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General Finishes

NUTMEG General Finishes Gel Wood Stain GALLON (oil based)

NUTMEG General Finishes Gel Wood Stain GALLON (oil based)

Regular price $97.00 USD
Regular price $90.00 USD Sale price $97.00 USD
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Gel Stain from General Finishes is home of the popular Java Gel Stain featured across the nation's social media for upcycling furniture and cabinets. Gel wood stains are heavy-bodied and do not penetrate as deeply into the wood as liquid oil-based wipe-on stains do, providing the deepest, richest colors of any oil-based stain available.


All raw wood projects require preparation sanding before applying General Finishes Prairie Wheat gel stain, and all existing finishes require prep cleaning and sanding. If you skip this critical step, your finish may fail.

Preparation for Raw Wood Projects
See our video: How to Prep Sand Raw Wood

  1. Prep sand with 120-grit sandpaper followed by 150-grit sandpaper. Do not over-sand with fine-grit sandpapers; this will close and seal the wood grain, preventing ideal color absorption.
  2. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.  
  3. Let dry completely before applying General Finishes product. 

Preparation for Projects with a Sealed Surface
See our video: How to Prepare Existing Finishes

  1. Scuff clean with a Scotch Brite™ pad  or maroon synthetic steel wool and a 50:50 mix of denatured alcohol and water. If your project requires a deeper cleaning, see Power Prep Cleaning Highly Used Existing Finishes below.
  2. Dry 1-2 hours.
  3. Sand lightly with a 220-320-grit foam sanding sponge.
  4. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.  
  5. Let dry completely before applying General Finishes product.

Power Prep Cleaning Highly Used Existing Finishes

For high-use areas with heavy grime build-up and oil from hands, give your project a deeper cleaning.

See our video: How to Power Prep Existing High Use Finishes for Stain or Paint

  1. Scrub clean with a detergent, such as Spic and Span or Dawn, using a Scotch Brite™ pad.
  2. Rinse well with water.
  3. Scrub clean with a Scotch Brite™ pad and a 50:50 mix of denatured alcohol and water. Dry 1-2 hours.
  4. Sand lightly with a 220-320 foam sanding pad.
  5. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.  
  6. Let dry completely before applying General Finishes product.

Alternative Cleaning Solutions for Existing Finishes (Not as aggressive or effective as denatured alcohol; requires rinsing.) 

  1. 50:50 mix of bleach and water 
  2. 50:50 mix of vinegar and water
  3. Mineral spirits can be used when working with water-based products, but only if the surface is thoroughly rinsed and allowed to dry for 72 hours.


General Finishes Prairie Wheat Gel Stain Application Steps

  1. Work in a well-ventilated area. 
  2. Stir the stain thoroughly to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can.
  3. If desired, thin stain with mineral spirits. Start by adding 5% by volume and increase up to 15% as needed.
  4. There is usually no need for the Pre-Stain Conditioner in Natural to improve color uniformity. Gel Stain is loaded with pigments that provide deep uniform coverage.
  5. Test your complete finishing process before starting. The stain color is affected by variances in wood and deepened with the application of topcoat.
  6. Surface Preparation is essential. See "Step 1: Preparation for Gel Stain."
  7. Divide your project into manageable sections: top, side, drawer, door, table seam


Mixing Gel Colors

  • Gel stains can be intermixed to create custom colors.
  • Gel Stain can be mixed with no more than 10% Liquid Oil Stain is added by volume. The liquid stain will thin the stain, which may help it spread more easily but it will not have as much coverage. 
  • Gel Stain can be layered over other General Finishes water and oil-based stains. Allow for adequate dry time when layering water and oil products. See video tutorial: Can Oil and Water Based Finishes Be Applied on the Same Project 
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