How to Remove Dried Gel Stains

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Things You'll Need

  • Respirator

  • Heavy rubber gloves

  • Long-sleeved shirt

  • Lint-free rags

  • Lacquer thinner

  • Nylon scrub pad

  • Hard toothbrush

  • Paint stripper

Wood stain brings out the natural color of furniture.

Gel stain is used on many materials, including fiberglass and wood, to provide a clean finish with a slight sheen. However, if gel stain is applied improperly, it can create a noticeable and unattractive raised texture. The only way to fix raised gel stain after it has dried is stripping. The extent of the stripping needed depends on whether the gel stain was sealed or not.

Not Sealed

Step 1

Put on respirator and heavy rubber gloves. Wear long sleeves.

Step 2

Pour generous amounts of lacquer thinner onto a lint-free rag. Dampen but do not soak the rag. Do not spill the thinner on the floor or let it touch your skin.

Step 3

Rub the gel stain vigorously until it begins to come off. Pour more thinner onto your rag if needed and continue to scrub until the stain is dissolved. Dispose of rags contaminated with lacquer thinner according to local laws.


Step 1

Put on respirator and heavy rubber gloves. Wear long sleeves.

Step 2

Strip away the clear coat sealant with paint stripper. Pour generous amounts of the stripper onto a lint-free rag. Scrub vigorously until the clear coat begins to come off.

Step 3

Scrub the stripper with your nylon scrub pad and hard toothbrush if the rags do not remove the sealant completely.

Step 4

Scrub remaining gel stain with lacquer thinner and a lint-free rag.

Step 5

Dispose of rags contaminated with lacquer thinner and paint stripper according to local laws.

Michael Monet

Michael Spinola has worked in the health and fitness industry since the age of 16 when he managed a youth dance troupe in Oakland, California after comprehensive group exercise training. He’s pursued health and fitness by working in the supplements department of a health store, the health department of the American Red Cross and now as a personal trainer.