Add Amazing Curb Appeal With Gel Stain

Heather Cammack
by Heather Cammack
5 Materials
2 Hours

When I first started exploring the different ways I could add curb appeal to my home, I was a skeptic of the whole gel stain route. After I added up the cost of replacing my front door and wrapping my front porch posts in wood, I decided to give the inexpensive gel stain option a try.

You can find the video tutorial on my blog post here

Here you can see the sad state of our porch posts and the bland front door. The posts were wrapped in a fiberboard siding and painted white, so they couldn't just be sanded down and stained.

The only prep that the door got before staining was a light sanding with a sponge sander, and a good scrub.

So I grabbed some Old Masters Gel Stain in the color Provincial, and an inexpensive synthetic bristle paintbrush. Using long sweeping strokes, and working with little stain on my brush, I finished the first coat on my front door.

Something I learned really quickly is that a little gel stain goes a long way. Another tip is blend, blend, blend. Use those sweeping strokes to avoid getting any blotchyness between the sections you work in.

I opted to do a second coat on the door to make it a bit darker, and this is how it turned out.

For the porch posts, I used the same method as the front door.

I also added some 1x6 boards to each post base. This not only covered up the damaged parts of the posts, but gave them a bit of a chunky, farmhouse look.

Because this gel stain just seemed to be absolutely bottomless, I made some quick and easy planter boxes and stained them to match the door and posts.

Even though the boxes are solid wood, I painted them white before staining since that was the base for the door and posts. This way the stain just came through the same on everything.

Everything but this one fingerprint turned out great .

Most importantly, after seven months the gel stain (with no added sealer) is still holding up as new. Our front door faces into the hot afternoon sun, and this has not affected the finish at all. Also, the stain hasn't budged through rain and snow storm.

Good luck with your DIY projects!

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Heather Cammack
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 13 questions
  • Natalie Knowles Weems Natalie Knowles Weems on Mar 01, 2019

    I have a fiberglass door and I'm wounding if this will work on that?


  • Jo Jo on Mar 01, 2019

    The previous owners of my house tried to sand the door with a peice of sand paper on a chizle drill bit ( unbelievable) and gouged it up, i have to try and fix it aill gel stain stay on raw wood?

  • Seasha Holman Seasha Holman on Mar 05, 2019

    Does this process only work on wood doors?

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  • Amanda B Starkey Amanda B Starkey on Mar 02, 2019

    I'm going to absolutely try this on our porch. I live in the oldest house in our town and it has had the interior all redone right down to the dirt basement. This will look amazing on the side porch/entryway to the house. Will definitely post before and after photos once I start.

  • Melody Boling Medlock Melody Boling Medlock on Apr 19, 2020

    I know this post was from a while ago so I'm wondering if it is still bolding up? I am also wondering if the hanging planters on your porch ( they look like they are hanging on a leaning door) where made by you or purchased? I love them they look so unique.

    • Heather Cammack Heather Cammack on Apr 20, 2020

      Hey, the gel stain is good as new. I'm pretty impressed with it actually. I did make the planter with some old horse collars and an old door. You could probably get the same type of look without the horse collars, just using an old door and some other type of planter that could be mounted.