gel stains for pine

Old 01-24-07, 02:00 PM
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gel stains for pine

I am going to stain some pine windows and a door and would like to know peoples' opinion on using a gel stain, and if I do choose a gel would it be best to pre condition the pine. Thanks for the input.
Old 01-24-07, 05:14 PM
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I finish a lot of pine windows and window trim, and almost ALWAYS use a pre-stain wood conditioner on pine. I say "almost always" because if the trim is going to be somewhat dark- medium walnut or darker- then I don't use the conditioner. I've found that at least with the Minwax wood conditioner that I've been using, that when you use conditioner, dark stains will not get dark enough. With lighter colored stains, it's very important to use the conditioner or you'll get too much pigment in some areas and you'll end up with the "blotching" that you've probably heard so much about.

I also use Minwax wood stain, and have only used gel stain once and didn't care for it too much- IMO, it's more of a mess when you go to wipe if off because it likes to smear rather than soak up into the rags. I think the regular liquid stain brushes on easier, spreads better and more evenly and might soak in better too. I haven't quite figured out why people use gel stain, unless it is to avoid the messy drips and runs that are common when applying a runny liquid stain.

At any rate, you'd use a wood conditioner with pine regardless of which type of stain you go with. (but if it's a dark color, I'd recommend skipping the conditioner).
Old 01-24-07, 05:26 PM
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I tend to agree with Sleeper. Pine can be tough and often turns out blotchy, but gel stains seems to be more forgiving for the novice. But pick up a piece of white pine scrap( often used on window trim) and try it first.
Old 01-24-07, 06:22 PM
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Personally I don't care for gel stains, IMO the best way to use a gel stain is to add enough thinner to turn it into a 'real' stain

I usually used a wash coat/condition based on the customers needs/wants. I seldom ever use it on the window sash - no real benifit for such a small area. Wood conditioner usually causes whatever stain is used to be slightly lighter.

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