I have been plugging away at this project for several days now. I got things cut and then had to wait for my magical General Finishes Java gel stain to come in the mail.
I will talk more about the whole project later, but I did want to say what a lovely time I’ve had staining with the gel stain. It’s so much easier to use on the maple than the oil based kind I’ve used before.
I used household rubber gloves and a clean shop cloth cut into quarters. You just wipe the gel on in a circular motion, (this is me putting on the second of 3 coats)
then wipe of the excess with another clean shop cloth in the direction of the grain.
The hardest part is waiting another 8 hours to do the next coat.
I used nice hard maple wood since that is what our cabinets are, and it’s taking me three coats with 8 hours drying time in between to get the right finish. You can see here is one coat vs. three.
And this is two coats vs. three.
With three coats, the color is just about as close as possible to the espresso color of the vanity.
I’m told you can use this gel right over the top of lighter finishes. Lots of people have refinished their vanities or kitchen cabinets with it without a single moment of sanding. Here’s a shot of the bathroom with color correction. Several years ago, I paid a lot of money to have the master bath vanity and kitchen island in our townhouse stained espresso. With this gel stain, I could have done it myself for 1/10th or possibly 1/20th the cost.
I also used the gel stain on that awesome octagonal table that I found on Craigslist and refinished for the bathroom. Maybe I’ll post that tomorrow–if I get the final poly coat on it.
I am really taking my sweet time with this master bathroom mirror surround since it’s pretty set once it’s glued on the mirror. I don’t want it to look like a slap-dash amateur job. I want it to be as convincing as possible. So I’ve done things like make a mock up of the header so I can measure for blocks to secure it into the studs in addition to gluing it to the mirror face.
I even bought a nice new woodworking blade for the borrowed saw so that I could make the corners of the maple crown as neat and tidy as the pros. What do you think?
By the end of the week, there should be a full-blown Master Bath reveal!