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General Finishes JH Gel Stain, 1/2 pint, Java

4.9 out of 5 stars 317 customer reviews
| 35 answered questions

Price: $15.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
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  • Gel Stains are heavy-bodied, and so do not penetrate as deeply into the wood as liquid oilbase stains do
  • They are often less affected by the condition of the wood
  • You can get a more even appearance on difficult woods such as aspen or pine
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$15.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details In Stock. Sold by Big T Products and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • General Finishes JH Gel Stain, 1/2 pint, Java
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  • General Finishes SH Gel Topcoat, 1/2 pint, Satin
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  • 3M CP040-12-CC 4.875 by 2.875 by 1 Inch Sanding Sponge Single Angle, Fine grit
Total price: $36.51
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Product Description

Gel Stains are heavy-bodied, and so do not penetrate as deeply into the wood as liquid oilbase stains do. Becaues of this, they are often less affected by the condition of the wood, and can help you get a more even appearance on difficult woods such as aspen or pine.

Product Information

Technical Details

Part Number JH
Item Weight 8.8 ounces
Product Dimensions 3 x 3 x 3 inches
Item model number JH
Size 1/2 pint
Color Java
Item Package Quantity 1
Batteries Included? No
Batteries Required? No

Additional Information

ASIN B001DT1IZS
Customer Reviews
4.9 out of 5 stars 317 customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #1,629 in Home Improvements (See top 100)
#2 in Home Improvement > Painting Supplies & Wall Treatments > Paint, Stain & Solvents > Wood Stain
Shipping Weight 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Domestic Shipping Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Date First Available January 25, 2010

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
We tested this out on an old bathroom vanity - as we are over-capitalized on our home and just can't afford a full bathroom remodel. I lightly sanded the vanity, applied 4 coats of stain (allowing them to dry at least 24 hours between coats)with a foam brush, and switched out the vanity hardware. BEAUTIFUL! Our vanity looks brand new and very contemporary! This is a huge upgrade from that 90's "golden oak" color that is everywhere in our house.

We were so pleased that we bought a quart size to use on the kitchen cabinets. This is the ONLY stain that you can buy which will give you that lovely espresso color. I've tried an "espresso" liquid stain and a "java" liquid stain. I have no idea why they don't work but there is something magic about this gel stain that makes a difference. Truly amazing.

Tips:
1. A little goes a long way. I mean it.
2. Be cautious to remove all swirls/brush streaks before allowing to dry. You'll have to sand them out and will really struggle to get a uniform stain after sanding a small section.
3. Corners and joints in the wood really soak up the stain. I used a clean, old, sock to wipe in the corners so they didn't end up black.
4. Don't think that putting an extra generous, thick coat will speed up the process. You'll end up with a gloppy looking finished product. Trust me, do the light coats that dry completely. 4-5 light coats will make everything look brand new! 2 thick coats will make you regret it.
5. Oh...and before I let a coat dry for the day, I took a nice,VERY LIGHT, wipe of a sock over the whole surface. It might make you sick because it looks like it removes all the stain, but it keeps the stain from building up too thick. You'll be glad you took the time to do this step.

Good luck.
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Verified Purchase
I am not a big DIYer so was a bit terrified to stain my stair banister. This stain made it so easy and I only needed one application! No sanding either. I didn't wipe any off after applying like it says to, but I wanted the color to be very dark brown. It took me about 1.5 hours to tape the top of the spindles and protect the floor and then another hour to apply the stain. I accidentally got a tiny bit on a few of my white spindles and on the wall - Magic Eraser easily gets it off, even days later.
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I am definitely no expert, but I have used both traditional oil based stains and water based and this one tops them all. The color is very rich. Application is very easy, but it is definitely a different experience than with other stains. I wiped it on with a foam brush and wiped it off with a cotton rag. You have to really work the brush and not be tempted to use too much stain. It goes on like a paint, so the temptation to glob it on is there, but it is not at all necessary--just keep working the little bit and spread it around. I found that it is very easy to leave on a bit too long; compared to regular oil based and water based, you definitely have to work quicker, otherwise it tends to gum up a little bit.

This might be a bit over the top to say, but the finish is a bit amazing. The stain is very smooth to the feel after it dries.

Important note: avoid the mistake I made and don't over-sand--at least not unless you want a lighter color. The instructions recommend no more than 150 grit sandpaper. I used 220 grit on a cabinet I made and it did not go on as dark as it could have. I also stained a pre-sanded cabinet door that was not as smooth and the stain went on darker (perfect, actually).

Overall, this is great stuff. If you resist the temptation to glob it on and if you don't over-sand it is even better. One other thing: to me, the smell is very tolerable (I actually kind of like it) and not overpowering at all.
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Verified Purchase
I thought it was strange that this product has such a cult like following, but I figured I'd try it anyway.

I was staining my bathroom cabinets. They were originally a honey brown, and when all 4 coats were on and dry, they are almost a black.

It is extremely easy to use. Prep work is minimal; just some light sanding (I was told to spend no more than 30 seconds on a drawer front and 1 minute on a cabinet front). Odor is minimal. My bathroom is poorly ventilated, and I completed my project in the winter (I was not able to open the windows). You can even use the stain in high humidity. This is the only bathroom in the house and I was able to shower between coats.

I was looking at other staining kits sold in big-box stores. These kits required tons of prep work, and ventilation. I am glad I went this route.

If I had to do it again, I would certainly purchase this product. However, I would use thinner coats. I think I was a bit heavy-handed because I was afraid it wouldn't get as dark as I wanted to (and you will think that when you are on coat 1 or 2) but I would have rather done a few more lighter coats than minimal heavy coats.
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Verified Purchase
I love this stain!! Painted a bathroom vanity and made a frame for the mirror and still have a little bit left. Used a foam brush and put on about 2 coats for both projects. Don't worry about streaking and the original colors showing through. Just make sure it's on nice and thin. The second coat blends everything in for a dark espresso color.
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