, 2020

    Hi DeAnn, the retique it will work perfectly with your cabinets, and it should make the makeover easier on you.

  • Yes, you can use that. I bet it will look awesome.

  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 14, 2020

    Hi DeAnn. Retique It sounds like a great product. You can buy it in a spray can or you can apply it with a brush. I would buy the wood graining tool with it. Good luck DeAnn and Happy Holidays.

  • Yes you can and please share your results here!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 15, 2020


    If you want to refresh a vinyl finish you have to wash it down. Vinyl wrap timber finish is

    a plastic coat over probably MDF. If that finish has deteriorated, it may be possible to use a liquid shoe polish to help with a better look. Really you may have to use a Multi Surface Primer especially for Vinyl/plastic finishes. Then once dry you can Paint on top of it. Hope that helps.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Dec 15, 2020

    If you lightly sand them down to get the varnish off

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Dec 16, 2020

    There are lots of gel stain projects that help you here: Home and Garden DIY Ideas | Hometalk

  • Annie Annie on Dec 16, 2020

    To apply a water bases stain on a laminate will not work. I would only apply that stain to real wood that has been sanded down to the wood. Are you sure the cabinates in the pic are vinyl/laminate. They do look like wood

  • Jewels Jewels on Dec 16, 2020

    I used both Minwax and General Finishes to change our woodwork which was varnished. I just cleaned and then used a balled up sock to apply. The most important thing to know is that gel stain stays on the top of the finish. If you go back over to try and "fix" a spot, it may remove what you already applied. It is best to do a practice and then when ready, do a long motion from top to bottom and work quickly. Before you do anything with detail (like the front of the cabinet door) take a small about of stain on a Q Tip and go around the inside edges of the design. I did this because I used a rag and could not get into these areas.You have to let it cure also or your doors will stick. I did not try a brush. As said above, please post if you use retique it! Oh, and I used Vaseline lotion to get it off my hands lol

  • We've done a lot of this kind of painting/ staining in our home and generally with success, however we always start at the paint store with a knowledgeable rep...not a box store, a small shop that specializes. Hope that helps.

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Dec 19, 2020

    Vinyl is plastic and thus will not absorb stain of any kind.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 25, 2020

    All You Need to Know About Gel Stain

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Dec 29, 2020

    i have a similar issue. Would you post the projects once you finish? Thanks!