How to Apply Gel Stain

Gel stain provides the same beautiful color to wood as liquid stain does. However, it is a thick gel instead of a liquid, meaning it doesn’t run. That makes gel stain a perfect option if you need to stain something that stands up, such as a chair leg. Gel stain is thick enough to work with; you can expect it to be about the same consistency as a thick milk shake. Using a foam brush to apply gel stain helps ensure the stain gets into every grain of the wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Gel stain
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Squirt bottle
  • Water
  • Lint-free cloth
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    • 1

      Squeeze the gel stain onto the wood.

    • 2

      Brush the stain into the wood in the same direction as the wood grain, using a foam paintbrush.

    • 3

      Work quickly, taking care not to let the gel stain sit too long on the wood. If it sits in one place too long, it will leave marks in the area where it began to dry on the wood.

    • 4

      Squirt water onto the gel stain if you want to wipe it away before it dries.

    • 5

      Wipe the wood using a lint-free cloth after you apply gel stain to the entire surface of the wood. Wipe in the same direction as the wood grain to remove any excess stain and to prevent streaking. Continue wiping the wood until it is dry to the touch.

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