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Can You Use Gel Stain on Cabinets? (Quick Answers)

Gel stain is one of the most popular finishing products used on wood surfaces. However, gel stain does not work equally well on all kinds of wood surface. So it is important to know about the list of wood surfaces you can use gel stain on.

Today, we are going to discuss about cabinets and find out whether one can use gel stain on them or not.

Using gel stain on cabinets

There are many benefits of using gel stain on cabinets. First of all, gel stain can be easily applied on cabinets and is more durable than other finishing products. Gel stain does not require too much time to settle down on the surface of cabinets. Gel stained cabinets are easy to maintain.

Let’s look at some different types of cabinets and see if gel stain can be used on them.

Laminate cabinets:

Laminate cabinets are popular for the array of benefits they provide. First of all, buying laminate cabinets will not cost you much. Laminate cabinets can become handy as kitchen cabinets due to their cost effectiveness.

Additionally, laminate cabinets are known for their durability and will give you service for a long time without needing repair or replacement.

The benefits provided by laminate cabinets do not stop here. It is believed by experts that laminate cabinets require minimum amount of maintenance and care.

So you will not have to keep worrying about the state of your laminate cabinets on a daily basis. There are many varieties of laminate cabinets available in the market for you to choose from.

If we begin to break down the components of laminate cabinets, then we will find out that they are not made of real wood. Rather the core element of laminate cabinets is plastic.

That is why gel stain seems to work so well on laminate cabinets. It is important to remember that gel stain possesses the ability to change the outlook of laminate cabinets and makes them appear as pure wood cabinets.

So it can be said that laminate cabinets and gel stain are compatible with each other.

So you can apply gel stain on laminate cabinets without worrying about the consequences as the usage of gel stain on laminate cabinets brings many benefits to the table.

Oak cabinets:

Oak cabinets are one of the most widely used cabinets around the world. There are many valid reasons behind this. First of all, oak cabinets are known for their incredible durability.

Additionally, oak cabinets can be used in many different parts of the house due to its versatility. Oak cabinets can enhance the beauty of your house with their uncompromising looks.

It is believed by experts that gel stain works well on the surface of oak cabinets. If your oak cabinets have not aged well, then you can try to apply gel stain on them in order to make them look new.

Gel stain sets perfectly onto oak cabinets and can really make the cabinets look sharp.

Painted cabinets:

People sometimes prefer painting their cabinets. There are many reasons behind this. First of all, painting the cabinets will them a new look and might also increase their durability. Painting the cabinets also does not cost you much.

It is believed by experts that you can apply gel stain on painted cabinets. Gel stain will make the painted cabinets even more beautiful than before. Gel stain does not take much time to settle on the surface of painted cabinets.

So if you are struggling with old cabinets and do not know what to do, then painting and gel staining them might be a good idea. Gel stain over painted cabinets can bring many benefits to the table and save you a lot of money in the long run.

Can you gel stain cabinets without sanding?

The great thing about using gel stain on cabinets is that it requires a minimum amount of sanding. There are valid reasons behind this.

First of all, gel stain does not need a perfect surface to settle down. It is believed by experts that gel stain is capable of getting mixed on surfaces that have not been heavily sanded.

Even if you forget to sand your cabinets, gel stain will still be able to dry effortlessly onto the surface. The easy usability of gel stain makes it such a popular finishing product on wood surfaces.

How well does gel stain hold up to cabinets?

It is believed by experts that gel stain manages to hold up well to cabinets. However, gel stain is not equally durable on all types of cabinets.

So you will need to apply multiple coatings of gel stain on some cabinets to make up for the lack of durability.

The important thing to remember here is that gel stain can give you incredible service for many years if you manage to apply it using the right methods. Gel stain can completely change the outlook of cabinets.

Gel stain vs paint on kitchen and bathroom cabinets – Which one is better?

Both gel stain and paint are popular finishing products that are used on wood surfaces. Both of these products have their unique benefits. Let’s indulge in an comparative analysis of these two products and find out which one is superior.

In terms of cost:

If we breakdown the budget of both gel stain and paint, then we will see that it will cost much less to gel stain your kitchen and bathroom cabinets than paint them.

The reason behind this is that painting the cabinets will require more players of coating than gel staining them.

This means that the material and labor cost of painting cabinets are higher than gel staining them. So in terms of cost effectiveness, gel stain is better.

In terms of outlook:

The main reason of either painting or gel staining your bathroom and kitchen cabinets is to give them an outlook. Gel stain does a better job of hiding imperfect spots on the cabinets than paint.

Gel stain settles down well on wood surfaces compared to paint. That is why gel stain is the better option in terms of outlook. 

In terms of variations:

Gel stain does not provide a lot of variations as they are available in a limited number of colors and styles. But paint provides you with an array of different colors and styles.

So if you are looking to bring variation to the style and color of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, then painting them is the better option.

In terms of maintenance:

Maintenance is a key part of having bathroom and kitchen cabinets. The important thing to remember here is that gel stain needs minimum amount of care after it settles down on the cabinets.

But painted cabinets will require maintenance on a daily basis as they are not as durable as gel stained cabinets. So gel stain takes the cake in terms of maintenance.

In terms of application:

Applying gel stain on bathroom and kitchen cabinets is easier compared to paint. Gel stain is more fluid on wood surfaces than paint and dries quicker.

On the other hand, you will need to apply more layers of paint on cabinets than gel stain. Gel stain is better than paint in terms of application.

How to use gel stain on cabinets?

Using gel stain on cabinets might seem like a difficult task if you have no prior experience regarding the matter. However, there are some steps and methods you can take to accomplish the task. Let’s discuss in detail about some of them.

The preparation process:

First of all, you will need to get rid of drawers and doors from the cabinets. Then, you will need to clean the outside and inside parts of the cabinets thoroughly with cleaning agents and cloth. You would not want to apply gel stain on dirty cabinets.

The sanding process:

In the next step, you will be required to sand the cabinets. Gel staining the cabinets needs a minimum amount of sanding.

Sandpapers need to be used to sand the cabinets properly. Sanding is a crucial part of the entire process. Because gel stain settles down quickly on mildly sanded wood surfaces.

The coating process:

The most important step will have to be done now to complete the process. You will need to apply the first coat of gel stain on the cabinets with the help of a lint free cloth.

You will have to give the first coat of gel stain some time to dry completely. Then, you will have to start putting the second coat of gel stain on the cabinets. The second coating will ensure the success of the gel staining process.

Final Thoughts

Gel stained cabinets hold more benefits than painted cabinets. For example, gel stain is more cost effective than paint. Additionally, it is easier to take care of gel stained cabinets than painted ones. Gel stained cabinets are the better choice in the long run.