Gelco Furniture's Oil Based Finishing Tips
Application techniques differ between oil based products
and water based products. Oil based gel products require
different application techniques than liquid oil based
finishes - both produce equally beautiful, lustrous wood tone
finishes. Use the information below to assist you in selecting
the best finish for your project and finishing style. There
are several factors that may influence your choice.
of Oil Based Finishes -selecting your finish
|Wipe-on Liquid Stains and Top
Wipe-on liquid oil based products such
as GF Wood Stains, GF Arm-R-Seal Top Coat and GF Sealacell
Clear, are made with the highest quality pure urethane resin.
They are as durable as polyurethane, but because of their
thinner viscosity, urethanes are much easier to apply. Liquid
oil based stains penetrate more deeply into the wood than gel
oil based stains or water based products and will bring out more
variation in the in the wood. You will see rich
variations of light and dark tones in the grain, but knots and
irregularities in the wood will also be accentuated. Liquid oil
based stains apply rapidly and easily, do not require as much
removal of excess product as gel stains do, and come
"alive" beautifully when top coated. If speed
of application is important to you, choose a liquid oil based
stain. Many soft or porous woods, like pine, fir, spruce
(soft) and maple, alder and aspen (porous) have a tendency to
absorb stain unevenly. Treating the wood surface with GF
Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner helps prevent streaking and blotching
to help ensure a beautiful, even stain. Just use the fingernail
test. If your fingernail dents the surface, you have a soft
wood, like pine or aspen.
|Gel Stains and Top Coats
Unlike liquid stains, gel stain are
thick. Gel Stains give such immediate satisfaction and have a
very high "touch" factor during the finishing process.
Due to their high urethane content, applications of Gel Stain
respond with a high luster sooner than liquid oil based stains
which must be top coated. And they do not splash, drip or run.
However, this high urethane content also increases the viscosity
(thickness), requiring more wiping away of excess product during
the staining process. If you prefer "rubbing" and
polishing a finish on, gel stain for you. The stain itself
contains top coat material and they may be used as a one can
finish. If using a gel stain as a one can finish, we
recommend using at least 2-3 coats. For maximum durability, apply
Gel Topcoat over Gel Stain.
|Top Coat Color
Oil based top coats have a slight
amber color. Water based top coats dry to a clear finish.
Use mineral spirits or paint thinner
for clean up.
Oil based products dry more slowly
than water based products. In good conditions, allow
6-8 hours. In cold or damp conditions, allow 24 hours.
The sun affects everything. If left in
strong sunlight, the materials in stains will fade like
everything else does in the sun.
When using oil based finishes, take
careful precautions when disposing of waste products. Rags,
steel wool or other waste soaked with these products may
spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately
after use, place rags, steel wool or waste in sealed, water
filled, metal container. Dispose of in accordance with
local fire regulations.
|Mixing Custom Colors
You can create a unique color by
mixing any two shades of GF oil based wood stains, or by
layering one color over another. Be sure to write down exactly
how much of each color is in the mix and mix enough to complete
the entire project. Do not mix oil based products with
water based products.
A good supply of high quality paper towels or lint free
absorbent wiping cloths. Cotton cloth materials such as tee
shirts do not absorb well.
Foam or synthetic brushes, latex paint pad applicators, and an
old bristle brush to get paint out of corners. You must brush or
wash paint pad applicators before use to remove loose bristles.
#120, #180 or #220 grit sandpaper for sanding raw wood.
#320 or #400 grit sandpaper or superfine sanding sponges for
buffing in between coats of Top Coat.
All surfaces should be clean and free from all dirt and oils.
Fill all nail holes with putty before sanding. There are two
1. Fill holes before you stain using putty that dries hard and
can be sanded and stained or,
2. Stain the wood, apply one GF Top Coat, and then use colored
putty that matches the stain.
Good prep sanding is absolutely essential to achieving a good
finish! Prepare the surface by using medium paper first, and
then proceed to finer grades. For softwoods such as pine, aspen,
or alder, sand first with a #120 grit sandpaper, and finish
sanding using #150 or #180 grit sandpaper. For closed grained
hardwoods such as Oak, Maple or Birch, start with #100 sandpaper
and finish with no finer than #120 sandpaper. Never start
sanding with very fine sandpaper on unfinished wood.
Remove all the dust by vacuuming or wiping with a lint-free
cloth or tack cloths. End-grains (areas where the wood has been
cut against the grain), such as the front side of a table, tend
to soak up more stain than other surfaces. Give end-grain areas
an additional sanding to control the absorption of stain.
Wipe-on Gel Oil Based Application Guide
1. Application of Gel Stain
Caution: If finishing an unassembled piece of furniture
prior to assembly, care must be taken to avoid getting stain on
the areas of the joints. Glue will not stick to surfaces
that have finish on them.
Using a cloth, foam brush or paint pad
applicator, apply a liberal amount of Gel Stain to the area of
raw wood you are working. Divide your project into sections:
drawer front, table or cabinet top, side of chest, etc. Keep the
area wet with product while applying. Wipe away the excess
with clean cloths or paper toweling and rub out the stain until
the color is even, applying light pressure with your hand until
the first layer of stain evens out in color. As the first
coat of stain dries, the appearance will be dull or dry. Take
heart, the beauty of the wood will come alive as you add
subsequent layers of color and top coats.
Additional coats of stain may be
applied for a deeper, richer color. This photo shows a second
coat of Java being applied over the first coat of Java.
Sanding between coats of any stain or top coat is referred to as
Buffing. We do not recommend buffing between coats of stain
because you may remove an area of stain that cannot be
re-blended. If you must buff because you have imperfections
that need to be smoothed out, do so with caution using a
superfine sanding pad or #320 sandpaper.
On the second or third coats of stain,
wipe off the excess stain using a clean cloth or paper toweling
the direction of the grain. Again, apply light pressure
with your hand until the color is evened out, finishing with a
polishing motion always in the direction of the grain.
Tip: Keep extra wiping cloths nearby
as you work, replacing them as needed until you remove all
excess gel stain. Be sure to remove all rag marks and
smudges, turning and changing cloths as needed. Several
thin coats will give a better result.
Continue to turn the cloth to a clean
side as you work. On your last few passes across the surface,
use a lighter polishing motion, continuing to work in the
direction of the grain. When you achieve the depth of color
desired, it is time to move on to optional top coats.
Tip: Use an old dry bristle brush to
remove stain buildup from the corners of molding, bead board,
Tip: Protect any wet surfaces that you
may handle by using a dry cloth.
When applying topcoats, your
application process turns into a very light, brisk polishing
motion with long light sweeping strokes, as the Top Coats glide
along the smoother surface of the previous stain coats. Several
thin coats give the best result.
Buff lightly between each top coat
with a super fine sanding pad or #320 sand paper. Do not buff
the final topcoat. Sanding pads are far superior to sand
paper as they form around moldings and corners and they last a
long time. We like using a well-worn pad on the last few
coats of top coat to promote a fine finish. Tip: If your
super fine sanding pad is new, use it on raw wood first
when working with the final finish coat.
Vacuum after buffing each layer of top
Last step - just start admiring your
2. Drying Information
Good conditions, 6-8 hours. Cold or damp conditions, 24
200 square feet per quart.
Wipe-on Liquid Oil Based Application Guide
Wipe-on Liquid Oil Based Stains contain colored pigments
that often settle to the bottom of the can and must be
thoroughly mixed before application. It may take as much
as five minutes to thoroughly mix the contents of the can
so that the color remains consistent as the contents are
Do a test first on the back, bottom or other
inconspicuous area of the furniture to check the stain
color before proceeding. If the stain looks evenly coated
and you like the look, one coat staining is adequate. If
the stain is too light or uneven, a second coat of stain
may be needed before the topcoat is applied.
Apply using a foam brush, bristle brush, paint pad
applicator, or a lint-free cloth such as an old T-shirt.
Stain one surface at a time. As you stain each
area, remove excess stain by wiping with a clean cloth. It
is important to wipe off the stain thoroughly and
consistently (in the direction of the grain) to get an
evenly stained surface.
If a darker, or deeper color is desired, allow the first
coat of stain to dry for 24 hours, then apply a second
coat of stain in the same manner as the first. Never buff
a stain coat, only top coats.
Note: The white colorant in White Mist is titanium
dioxide, which penetrates far less than the earth clay
pigments found in all other stain colors. White stain is
often called pickling stain as it lets much of the wood
color show through. It is not paint and will not cover
like paint. Apply White Mist as directed above. Be sure to
wipe off the excess well to prevent lifting during the
application of the top coat. A second coat will add a
little more color. Let White Mist dry for 24 hours before
a second coat or top coats.
2. Optional Pre-Stain Conditioner
General Finishes Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner is specifically
designed for use before staining new or bare soft and porous
wood surfaces such as with Aspen or Pine. It penetrates the
grain of the wood to promote uniform acceptance of stain, and helps
prevent streaking and blotching to help ensure a beautiful,
even stain. Prior to staining, apply a liberal coat of the
Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Allow it to penetrate for 5-15
minutes, then wipe away the excess with a cloth. For
highly absorbent woods, you can then apply a second coat,
wait, and wipe away the excess again. Allow the pre-stain
to dry for 30 minutes before applying stain, but no longer
than 2 hours.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Pre-sealing the wood will lighten the
color of your stain so test the Pre-stain and the color before
starting. A second coat of stain may be applied after the
first coat has dried to achieve a darker color.
3. Applying Top Coats
Apply the top coat with a lint-free cloth, foam brush, or
paint pad applicator, moving with the direction of the grain.
For large surfaces, apply a liberal coat as quickly as
possible, evening out the surface with long, smooth strokes,
keeping your applicator wet to provide lubrication. A dry
applicator can drag on the surface and may cause streaks.
(These streaks may be easily removed after the surface has
dried by buffing well and recoating). Buff between top coats
with '0000' steel wool or #320 or finer grade sandpaper to
produce a smooth surface. A minimum of 3 top coats is
4. Drying Information
Wipe-on Liquid Stains and Top Coats can dry in 6-8 hours
under ideal conditions (70% - 75% humidity). Cooler
temperatures or higher humidity may extend the time needed for
drying up to 12-24 hours or longer. Basements, even with a
furnace, fireplace, and dehumidifier, are the worst
environments for drying. Provide good ventilation and air
movement with a fan to greatly improve dry time. If a stain
coat is dry, you should be able to wipe your hand across the
surface without feeling any tackiness. If your top coat is
dry, sanding will produce a white powder.
200 square feet per quart.
Maintenance and Care
It's important to let your final coat cure for a period of 14
days to reach optimum hardness. You may use your project sooner,
just treat it with special care during the curing period. To
maintain the finish use General Finishes Orange Oil or just a
damp cloth. Paste wax is not recommended, because it builds up
and yellows, thus becoming a maintenance problem.
To rejuvenate an old dull finish, simply clean surface well
with mineral sprits and '0000' steel wool and apply one of
General Finishes Top Coats.
Use caution in disposal of waste
When using oil based finishes, take careful precautions when
disposing of waste products. Rags, steel wool or other
waste soaked with these products may spontaneously catch fire if
improperly discarded. Never leave application materials
indoors. Immediately after use, place rags, steel wool or waste
in sealed, water filled, metal container. Dispose of in
accordance with local fire regulations.