With outdated hardware and a yellow-ish finish, all of my bathroom vanities needed a makeover.Seeing what an ordeal it was to paint my kitchen cabinets with oil paint, however, I was looking for an easy way out.Thank goodness I stumbled upon a new product called gel stain( here is the one I used).
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After some intensive research and a few tutorials, I decided I would take the leap and try the gel stain. So glad I did. The application was super easy and after two years, the product has not even one scratch.
Here is what the vanity looked like before the gel stain application.
Here is the vanity after 3 coats of Java Gel Stain
and some new chrome hardware.
The color I went with, Java, deceptively appears as black in these photos. However, it is more like a super dark wood finish.
- Gel Stain (here is the one I used)
- small foam brush
- latex gloves
- multiple socks
- 120-180 grit sand paper
- painter’s tape
- Minwax Wipe-On Oil-Based Poly
How I Gel Stained My Vanity
1. Remove existing hardware and tape off your working area.
2. If desired, remove doors and drawers. I took the lazy way out and omitted this step.
3. Lightly sand your surface with sandpaper. The beauty of gel stain is that you don’t have to make a big to-do of this step.
4. Put latex glove on your working hand (hand you want to apply stain with). Then, place sock over your latex glove and start applying your stain. I know it sounds weird, but application of the stain with old socks is really the easiest way I found. Because the stain will bleed through your sock, latex glove is necessary to avoid getting stain on your hand.
5. Don’t freak out after your first or second coats! It will look ugly AF at first. Here is how mine looked after the second coat. Also, be sure to let each coat dry completely between application.
6. Use small foam brush for touch ups or hard to reach areas.
8. After you are happy with the finish, let dry overnight. Then apply wipe on polyurethane. It is best to apply 2-3 coats. I only applied one coat and I still havent had any dings or scratches.
9. Re-install hardware and enjoy your new vanity!!!
Like I said, I would highly recommend this particular gel stain and no one is paying me to say so. I found it so much easier than using actual paint.
In fact, I have found gel stain to be so durable, I even applied it on my front exterior doors which you can read all about in this tutorial.
Update 6-8-2018: My gel stain cabinets are still holding up beautifully, but I also recently discovered a cutting-edge paint product that I used to paint my kitchen cabinets with- by the same company- (and no…I am not being paid to endorse this product). To read my hack for painting your cabinets or bathroom vanity the easiest way possible, click here to read the post. This type of paint is particularly useful if you cannot find the gel stain in your desired color or if you need a product that will go over cabinets that have already been painted . Good luck, babes!
Now get out there and design some good vibes !!!
Tuesday 7th of February 2017
Great job - you've given me the solution for our master bathroom!
Tuesday 7th of February 2017
Thank you , Sadiya. So glad I could help!
Saturday 19th of November 2016
Looks great! Is the vanity real wood or laminate?
Sunday 20th of November 2016
Thanks, Tanya! The vanity is real wood. Hope this helps.
Friday 11th of November 2016
Hi! This looks amazing! What kind of polyurethane did you use on top? Thanks!
Sunday 13th of November 2016
Thanks, Melissa! I used Minwax's Wipe-On Poly. Hope this helps!
Saturday 29th of October 2016
Absolutely stunning! Our vanities are painted. Would the paint need to be stripped prior to applying this gel? Or will a light sand work?
Sunday 30th of October 2016
Thanks, Mimi. I am honestly not sure how the stain would do on a painted surface, but I would think the surface should be stripped before application.
Sunday 16th of October 2016
It looks beautiful! I would like to redo my stairs which are hardwood, do you know if this would work? I do realize I would need a harder finishing coat, any suggestions??? Thanks in advance. ?
Thursday 19th of January 2017
We just recently did this for our stairs! We painted white risers and gel stained the treds. :) Turned out fabulous!
Monday 17th of October 2016
I am not sure, Lisa. I am sure it could work, but it may be easier just to use a stain specifically for flooring. Thanks for stopping by!