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Best Gel Stain for Cabinets in 2024 | Top 7 Picks Revealed!

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Applying a traditional wood stain can be difficult and messy. If you’re not careful, the stain can drip and get on surfaces of cabinets that you don’t want it to. It can also be hard to get an even finish with a brush. This is why gel stains are a great choice!

A gel stain is a type of stain that sits on top of the wood, revealing some of its unique markings and texture. Gel stains are unlike traditional stains, which can often look too dark or too uniform.

But finding the best gel stain for cabinets can be tough. It’s important to find a stain that will both cover and protect the wood, while also accentuating its natural beauty.

In this article, we will share the top 7 gel stains for cabinets. We will also talk about some important things you should know before buying a gel stain.

General Finishes Java Gel Stain Cabinets

Old Masters Dark Walnut Gel Stain for Cabinets

Minwax Gel Stain Cherrywood for Cabinets

7 Best Gel Stain for Cabinets Reviews

Gel stain is a very popular choice for many people when it comes to cabinet staining. So when choosing a gel stain, you’ll have many options to choose from.

That’s why we did the hard work and research for you and found the top 7 best gel stains on the market today:

1. General Finishes Java Gel Stain Cabinets

General Finishes gel stain is a great choice if you’re looking to give your cabinets a new look. It comes in a variety of colors, so you can find the perfect one for your home. It’s also easy to use.

This stain is the perfect choice for cabinets since it gives them a beautiful finishing touch. It has a high-quality formula that provides a luxurious look and feel, making them perfect for any furniture or cabinetry project.

General Finishes Java Gel Stain Cabinets create a beautiful, lustrous finish on cabinets that is perfect for woodworkers who want to achieve a high-end look.

It is a heavy-bodied stain that does not penetrate the wood as deeply as liquid oil-base stains. This makes it a good option for cabinets, as it will not cause the wood to become too dark or heavy.

Gel stains are also less likely to cause any blotching, which can be a common issue with other types of stains. The gel-based formula is easy to apply and helps ensure even coverage. It dries quickly, so you can get your project done in no time.

It is perfect for cabinets because you can just wipe them on with a cloth or apply them with a foam brush. There’s no chance of spills or splashes, so you don’t have to worry about making a mess. The stains also give your cabinets a rich, beautiful finish that will be durable.

Highlighted Features:

  • Gives cabinets a gorgeous, lustrous finish
  • Provides an easy-to-use formula that’s perfect for any project
  • Penetrates the surface of the wood lightly to avoid overdoing it
  • Includes a variety of colors so you can find the perfect one
  • Dries quickly and gives off a rich, glossy appearance

2. Minwax Gel Stain Cherrywood for Cabinets

Minwax gel stain is a great way to add color and depth to your wooden cabinets. It’s easy to apply, and you can get great results with just a few coats. Gel stain dries quickly, so you won’t have to wait long before you can start using your cabinets again.

The Minwax Gel Stain Cherrywood for Cabinets is designed for easy stain vertical surfaces. Its non-drip formula means that you don’t have to worry about streaks or drips, making it a quick and easy way to stain your cabinets.

If you’re looking for a gel stain that will deliver an even and consistent color on wood and non-wood surfaces, then Minwax Gel Stain is the perfect option. It’s perfect for gel staining cabinets, furniture, and other woodworking projects.

Minwax stain is perfect for woodwork, doors, furniture, molding, trim, and cabinets. The gel formulation allows the product to seep deep into the wood grain, resulting in a more even color.

Adding a touch of color to your cabinets while also protecting them from wear and tear is easy with Minwax gel stain. The gel stain will help to seal and protect your cabinets while also giving them a beautiful new color.

Minwax gel stain is an amazing product that works on many surfaces, including wood, plywood, fiberglass, and metal. It comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose the perfect one for your project.

Highlighted Features:

  • Transparent colors let the wood’s beauty shine through
  • Easy, even application with a non-drip formula
  • Highly pigmented, so only a small amount is needed
  • Applies easily and provides even coverage
  • Allows the beauty of your cabinets to shine through

3. Old Masters Dark Walnut Gel Stain for Cabinets

The Old Masters gel stain is a high-quality gel stain that can be used to change the color of wood cabinets. It can also be used to cover up blemishes or scratches on the cabinet surface.

This Old Masters Dark Walnut Gel Stain for Cabinets, in dark walnut, is perfect for gel staining cabinets! It goes on smoothly and evenly and provides rich, beautiful colors that will be durable. Using it is also easy, so you can get great results with little effort.

It applies easily and dries quickly, so there’s a minimal wait time before you can start using your cabinets. It is available in a variety of colors, so you will be able to match the stain with the decor in your home.

The antique walnut gel stain for cabinets is a high-quality product that is manufactured in the United States. It is perfect for adding color and depth to your cabinets, and it can be used on a variety of other surfaces as well.

Application is simplified by the gel formula, and the results are fantastic. This product package’s dimensions are 11.176 centimeters in length, 12.7 centimeters in height, and 11.176 centimeters in width.

Highlighted Features:

  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Adds color and depth to cabinets
  • The very easy application process
  • Great results with little effort required
  • Suitable for a variety of surfaces
  • Available in a variety of colors

4. Retique IT Gel Stain Weathered Grey for Cabinets

The gel stain by Retique IT is a unique and innovative product that can be used as both a stain and paint. It is a water-based product that is thin and easy to apply, which makes it perfect for gel staining cabinets.

Retique IT Gel Stain Weathered Grey for Cabinets is a new and revolutionary product that uses nano-technology to create a versatile and unique finish. The stain can be used as either a glaze or a stain, giving you endless possibilities for your cabinets.

With Retique IT, existing finishes can be covered up on cabinets. It is a thin gel that will glide over the surface and will not require any sanding before its application. It is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and odorless.

This makes it a quick and easy way to cover up any unsightly marks or blemishes on your cabinets. The Retique It stain will also give your cabinets a fresh new look, without the need for a full renovation.

There are many ways to use Retique It gel stain. It can penetrate unfinished wood like a wood stain, but it can also be used as a paint glaze when applied over a painted surface.

Retique It stain is a great way to darken your cabinets and give them an antique look. The gel stain is fast-drying and comes in a variety of colors. You can either paint it on with a brush or use a staining applicator.

Highlighted Features:

  • Creates an antique look on cabinets
  • Can be used as a glaze or stain
  • Fast-drying, Water-based
  • Nano-technology for easy application
  • Non-toxic, Hypoallergenic, and odorless
  • Versatile and unique finish
  • Can be used over existing finishes

5. General Finishes Oil Based Gel stain for cabinets

The General Finishes gel topcoat is a great product to use if you want to give your cabinets a new look. It applies easily and gives a nice, satin finish. This product is a great solution if you don’t want to paint your cabinets.

General Finishes stains are an oil-based penetrating finish that can be used on cabinets. It is easy to use and gel stain will not flake or peel, and it is resistant to moisture and fading.

The General Finishes Oil Based Gel stain for cabinets is a great product to use if you’re looking to darken or amber your cabinets. It’s incredibly simple to use, and it will give your cabinets a beautiful new look in just a few minutes.

As this stain dries quickly, it can be applied using a cloth, foam brush, natural bristle brush, or paint pad applicator. The gel allows you to achieve a beautiful, even finish with just three coats.

It’s also easy to clean up with mineral spirits, which makes it ideal for detailed pieces. Regardless of what size your project is, these General Finishes Stains are an excellent choice for all your staining needs.

As a penetrating topcoat, this gel stain will not result in a surface feel. It will give your cabinets a matte finish and add depth and dimension to the look of your space.

Highlighted Features:

  • Water-resistant and will not flake
  • Resistant to moisture and fading
  • Oil-based, quick-drying, easy to use
  • Requires 3 coats and it cleans up with mineral spirits
  • The finish is matte with no surface feel

6. Varathane Walnut Gel Stain Cabinets

Varathane gel stain is a great choice for cabinets because it is easy to use and gives a beautiful finish. The gel formula goes on smoothly and doesn’t drip, so it’s easy to get an even coat.

These stains are designed for use on vertical surfaces such as doors, window trim, and furniture. It creates a beautiful, natural wood look on fiberglass and composite doors.

Varathane Walnut Gel Stain Cabinets are thicker than a regular stain, so they don’t run and are perfect for vertical surfaces. It is perfect for cabinet restoration and new construction projects.

This gel stain dries to the touch in only one hour, which means you can apply multiple coats in a short amount of time. Plus, it covers up to 60 sq. Ft. per half-pint, so you’ll have plenty of stains to complete your project.

The product applies evenly without causing lap marks or grain raise. This makes it a great choice for cabinets, as you want a smooth, even finish with no bumps or inconsistencies.

Decks, floors, and siding are also not recommended, as they may not be durable enough. You can use this gel stain to add richness and depth to your wood cabinets.

This gel stain will accentuate the wood grain while adding a deep color that is durable. It is a great product to use if you want to update the look of your cabinets without replacing them.

Highlighted Features:

  • Varnish that is ready to use out of the can
  • Covers 60 sq. Ft. per half-pint
  • Even finish without lap marks or grain raise
  • Dries to the touch in one hour
  • Distressed to look like natural wood
  • A deep, rich color that will accentuate the wood grain
  • For use on cabinets and other vertical surfaces only

7. Heirloom Traditions Paint Full Coverage Walnut Gel Stain for Cabinets

Heirloom Traditions Paint’s gel stain is perfect for cabinets! Unlike regular stain, gel stain applies smoothly and covers evenly, so streaks or missed spots are not an issue.

The Heirloom Traditions Paint Full Coverage Walnut Gel Stain for Cabinets is a unique product that can be used on cabinets, furniture, and other wood surfaces.

A gel-based stain that leaves a beautiful finish and provides excellent coverage. It is easy to apply and can be used on both stained and unfinished wood. Your furniture will have a beautiful shine thanks to its high-gloss finish.

Heirloom Traditions Paint gel stain for cabinets is full coverage, highly pigmented, wood stain in a gel formula. This option allows combining stained tops with painted furniture to create a super chic look or restore antiques to their original glory.

The stain is available in a range of colors that can be customized to achieve the perfect look for any project. It is available in 16oz size, and one can be enough to cover an average-sized coffee table and two end tables or multiple tabletops.

These stains are one of the most popular options among homeowners because they provide with minimal effort. It is an easy way to make your cabinets, furniture, and more look new again.

Highlighted Features:

  • Can be used on stained or unfinished wood
  • Covers evenly and smoothly
  • Perfect for cabinets, furniture, wood surfaces
  • Provides a shine finish with a high-gloss finish
  • Offered in multiple colors
  • 16oz size to fit most projects

These are the top gel stains for cabinets you should consider buying. Since they offer great coverage, don’t drip, and provide a smooth finish, they are perfect for kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, or other raw wood surfaces. Buy one and experience how it improves the look of your furniture.

How to Choose Gel Stains for Cabinets?

Using gel stain for cabinets

When you choose a gel stain for cabinets, you want to make sure it is a durable option. Some of the wood used for cabinets is more sensitive than others, so you want to make sure it will not be affected by your method of choice.

There are some additional things to consider when choosing a gel stain that includes:

Material of Gel Stains

You want to make sure that your gel stain for cabinets is made from the same materials as the wood you are applying it to.

Stains come in a variety of options depending on what they are intended for and how strong they will be. Some stains offer mild tinting, while others are designed to be full coverage. It is important to know what kind of finish you want before choosing a gel stain.

Stain Colors Availability

For cabinets, stains are available in a wide range of colors, providing stain differently to effects and levels of coverage. Make sure the color you choose will work with your cabinets or furniture, as well as match the space you want to cover.

Number of Coats

Since these stains are thicker than other types of wood stains, they require more coats to achieve the desired level of cover.

This means that you will likely have to apply at least three or four coats to your project in order to get the look you desire. As with any type of paint or stain, make sure that you give ample drying time between the coats.


Light sanding gel stain for cabinets

Ensuring your gel stain for cabinets is pigmented will help you achieve the results you want with minimal effort. A more pigmented, higher-quality gel stain for cabinets will be stronger and provide better coverage than a less pigmented option.

Material Safety

You need to know what materials your gel stain is made from and which of those materials are likely to irritate skin or cause other health concerns. Some stains may have a strong odor that you want to be aware of before purchasing.

You also need to consider how the gel stain is going to come into contact with any countertops or surfaces. If it is not specifically labeled as non-toxic, then you should assume it has chemicals that could cause deterioration in other materials.


Stains can be purchased in a range of sizes that may vary depending on the brand. You need to know the cost per ounce for stain before making your purchase so you can find one that fits within your budget.

It is also important to determine how much stain you will need for your project before buying, so you don’t end up with too little or too much.

Square Footage

The amount of square footage your gel stain will cover before you run out or have to mix excess stain can be determined by using a tool such as this one.

It is important to know how much gel stain for honey oak cabinets you will need, so you don’t have to make multiple trips back and forth from the hardware store.


Gel stain of old oak cabinets

You also need to know how durable your gel stain for oak cabinets will be. This level of durability will vary depending on the type of materials used, as well as what colored products are being applied together.

This can influence how long your gel stain for cabinets will last as well as the durability of the finished project.

Application Method

It is important to know what kind of application method you want before choosing a wood stain that dries into a gel form. Some stains require a foam brush or rag while others can be applied with a paint roller.

It is important to experiment with different methods, so you know what works best for the look you want.

Clean Up

You also need to know how easy the gel stain is to clean up before you choose one for your project. Some stains may require special solvents or chemicals, while others can be removed with soap and water.

It is important to determine what type of cleaning tools you have access to before choosing a gel stain based on its ease of removal.


Stains for cabinets vary in price depending on the brand and how much you purchase. Make sure your budget will cover your project before buying a new gel stain for the cabinet, so you don’t end up with too little paint or overspending.

All of these factors can determine which gel stain for the cabinet is right for your project. By making sure you understand the factors involved, it will be easier to determine which type of gel stain products for cabinets is best for your needs.

Different Types of General Finishes Gel Stain

Gel stain for bare wood kitchen cabinets

There are several different types of gel stains, some are given below:

Oil-Based Stain

Oil-based stain is some of the most popular types of stain used. They are known for deep, rich colors and there is more control over the finished look.

An oil-based stain may take longer to dry than other types of gel stains, which may be an issue when working on large projects that require multiple coats.

Water-Based Stain

Water-based stains can provide a more transparent finish with a less dramatic color. They are quick-drying and simple to clean up, but they may not be as durable as other types of stains.

Interior Stain

Interior stain is designed to be used on things like interior doors, trim, and oak cabinets. It can provide an opaque finish with rich colors. Interior stains commonly will not fade or bleed through the material they are applied to.

Interior & Exterior Gel Stain

Interior & Exterior Gel Stain

These stains are designed to provide an opaque finish with rich color. Additionally, they can be used on both interior and exterior projects, so you don’t have to purchase separate stains for each project.

This type of gel stain is typically durable enough for both indoor and outdoor use. Some will also resist mildew or water damage.

Polyurethane Gel Stain

Unlike other types of gel stains, these types of stains maintain their luster and color after durability. Polyurethane stains may also resist mildew and water damage during normal everyday use.

You Can Also Check: How do you remove polyurethane stains from your skin?

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of questions that people typically ask about gel stains.

1. Is Gel Stain Good for Kitchen Cabinets?

Gel stains are good for kitchen cabinets because they are solid stains and will give a rich look. This can also be a protective coating, so the honey oak kitchen cabinets won’t have to be sanded down every couple of years.

2. Do You Have To Sand Cabinets before Gel Stain?

Gel stains provide a beautiful, rich finish that can transform old, tired cabinets into beautiful showpieces in your home. Unlike a traditional stain or normal stain, a gel stain doesn’t require you to lightly sand the wood all the way down to its raw state. This makes them much easier to apply.

3. How Do I Apply Gel Stain?

You should apply gel stain with a foam brush or rag, applying multiple thin coats to get the look you want. If applying gel stain with a rag, it is important to take care not to leave any fibers on the surface of the project.

4. How Long Does Gel Stain Take To Dry?

Gel stains can take anywhere from 8 hours up to 10 hours to dry depending on the type used and how many layers are applied. Some interior stains may dry faster than exterior gel stains.


Just like with any other type of paint or stain, you should consider your needs and preferences when purchasing the best gel stain for cabinets. The product should fit your budget and be appropriate for the project at hand.

Please note that any time you are using gel stain as a chemical product, it is vital that you follow the safety instructions on the packaging. These chemicals can be very dangerous if used improperly!

Just remember that not all stains can be used on any type of surface because some might not have the durability you need. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before buying them.

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