How to Use General Finishes Gel Stain to Touch Up Tired Cabinets

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Got some shoddy looking cabinets in your house? Did you know you can DIY cabinet doors that have seen better days? Just use General Finishes gel stain.

Cabinets get worn over time with normal use. And kids. And dogs. Well, you know, you live there. But don’t worry: with General Finishes gel stain, you can quickly refresh tired cabinets without having to refinish the entire room, or even the entire door.

Yes, you can just touch up worn cabinets. I love this quick fix that revives cabinets doors almost immediately. The best part? It takes minutes.

You’ll need to first choose the General Finishes gel stain that is a closest match to your current cabinet finish, or you can mix a few different colors if you don’t find an exact match. Got it? Great! Next steps then…

use General Finishes gel stain on kitchen cabinets
Use General Finishes gel stain on your kitchen cabinets


Prepare the Cabinet Door

If you aren’t going to be able to protect the cabinet while it is drying from the other people or pets living in your house, it is best to remove the cabinet door. This also goes if the area of the cabinet that needs help isn’t easy to get to. Save yourself the headache and disappointment of pet hair in your gel stain and just take the door off.

As with any kitchen-cabinet repainting project, you first need to prep the surface. Even though you are just doing touch up, prep is still the most important part. Because you’re not refinishing the entire door, you will save a lot of time by focusing just on the areas where you need to apply the stain.

Make sure the surface is clean. You’ll want to lightly sand the areas you are touching up as well. If the door is glossy, you won’t need to degloss it, as you’re just applying gel stain to a small portion and don’t need to create more work for yourself.

How to Use General Finishes Gel Stain

Put a little gel stain on the end of a foam brush. Apply a bit of the gel stain to the worn area of the door, and you’ll notice a difference right away. Apply the gel stain to the rest of the worm area. Don’t overwork the gel stain. A single coat, applied with care, might be plenty. If you notice later one coat wasn’t enough, then apply a second coat.

Once the cabinets dry, you’re ready to put them back into the kitchen. You’ll be amazed at the difference a little touch up can make.

Nervous about tackling your cabinets? Want professional advice? Be sure to check out our DIY Video Tutorials on how to use General Finishes gel stain to get the exact process and supply list we use at Restyle Junkie.


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