ANSWER: All stains need a top coat. Think of
stain as the color and top coat as the sealer and protectant.
The high urethane content of General Finishes Gel Stains
results in a lustrous finish that tends to fool people into assuming no sealant
is required. The beauty of Gel Stain comes from the thick urethane which can
carry a LOT of color to any surface, but that color must be sealed in with top
coat. An added bonus of top coat is that it also protects the wood from
Years ago, Chris from General Finishes made the mistake of not adding top coat
to a desk top. She applied 3 coats of a Java/Antique Walnut mixture, and
because it looked and felt "finished" she let the desk cure for a week,
considering the project complete. The next day, Chris spent a few hours working
at her new desk. Upon standing up, she discovered smudges of brown stain all
over her elbows and realized that her mouse pad had rubbed away some of the
stain on the desk. Lesson learned!
*If you choose to use High Performance, make sure that you wait 72 hours
between the two products since you are moving from an oil based product to a
water based product and it is essential that the first is dry before applying the
-Oil based products pair nicely with oil based top coats, and water based
products with water based top coats.
-If you choose to mix water and oil based products, be sure to wait 72 hours
between the two products. If a water based product is under an oil based
product, you can wait 24 hours between products. Click hear to watch a GF video
tutorial on this topic: http://youtu.be/yDKZFGvpYpw
-Enduro Professional Top Coats are thinner and are intended to be sprayed
-High Performance can be sprayed. If needed, it can be thinned by adding 10%
water. Here is a GF video tutorial: http://bit.ly/1wuurwI
-Large surfaces such as cabinets or tables are easier to cover with liquid top
coat rather than a gel top coat.
-For more information regarding the differences between GF top coats, visit the
following blog post:http://bit.ly/1kYWbb3