Today I want to tell you how I updated our oak vanity that I showed you when I posted about our completed bath remodel here.
Here is the finished cabinet:
And here is what it started out as:
Staining the oak was incredibly easy. Like I think my four year old could have done it easy. Seriously.
This is the stain I used:
Um, next time I'll remember to take a picture before I make a mess of the can. For those of you who don't have x-ray vision to see through the stain blotches, it is General Finishes Gel Stain in Java . It is an oil based gel stain. Gel stains are foolproof, IMO.
After doing a lot of research, I settled on the General Finishes brand because I read and saw nothing but positive things about it. Some of the other products, like Minwax (especially the polyshades) , had some spotty reviews. The price of the General Finishes gel stain is similar to the other products with the main drawback being that you have to go to a woodworking store like Woodcraft or Rockler to find it. The General Finishes website has a store locator feature to help you find its products.
To stain the cabinet, I first removed the doors. Then I wiped everything down with mineral spirits. After that, I lightly sanded the cabinet and doors until I didn't see any glossy surfaces. I used 220 grit paper and I was thorough, but didn't go crazy with the sanding.
After I sanded everything, I wiped everything again with mineral spirits. Then I used tact cloth to remove any remaining dust on the surface. If you aren't familiar with tact cloth, its just a sticky cloth that picks up any dust on the surface of what you're working on. It looks like this:
To apply the stain, I put on a pair of gloves and used a foam brush.