Gel stain will not require you to sand the product to a raw wood finish.
It can be applied over only lightly sanded pieces just as well.
I found gel stain to be more forgiving; because you will need to do multiple coats, you can even out the finish over time.
How do you prep cabinets for gel stain?
- Remove cabinets and hinges with screwdriver and clean hinges with dish soap diluted in water.
- Scrub/clean all cabinet surfaces and allow to dry.
- Sand all surfaces with the sanding block.
- Wipe dust away with a damp cloth.
- Wipe cabinets with deglosser.
- Allow cabinets to dry in dust-free environment.
How can I stain my kitchen cabinets without sanding?
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding or Priming
- Remove Any Dirt and Grime. Using a scrubbing sponge, thoroughly wipe down each cabinet surface with a grease-cutting cleaner, making sure to remove all dirt and grime.
- Apply Liquid Deglosser.
- Label Doors + Remove Hardware.
- Clean Out the Inside.
- Paint the Back.
- Insert Thumbtacks.
- Paint the Molding.
- Paint the Front Side.
Can I use gel stain on finished wood?
It’s not a common practice, but you can apply stain — if it’s gel stain — over polyurethane. It won’t penetrate like stain, so you won’t get the same grain patterns. Think of gel stain as a type of opaque paint. If you really want to change the color without stripping, gel stain can do it.
Photo in the article by “Wikimedia Commons”