As the photo above reveals, the three gel stains we tried varied considerably in thickness. The Minwax product was just slightly thicker than the Bartley product, and the Wood-Kote stain was considerably thicker than the other two. So, the Wood-Kote product possessed all of the qualities-and drawbacks-of a gel stain to a greater degree than the others.
For example, the Wood-Kote did the best job of masking uneven wood coloration and graining, but it was also the hardest to apply and wipe off. Removing it from crevices was a chore.
If you're a novice and you like the goof-proof nature of gel stains, you can use the Bartley and Minwax products for all of your staining work. Regardless of your skill level, the Wood-Kote seemed best suited to the tasks described in the previous section.
So go ahead and give gel stains a try. Just remember to always test your stain on a sample piece before applying it to your project.
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