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-   -   Liquid stain vs gel - which is best? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/liquid-stain-vs-gel-best-55987/)

paulgilbert 10-26-2009 01:26 PM

Liquid stain vs gel - which is best?
 
For [oil-based] staining of interior window trim - is it better to use liquid oil or gel where accurate edging is needed? Also, would cotton cloth be the best applicator?

user1007 10-26-2009 02:05 PM

Both have advantages. Gel stains may be a little easier for you to control and many come with some opacity to the color which can make it easier to blend. They may not penetrate the wood as much though. A soft cloth works well with them. Putting a liquid stain on with a good brush and wiping it off is still a preferred method of mine if using that type. You can always tape off the walls where the trim meets it if that is your concern about using a liquid. Make sure you stir, not shake, liquid stains thoroughly. If you are going for a darker color work in several coats and don't try to do it with one pass.

Allison1888 10-27-2009 07:11 PM

stain
 
I've always used liquid stain and it is great at penetrating the wood, etc. And, anytime I've had a contractor do staining, they have always used liquid. That doesn't mean that gel won't work, but that liquid is probably the preferred method. You could always get a little bit of both and try it on some scrap wood, which is a good idea whenever you haven't stained in awhile. It can take awhile to get the hang of it again.

paulgilbert 10-28-2009 11:08 AM

Thanks for the tips.

As for temperature, we are in getting cool temps (zero to + 5C) which is too cold for painting. There is no mention on the can of liquid stain about temperture. Is it OK to stain in this zero to +5 C temperature range? The issue is that although it's an interior job, the window has to be open to get to the edges of the sash.

user1007 10-28-2009 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paulgilbert (Post 346471)
Thanks for the tips.

As for temperature, we are in getting cool temps (zero to + 5C) which is too cold for painting. There is no mention on the can of liquid stain about temperture. Is it OK to stain in this zero to +5 C temperature range? The issue is that although it's an interior job, the window has to be open to get to the edges of the sash.

Unless the heat is shut off to that part of the house it is unlikely the overall room temperature or the sash is going to be nearly that cold? You do want it warm enough for the solvents to evaporate and leave the stain resins to cure. You will not want to fuss with your poly coatings below the recommended temperature or they will not cure and will just attract dust and so forth.

evapman 10-29-2009 06:27 PM

Have always used liquid on wood and gel on fiberglass & steel doors for the stained wood look. So far good luck with both that way. :thumbsup:

vsheetz 10-29-2009 10:44 PM

I tried a gel stain on some cabinets awhile back. Seemed more like a paint in coverage than a stain - very little penetration. I ended up going with a regular liquid stain - much better result.

paulgilbert 11-01-2009 12:41 AM

Thanks for all comments, a great help in planning my project.

One final issue is whether or not to use pre-stain conditioner. I know basically what it does, and that it's a personal choice depending on the finish that is desired. I wonder if there are any comments about use of a conditioner - in my case, on new douglas-fir window trim - prior to application of an oil-based stain.

Shamus 11-01-2009 06:06 AM

We do a lot of staining on projects using a dozen different wood types. If there is any variation in the density of the piece of wood you are staining it will show up as a dark area. Prestain conditioner will minimize the blotchy result.
I prefer to be safe rather than sorry and always use a conditioner on every wood surface we are going to stain. That way, no surprises.


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