STAINS & GEL VARNISH (Link to web catalog:
Bartley’s Gel Stains and Gel Varnish)
beauty of Bartley's Gel Stains and Gel Varnish is they are so easy
to apply, and they have very low odor. You can even use our
products on vertical and overhead surfaces without fear of runs,
drips and sags because it is a gel rather than a liquid. To apply,
brushes are not required, just a soft lint-free cloth. The Gel
Stains are dry to a light touch in seconds and the Gel Varnish is
tack-free in minutes, and you do not need to sand or buff with
steel wool between coats. Most importantly, Bartley's Gel Stains
and Gel Varnish are acclaimed by both professionals and amateurs
for ease-of-use and results!
Bartley Classic Reproductions is not the manufacturer of any of
the Bartley Finishes. If you purchased a Bartley product elsewhere
and have a question or problem, please contact the manufacturer:
Seagrave Coatings at 201-933-1000.
Stain and Varnish Steps
Start with a clean, well-sanded surface. With a small cloth
or foam brush, apply a generous coat of Bartley Gel Stain to an
area no larger than 2 square feet. With a clean, lint free cloth
or soft paper towel, immediately wipe off the excess
with the grain until the color is uniform and free of smudges. The
newly stained surface should be nearly dry to the touch. Your
first coat of stain is done! There are no runs, no drips, and no
unpleasant odors! For a darker, richer tone, apply a second or
third coat of stain (see color chart at right) to add significant
depth and richness of color. Allow at least six hours between
coats. In humid climates drying time will vary. One of the best
features about Bartley stains is there is no sanding between
coats. It couldn’t be easier!
Note: Certain colors like Georgian Cherry may need longer
drying times to prevent lifting when applying clear coats. In hot
and humid conditions allow at least 24 hours drying time between
After staining, apply two or three coats of Bartley's Gel
Varnish for a beautiful and tough hand-rubbed look. Use #0000
steel wool lightly just before your last coat of varnish for a
smoother finish. (Be sure to tack the surface before applying the
surface must be clean, dry, and free of any dust, wax, or grease
before staining. New wood should be sanded smooth and free of
blemishes. Old finishes should be removed and sanded to a smooth,
even texture, and glue spots scraped off and sanded. For a better
finish, hand-sand with the grain and on flat surfaces using a
sanding block. If planer or molder marks are visible, begin with a
coarse paper (80-100 grit); otherwise start with a medium grit
(120-150) and finish with a finer grit (180-220). Remember,
surfaces sanded with finer sandpaper will result in slightly
lighter tones when stained; using coarser paper will result in
darker colors. Just before staining, use a tack cloth or rag
soaked in mineral spirits to clean the surface.
Common Staining Problems
Certain woods like soft pine, maple, and birch often absorb stains
unevenly. To help overcome this problem on soft woods and end
grains, first apply a coat of Gel Varnish, wipe it nearly dry, and
then follow immediately with a coat of Gel Stain. In this case,
the varnish acts as a conditioner and eliminates much of the
blotchiness. A second or third coat of stain may be necessary to
get the desired color. On the harder woods, using a medium grit
(120-150) rather than very fine paper before staining usually
obtains even results.
Remember, always test stain a hidden area before proceeding
with the entire piece. Caution: Touching your work with
latex gloves may cause blotchy spots when the varnish is applied.
prevent skinning, place a thin layer of Mineral Spirits in the can
before closing. Mineral spirits or paint thinner should be used
for clean up.
Intermixing Stains and Varnish
Bartley Gel Stains can be intermixed in any combination to create
an almost infinite number of colors. The Bartley Gel Varnish can
be mixed with the stains to make lighter colors. In both cases,
more beautiful tones can be achieved by staining with one color,
allowing it to dry for six hours, and then over-staining with a
different color. For example, using Brown or Dark Brown Mahogany
for the first coat followed by Pennsylvania Cherry will result in
reddish brown tones. Pennsylvania Cherry over-stained with Jet
Mahogany will create a rich Mahogany color. Because Gel Stains are
semi-transparent, the over-staining creates a different look than
had the same colors been mixed in a can and then applied.
Over-staining has many possibilities. Try it!
Compatibility with Other Finishes
Although we recommend our Clear Gel Topcoat, Bartley Gel Stains
can be top-coated with most other varnishes, polyurethanes, water
base finishes, and lacquers, providing the stains have dried
thoroughly. The Gel Varnish can be used to topcoat other stains.
To be safe, test an area that will not be visible.
Bartley Gel Stains are multi-purpose and excellent for Staining
Fiberglass Doors, Wood-graining, Antiquing, Glazing, and Sponging.
Bartley Stains do not freeze and can be stored outside. To prevent
skinning, place a thin layer of Mineral Spirits in the can before
closing. A piece of plastic wrap between the can and
lid will also reduce loss of product. When ready to use the
product again, simply stir in the Mineral Spirits.