Can You Use Gel Stain on Laminate Furniture?

Are you considering giving your laminate furniture a makeover with stain? If so, gel stain is the perfect choice. Unlike traditional staining methods which do not work on synthetic materials like those in laminate furniture, gel stains can provide an attractive finish that will stand up to wear and tear over time. With the right tools and techniques, you can easily give any piece of laminate furniture a stunning transformation.

Yes, you can use gel stain on laminate furniture. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to get the best results. First, it’s important to sand your surface before applying the gel stain. This will help the stain to adhere better and give you a more even finish.

What Is Gel Stain?

Gel stain is the perfect option for staining laminate furniture because of its thick, gel-like texture that sticks to surfaces. Plus, with its extended drying time you can quickly achieve a steady finish in far less time than with traditional stains.

Gel stain is an ideal choice for laminate furniture, as it offers superior durability and versatility. Unlike traditional stains, gel stain adheres to the surface without penetrating it – making it less prone to fading or chipping over time. And just like that’s not enough, this easy-to-clean product can be applied on all types of materials including wood, metal, and plastic.

What You Need:

Unicorn Spit 5772009 6.0 fl oz. Concentrated Jasmine Scented Stain Gel
200 Pack 1 inch Foam Brush Sponge Wood Handle
Pro Grade - Chip Paint Brushes
AAWipes Cleanroom Polyester Wipers 12"x12" (Bag of 150 Pcs) Double Knit
Duck Clean Release Blue Painter's Tape 1.5-Inch
QYQRQF Emery Cloth Roll, 6 Grits Abrasive Sandpaper Rolls
Unicorn Spit 5772009 6.0 fl oz. Concentrated Jasmine Scented Stain Gel, Purple Hill Majesty
200 Pack 1 inch Foam Brush Sponge Wood Handle Paint Brush Foam Sponge Brush for Acrylics, Stains, Varnishes, Crafts
Pro Grade - Chip Paint Brushes - 36 Ea 2 Inch Chip Paint Brush Light Brown
AAwipes Cleanroom Polyester Wipers 12"x12" (Bag of 150 Pcs) Double Knit 100% Polyester Wipes Lint Free Cloths with Ultra-fine Filaments, Laser Sealed Edge, Class 100 Cloths, Ultra-Soft Wipes
Duck Clean Release Blue Painter's Tape 1.5-Inch (1.41-Inch x 60-Yard), 4 Rolls, 240 Total Yards, 240460
QYQRQF Emery Cloth Roll, 6 Grits Abrasive Sandpaper Rolls Assorted Sand Paper with Dispenser for Woodworking Automotive Metal Polishing, 80 150 240 320 400 600 Grits Per Roll 6 Meters
$14.95
$27.99
$17.99
$39.89
$16.24
$33.99
Unicorn Spit 5772009 6.0 fl oz. Concentrated Jasmine Scented Stain Gel
Unicorn Spit 5772009 6.0 fl oz. Concentrated Jasmine Scented Stain Gel, Purple Hill Majesty
$14.95
200 Pack 1 inch Foam Brush Sponge Wood Handle
200 Pack 1 inch Foam Brush Sponge Wood Handle Paint Brush Foam Sponge Brush for Acrylics, Stains, Varnishes, Crafts
$27.99
Pro Grade - Chip Paint Brushes
Pro Grade - Chip Paint Brushes - 36 Ea 2 Inch Chip Paint Brush Light Brown
$17.99
AAWipes Cleanroom Polyester Wipers 12"x12" (Bag of 150 Pcs) Double Knit
AAwipes Cleanroom Polyester Wipers 12"x12" (Bag of 150 Pcs) Double Knit 100% Polyester Wipes Lint Free Cloths with Ultra-fine Filaments, Laser Sealed Edge, Class 100 Cloths, Ultra-Soft Wipes
$39.89
Duck Clean Release Blue Painter's Tape 1.5-Inch
Duck Clean Release Blue Painter's Tape 1.5-Inch (1.41-Inch x 60-Yard), 4 Rolls, 240 Total Yards, 240460
$16.24
QYQRQF Emery Cloth Roll, 6 Grits Abrasive Sandpaper Rolls
QYQRQF Emery Cloth Roll, 6 Grits Abrasive Sandpaper Rolls Assorted Sand Paper with Dispenser for Woodworking Automotive Metal Polishing, 80 150 240 320 400 600 Grits Per Roll 6 Meters
$33.99

Before you begin giving your laminate furniture a new look, make sure to assemble the necessary tools and materials; including

  • Gel stain
  • A paintbrush or foam brush
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Topcoat

To get the best possible results, it’s essential to use quality materials. To choose the right gel stain for laminate surfaces, look for a product that is formulated specifically for this purpose. Additionally, make sure to pick a primer and topcoat that are compatible with your chosen gel stain in order to ensure optimum protection and durability of your project.

Step One: Prepare your surface by sanding it down with fine-grit sandpaper. If you’re starting with bare laminate, you’ll want to sand the surface first. You must make sure your surface is smooth before applying the gel stain.

Sanding will also help the stain to adhere better and give you a more even finish. Once your surface is sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

Step Two: Apply the gel stain in long, even strokes. Make sure to work in small sections so that you don’t miss any spots. Apply it evenly with a brush or rag, making sure to get into all of the cracks and crevices.

Step Three: Once you’ve applied the gel stain, allow it to dry for at least eight hours. After it’s dry, you can apply a second coat if you want a darker finish. Allow the gel stain to dry for at least 24 hours before moving on to the next step.

Step Four: Once the gel stain is dry, you can apply a topcoat to protect it. We recommend using a polyurethane topcoat, which will provide a durable finish that will help to protect your furniture from wear and tear.

With these simple steps, you can easily use gel stain on laminate furniture. Just remember to sand your surface first, apply the gel stain in long, even strokes, and allow it to dry for at least eight hours. Once it’s dry, you can apply a topcoat to protect your finish.

Importance of Using Gel Stain on Laminate Furniture

Transform your laminate furniture with the help of gel stain and give it a real wood-like appearance.

Gel stains provide an elegant, deep coloration that emulates the organic grain and texture of real wood. With this method, you can easily accomplish one-of-a-kind stylishness for all your favorite pieces.

Not only is gel stain attractive, but it also offers practical benefits. Gel stain is more robust than your typical stains and perfect for furniture that sees a lot use. Many times traditional staining chips or fades easily; however, with the added protection of gel stain you can rest assured that your newly-stained furniture will last for years to come without losing its luster.

Related: Do I Need to Remove Old Stain Before Re-staining a Deck?

Why Staining Laminate Not as Easy as Wood

Staining laminate furniture is far more difficult than attempting to treat wood because its manufactured synthetic surfaces are impervious to traditional staining techniques. Formed from several layers of paper and resin bonded together through heat and pressure, laminates have an impenetrable surface that make stain absorption futile. As a result, testing out common staining methods on these materials can often appear pointless.

Staining laminate furniture can be particularly tricky, as the surface usually has a pre-finished protective coat which prevents stain from properly adhering. Undoubtedly attempting to use traditional stains on laminated furniture will result in an irregular and blotchy finish.

How To Use Laminate Stain

can you use gel stain on laminate

Want to add a beautiful finish when staining your laminate furniture with gel stain? If so, the key lies in following these easy steps for best outcomes:

  1. Clean the surface of the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Sand the surface of the furniture lightly with fine-grit sandpaper. This will create a rougher surface that will help the gel stain adhere to the laminate.
  3. Apply a layer of primer to the furniture with a paintbrush or foam brush. This will create a surface that is more receptive to the gel stain.
  4. Once the primer has dried, apply the gel stain to the furniture with a paintbrush or foam brush, working in small sections.
  5. Allow the gel stain to sit on the surface of the furniture for a few minutes, and then wipe off any excess stain with a lint-free cloth. This will help create a more even finish.
  6. Repeat the staining process as necessary to achieve the desired color and depth of the stain.
  7. Once the gel stain has dried completely, apply a topcoat to the furniture to protect the stain and provide a long-lasting finish.

How To Stain Laminate Furniture Without Sanding

Sanding is an essential stage of creating a desirable look on your furniture before you stain it, but if you’d like to bypass this step, there are still other options. You can try using deglosser or liquid sandpaper to effectively remove the glossy finish from laminate surfaces or opt for bonding primer that sticks great onto smooth surfaces. Either way, you’re sure to get excellent results.

Before applying any stain or primer to your laminate furniture, make sure you heed the manufacturer’s instructions and also perform a test patch in an unnoticeable area of the furniture. Doing this will guarantee that it will produce the desired results.

Using Gel Stains on Laminate

Gel stain is the perfect solution for creating a beautiful finish on laminate furniture. To ensure your project turns out as planned, select a gel stain developed exactly for this purpose and that will work with the topcoat of choice. With an array of colors to choose from, you’ll be able to find one that marries perfectly with your home’s style and decor—making it easy to achieve the desired look.

How to Gel Stain Laminate Furniture

To leave your laminate furniture with a perfectly polished finish, follow these easy steps for optimal results:

  1. Clean the surface of the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Sand the surface of the furniture lightly with fine-grit sandpaper.
  3. Apply a layer of primer to the furniture with a paintbrush or foam brush.
  4. Once the primer has dried, apply the gel stain to the furniture with a paintbrush or foam brush, working in small sections.
  5. Allow the gel stain to sit on the surface of the furniture for a few minutes, and then wipe off any excess stain with a lint-free cloth.
  6. Repeat the staining process as necessary to achieve the desired color and depth of the stain.
  7. Once the gel stain has dried completely, apply a topcoat to the furniture to protect the stain and provide a long-lasting finish.

How To Remove Gel Stain From Laminate Furniture

If you make a mistake when applying gel stain to your laminate furniture or if you decide that you no longer want the stain, it is possible to remove it. Here’s how:

  1. Sand the surface of the furniture lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to remove the top layer of the stain.
  2. Apply a gel stain remover to the surface of the furniture witha paintbrush, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Once the gel stain remover has had time to work, wipe it off the surface of the furniture with a cloth.
  4. Repeat the process as necessary until all of the stain has been removed.

Different Methods of Applying Gel Stain on Laminate Furniture

There are different methods of applying gel stain on laminate furniture. Some people prefer to use a paintbrush, while others prefer to use a foam brush or even a rag. The method you choose will depend on your personal preference and the size and shape of the furniture you are staining.

When using a paintbrush, it’s important to choose a brush that is appropriate for the type of stain you are using. A natural bristle brush is best for oil-based stains, while a synthetic brush is better for water-based stains.

If you prefer to use a foam brush, choose a high-quality brush that will not leave behind any streaks or bubbles.

A rag can also be used to apply gel stain, but this method can be messy and may not provide the most even coverage.

Which Method Should I Use?

Deciding on the best way to apply gel stain to your laminate furniture depends on both your preference and the size of the piece you’re staining. A paintbrush or foam brush is a great choice for large items such as cabinets and tables, while smaller pieces like chairs and end tables are better suited with a rag application technique.

Best Gel Stains for Laminate Furniture

Water-Based Gel Stains by Retique It
Unicorn SPiT 5770006 Gel Stain and Glaze
Bartley Gel Stain Quart Pennsylvania Cherry
Varathane 358314 Premium Gel Stain
Water-Based Gel Stains by Retique It (32oz Stain, 20 Java)
Unicorn SPiT 5770006 Gel Stain and Glaze, Zia Teal 4.0 FL OZ Bottle
Bartley Gel Stain Quart Pennsylvania Cherry
Varathane 358314 Premium Gel Stain, Half Pint, Cabernet
$39.99
$8.46
$35.99
$11.79
Water-Based Gel Stains by Retique It
Water-Based Gel Stains by Retique It (32oz Stain, 20 Java)
$39.99
Unicorn SPiT 5770006 Gel Stain and Glaze
Unicorn SPiT 5770006 Gel Stain and Glaze, Zia Teal 4.0 FL OZ Bottle
$8.46
Bartley Gel Stain Quart Pennsylvania Cherry
Bartley Gel Stain Quart Pennsylvania Cherry
$35.99
Varathane 358314 Premium Gel Stain
Varathane 358314 Premium Gel Stain, Half Pint, Cabernet
$11.79

There are a few different types of gel stains on the market, so how do you know which one is right for your project? Here are some of the best gel stains.

1) Gel Stain by Retique It, Thin Water-Based Gel Stain/Paint Glaze, and Wood Stain Hybrid Wood

Features

  • Can be used on wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and more
  • Dries quickly
  • Non-toxic
  • The water-based formula makes cleanup easy

Product Description

This gel stain is perfect for those who want to achieve a professional finish. It’s quick-drying and non-toxic, making it safe for both indoor and outdoor use. The water-based formula makes cleanup a breeze.

Pros

  • Quick-drying
  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • None

Buy On Amazon

2) Unicorn SPiT 5770006 Gel Stain and Glaze, Zia Teal 4.0 FL OZ Bottle

Features

  • One-step process
  • Non-toxic
  • Water-based
  • Quick-drying

Product Description

This gel stain is perfect for those who want a quick and easy way to achieve a beautiful finish. The one-step process is simple and the water-based formula makes cleanup a breeze. It’s also non-toxic, making it safe for both indoor and outdoor use.

Pros

One-step process

  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to use
  • Quick-drying

Cons

  • None

Buy On Amazon

3) Bartley Gel Stain Quart Pennsylvania Cherry

Features

  • Non-toxic
  • Water-based
  • Quick drying
  • Easy to use

Product Description

Bartley Gel Stains come in an array of colors and may be mixed together to produce virtually any hue. To create lighter hues, combine the stains with the varnish.

Even more beautiful tones can be achieved by staining with one color, allowing it to dry for six hours, and then overstaining with a different color. Gel Stains are semi-transparent, the overstaining creates a different look than had the same colors been mixed in a can and then applied. Overstaining has many possibilities.

Bartley Gel Stains are versatile and ideal for staining fiberglass doors, wood graining, antiquing, glazing, and sponging.

For a darker, richer tone, apply a second or third coat of stain to add significant depth and richness of color. Allow six hours between coats. In humid climates drying time will vary. One of the best features of Bartley stains is there is no sanding between coats. It couldn’t be easier!

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Water-based
  • Quick drying
  • Easy to use
  • Can be mixed to produce different colors
  • No sanding between coats

Cons

  • None

Buy On Amazon

4) Varathane 358300 Premium Gel Stain, Quart, Cabernet

Features

  • Non-toxic
  • Water Cleanup
  • Rich, deep color in one coat
  • No lap marks

Product Description

This gel stain is perfect for those who want a quick and easy way to achieve a beautiful finish. The one-step process is simple and the water-based formula makes cleanup a breeze. It’s also non-toxic, making it safe for both indoor and outdoor use.

The Varathane Premium Gel Stain is a one-step stain that creates beautiful, uniform results on vertical surfaces without the mess of drips, runs, or other typical application problems.

Varathane Gel Stain is a thicker, more viscous formulation than typical stains, resulting in rich hues and warm wood grain for a beautiful patina and comprehensive coverage.

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Water-based
  • Quick drying
  • Easy to use
  • Rich, deep color in one coat

Cons

  • None

Buy On Amazon

These are all great products that will give you the desired results. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

FAQs

Can you use gel stain on laminate cabinets?

Yes, give your laminate cabinets a new, modern look with gel stain. Just make sure to give them a thorough clean and rub down the surface before you start applying it.

How many coats of gel stain should I apply?

No matter what color and intensity of stain you are hoping to achieve, two or three coats of gel stain will likely be sufficient.

Do I need to seal gel stain on laminate furniture?

Absolutely, it is vital to seal gel-stained laminate furniture with a topcoat in order to preserve the stain and create a lasting finish.

Conclusion

Revitalize any room and transform the aesthetic of your home with a flawless, even finish that complements its surroundings without having to purchase new furniture by gel staining laminate pieces. Staining laminate may be slightly more complicated than wood, however you can still achieve outstanding results if you have the correct tools and instructions. Follow our steps provided in this article for excellent outcomes that will last for years.

  Also Read: How to Remove Oil Based Stain From Wood

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