DIY Weathered Wood Gray Finish In 3 Easy Steps

Posted in Furniture Makeover
DIY Weathered Wood Gray Finish In 3 Easy Steps
DIY Weathered Wood Gray Finish In 3 Easy Steps

Hello, creative friends! Want to learn how to update a factory wood finish with Gel Stain? It’s seriously easy as 1, 2, 3. I turned this golden oak file cabinet into a weathered wood-gray finish that looks amazing… if I say so myself. But you be the judge.

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DIY Weathered Wood Gray Finish In 3 Easy Steps

The best thing I had to say to Mr. Honey Do about this file cabinet was, “Well, it’s wood.” I don’t know about you, but the yellow oak (golden) screams 1980s. While it was a popular wood color back in the day… I had them, too; it’s time for an update, and the No Pain Gel Stain I’m using on them is surprisingly easy to work with.

DIY Weathered Wood Finish In 3 Easy Steps


What You Should Know About Know Before Using No Pain Gel Stain

  • No Pain Gel Stain is an oil-based product with a built-in sealer. So, there is no need to apply a topcoat.
  • You do not have to strip off the existing finish before applying the gel stain to the wood. As long as the existing finish is in good condition, you can apply it right over the wood.
  • It is highly pigmented but will not give you full coverage when used over an existing finish. It will add a tint of whatever color stain you choose to use. Apply more than one coat for a darker finish. But if you are staining over bare wood, it gives a deep, full coverage. You can blend the colors as you apply them for a unique look. Gel Satin can also use gel Stain over paint.
  • Gel Stain can be applied with a lint-free cloth, paintbrush, or applicator pad.
  • Additional dry time is needed with No Pain Gel Stain. I recommend overnight in a controlled environment.

STEP 1 Weathered Wood Gray Finish

Clean the wood surface with White Lightning to remove any hidden specks of dirt or oils that could cause your finish to fail. Furniture and cabinets are typically dirty even when it isn’t visible.

STEP 2 Weathered Wood Gray Finish

Apply the gel stain over the wood. I used Pickilin White Gel Stain for this cabinet makeover. I applied it with a low-lint cheesecloth and wiped back any extra. Basically, I just changed the golden oak into a lighter and brighter wood. It still has some yellow undertones but so much better.

Next, to create the weathered look, I used the cheesecloth and applied Walnut Gel Stain to create an aged look by dabbing it lightly in selected areas, followed by Weathered Gray Gel Stain.

First I applied a white gel stain over this cabinet to tone down that golden oak. Next, I'll apply walnut and weathered gray to get the look I want.
I used gel stain in multiple color to create this weathered wood gray finish on this cabinet. The results were stunning!

STEP 3 Weathered Wood Gray Finish

The sides on this cabinet were tall, so I decided to use all three gel stain colors and blend them with the oak wood grain with long strokes. I love how the white gel stain grabbed the wood grain. Isn’t it gorgeous?!

And that’s it, my creative friend. No topcoat or sealer is needed.

These results are stunning on this once was golden oak wood cabinet. Creating this DIY weather wood look with gray undertones was the perfect solution.

Weathered Wood Gray Finish With Gel Satin

This one surprised me. I would have never thought about using gel stain to create a weathered wood-gray finish in this manner had it not been for my furniture finding hubby that said no to paint. He’s a real peach!

So, what do you think about this makeover? Have you tried using gel stain? Let me know in the comment section or just say HI. I always love hearing from you. It’s what feeds my DIY soul.

Until the next project… xo, Do



  1. I am thrilled for you, not only in challenging yourself to get healthy, but in your great success in achieving your goals. I also want to know how to change the color of my very dark kitchen cabinets. Would the gel paint work for such an adventure?

    1. Hi Martha! Other than paint or stripping and restaining, I don’t think you can do much else. I’m no expert in cabinet refinishing, but I think you’re limited with those options. Thanks for your kindness and encouragement. Have a beautiful day. πŸ™‚ xo

    2. This makeover is absolutely beautiful! I’d like to know if you think it would be suitable for kitchen cabinets?

    3. Hello Arete,

      Thank you. The gel stain is an oil based product and I see no reason why it wouldn’t work well on wood cabinets. The finish is durable enough. Thank you for reading. πŸ™‚

  2. File cabinet came out great. Golden oak does scream 80s. Congratulations on losing the weight, that is a big accomplishment.

  3. Hi Do! It sure does look alot better. Congratulations on losing 40 lbs. I need to get my act together as well. Take care of yourself.

  4. Hi Do! The re-Do of this wood file cabinet looks amazing! I would never have thought to use gel stain over this cabinet either. I probably would have lived with the golden oak for a long time before figuring out what to do with it. Thanks for the tip. I actually have some white pickling stain in the basement. Hmmm… now to find a piece to put it on. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Les, So glad you enjoyed this makeover. Eventually, we figure things out. But I, too, have sat on pieces for years before trying something new. Have a great day. πŸ™‚

  5. The cabinet looks great….one of the best jobs. Also want to say congratulations on loosing the weight!!!

  6. Congratulations on your weight loss!! I’m just a little bit jealous….or maybe a lot. I’m proud of you.
    This project really turned out awesome, it’s so different and I love it. I haven’t tried the gel stain yet. I have some but just haven’t had the right piece to use it on. Thanks for doing what you do! I learn a lot from you.

  7. Well I can definitely see u lost weight. However you always looked good. Love ❀️ yr furniture updates.
    Stay well and keep on keeping on.

  8. Easy Breezy just the way I like it. I would have never thought to use it like you have either. tell hubby no one like orange 1980’s wood except my other half. Congrazt on the new you,not that there was anything wrong with the old you. Hope you had a wonderful MMDAY!
    Question….I have a piece extremely heavy thought is was oak turns out most is a veneer. Do you think I could use this technique on it. Thanks for being here!

    1. Hi Roseann,
      As long as the veneer is in good condition, I say yes. I treat veneer much like wood, and it turns out beautiful. Some of the veneers used back in the day are prettier than the real wood, in my honest opinion. Let me know how your piece turns to. I would love to see it! πŸ™‚ xo

  9. How did I miss this one?!πŸ€”πŸ˜³ I absolutely love this gel stain finish, it looks gorgeous! πŸ€—πŸ’™

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