If you’ve ever wondered how to use gel stain, this post will bring you up to speed.
I hope you had a great 4th of July, Friends! Today’s project uses Voodoo Gel Stain to create a wood grain look. These are water-based stains by Dixie Belle Paint Company, and they are super versatile. You can use them as paint, stain, or even glaze.
I purchased this coffee table off Facebook Marketplace for $12. Between the turned legs and the planked top, it was already a great farmhouse piece.
You don’t have to have a planked top for this look, but it does add a little more authenticity. If your piece doesn’t have them, you could use a Dremel tool to create plank grooves, or simply paint or draw lines with a sharpie. If you’d like to see a demonstration of this technique, you can check out my Facebook Live video.
Here are all the products I used.
(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)
- Coffee table (thrifted)
- White Lightning
- Voodoo Gel Stains in Up in Smoke and White Magic
- Wood Graining Tool
- Clear Coat Flat
If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:
How to Use Gel Stain to Create White Wood Grain
After I cleaned the table thoroughly with White Lightning and rinsed it with water, I painted a base coat of Voodoo Gel Stain Up in Smoke on the top. You could also use paint for this step if you prefer.
When it was dry, I sealed it with a coat of Clear Coat Flat. The clear coat gives it a little protection so that when you start pulling the wood grain tool across, it doesn’t pull up the base coat.
If you want to consolidate the paint and top coat into 1 step, you can use Sillk All-in-One Mineral paint.
Next, I painted a coat of White Magic. It’s good to work in small sections so the stain doesn’t dry too quickly, so I did a couple planks at a time. I used the smaller attachment that comes in the kit for this table.
While the stain is wet, you pull and drag the wood graining tool across it. I like to start on one end and pull towards the other, and then reverse the motion to go in the opposite direction. This ensures nothing starts to look like a repeating pattern.
Wipe the tool off with paper towel between passes, so you aren’t depositing white stain back on versus pulling it off. I did the pattern on the top as well as the sides of the top, and sealed it with clear coat again (with a drop of Up in Smoke in it) to protect against any wear and tear.
If you haven’t tried wood graining before, you’d be surprised how easy and fun it is! You can use any combination of colors for the base and top coats, so the possibilities are endless!
The reason I prefer Voodoo Gel Stains for this project versus paint is its transparency. If you use paint, I would thin it with water to achieve a similar effect.
Painting the Base Driftwood
For the base of the table, I chose Driftwood which is a light gray. I painted 2 coats, thinning my paint a little with a spray bottle as I went. When it was dry, I sanded it down with super fine sand paper all over. Then I went back with coarse paper and distressed back to the bare wood in some areas.
If you liked learning how to use gel stain with this project, you may enjoy these projects as well:
Farmhouse End Tables (these also have faux wood grain!)
As always, if you learned anything or were inspired here, Please Pin!