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Model #339587

Store SKU #1003288120

1-qt. Hickory Wood Interior Gel Stain

  • Thick stain for use on vertical surfaces to apply rich color
  • Sticks to wood, metal and fiberglass to prevent drips or runs
  • Easy to use stain covers up to 200 sq. ft. per quart
  • See More Details

Frequently Bought Together


Product Overview

Varathane 1 qt. Hickory Wood Interior Gel Stain is a convenient and easy to use stain that provides deep, rich color to enhance the natural grain of the wood. Rich, thick stain formula provides twice the coverage of traditional oil-based stains. Thicker consistency prevents drips and runs.
  • Designed to enhance natural grain of wood surfaces, works especially well for doors, molding, windows, trim, paneling and other vertical surfaces
  • Covers up to 200 sq. ft., most surfaces require only 1 coat
  • Semi-transparent formula provides a natural color that allows wood grain to come through
  • Easy to use gel formula provides ultimate control during vertical application
  • Will not leave lap marks or grain raise on surfaces
  • Use to create a natural wood look on metal, fiberglass and composite doors
  • Cleans up with mineral spirits
  • Works on interior or exterior surfaces, protect with appropriate polyurethane following use
  • Allow 8 hours before applying oil-based poly and 24 hours before water based poly
  • Online price includes PaintCare fee in the following states: CA, CO, CT, DC, ME, MN, OR, RI, VT, WA
  • California residents

Info & Guides

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Container Size
1 Quart
Coverage Area (sq. ft.)


Application Method
Brush,Wipe On
Base Material
Oil Based
Color Family
Dry to touch (min.)
Number of coats recommended
Number per Package
Paint/Stain Clean Up
Mineral Spirits
Paint/Stain Features
No Drip
Paint/Stain/Waterproofer Product Type
General Purpose
Product Form
Substrate Condition
Bare Wood,Finished Wood,Old/Reclaimed Wood,Stained Wood,Unfinished Wood
Substrate/Surface Use Type
Time before recoating (hours)
Vertical / Horizontal
Wood Effects
No Additional Effect

Warranty / Certifications

Manufacturer Warranty
Satisfaction guaranteed for full refund of purchase price

Questions & Answers


When will this be in stock? I’ve waiting a month and willing to drive but all stores are sold out. Please help!

Asked by Goddess May 31, 2021

Thank you for reaching out! We recommend reaching out to your local store for availability or to help place a special order for Rust-Oleum Varathane Gel Stain. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 3

Can I use shellac sealer waxed over gel stain ?

Asked by Maldini3 March 31, 2021

I believe with a light sanding ypu can use any oil based sealer. I used spray polyurethane over mine.

Is gel stain available in small cans?

Asked by Win March 19, 2021

We hate to disappoint, Win, but we do not offer the Rust-Oleum Varathane Gel Stain in a size smaller than a quart. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 1

Why does it say I can use this to immitate wood on metal?

Asked by mick January 30, 2021

Because you can get a wood look on a metal door that has the molded grains. You can also buy a tool that creates the wood grains as you apply (I just used a foam brush). I used minwax for my door over the white. I added extra dark spots like a weathered wood would have It is a quick project to do. For my first quick try, I was pleased. It did a couple of days to fully dry.

Do I wipe off this gel stain or can I leave it on thick to dry like polyshades? It said it can b...

Asked by mick January 29, 2021

I redid a table and applied with a foam brush and left on thick. The beauty of a foam brush is you can leave on thick or apply more pressure and scrape off (if looking for a woodlook finish). This product gives both options, depending on your desired look.

Does this work well on porous wood?

Asked by buck January 28, 2021

I tested a piece of poplar with this stain, and it is ok... but not great. Poplar doesn't take stain very well. I have used this gel stain on oak and maple and it looks great.

can I use this on stainless steel?

Asked by Maria January 18, 2021

We can help you, Maria! Rust-Oleum Varathane Gel Stain is suitable for use over wood, fiberglass, and veneer, but it will not be able to adhere or dry well over metal. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 5

I have a white beam running across my living room that I want to make dark again but do not what ...

Asked by Ryan January 6, 2021

Minwax did, so I'd assume this would too. I only chose minwax because it had color i wanted. This is directly over white painted door.

Can I lightly sand the wood after applying the stain and the clear coat (the polyurethane left small bubbles...)?

Asked by chriswillmorris November 29, 2020

Sounds like your poly coat is the issue. Over stirring, brushing, can cause this. I find if you use a foam roller after it’s applied, and roll in one direction, this won’t happen. At this point, I would give it a gentle sanding with 220, and reapply polyurethane coat. This should remedy your issue.

Do I need to apply pre stain conditioner before using gel stain? If yes, oil-based or water-based?

Asked by gs November 15, 2020


1-qt. Hickory Wood Interior Gel Stain - page 2

Customer Reviews

  • 4.3
    out of 301 reviews
  • 77% recommend this product
Filter by:
Showing 1-10 of 301 reviews
Best color ever!
Great to work with for vertical surfaces or a finishing location as mess is very limited. If you want this product to be a bit thinner to more easily get into the cracks of doors etc. I put about 1/2 cup of the left over premium stain into the gel stain mixed well with wood stirrer. It thinned it up and stained just as well without the splattering mess of the non gel stain. For best results stain remover to desired stain darkness with lint free cloth (old socks work the best on you hands like mittens) let dry overnight before top coat as the gel takes more time to dry in the cracks.
by Christina
I have used several different colors of varathane gel stain, and I get perfect results every time...
I have used several different colors of varathane gel stain, and I get perfect results every time. You don't even need to use wood conditioner... Just wipe it on, wait a few minutes, and wipe it off. It looks exactly like it is supposed to.
by JB
Stained the entryway table beautifully and was easy to apply...
Stained the entryway table beautifully and was easy to apply
by HomeDepotCustomer
I love the dark stain it gives pine wood...
I love the dark stain it gives pine wood
by TY
Love it! So easy to use. Really covers. I...
Love it! So easy to use. Really covers. I used it on a cabinet with a veneer finish.
by Bernadette
Should have left the cabinet's an ugly golden oak
Rust-oleum keeps stating something is amiss, their product is A Miss. I used deglosser, Krud Kutter degreaser, TSP, sanded, wiped down, washed with soap and dried. It's been 54 hours and still tacky/wet/wipes off. Waited 3min 42sec after applying 1st coat to wipe down excess gel stain. Am I supposed to wipe some of the product off or part of it or all of it? When I lightly wipe it most of the gel stain comes off and leaves the oak with a slight tan. I think after a year of staining and drying, my cabinets should be almost Kona color light. Is this normal?
by jmluke1
Response from Rust-OleumSupportNov 3, 2020
Happy to help! To prep the surface for Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Gel Stain, any existing coating must be removed by sanding or with a stripper. The bare wood should then be prepped by sanding in the direction of the grain. Begin with #120 grit sandpaper and progress through #150, #180 and #220 grits. Remove all sanding dust with a vacuum or clean rag dampened with mineral spirits. This will ensure the pores are properly opened in the wood and promote proper penetration of the stain. The first coat should be applied going against the grain. You will then work with the grain to even out the color. After a few minutes, all excess stain needs to be wiped off with a clean soft cloth. Additional coats can then be applied as needed to darken the color.
- Rust-Oleum Product Support 3 Rustoleum
Awesome stain!
I absolutely love this stain. I used it to paint a white fiberglass garage door. The consistency is thick and doesn’t drip. The color is like espresso, dark, deep brown. It took 2 coats to get the desired look. First coat was really streaky looking. Gel stain did take about 18 hours for the first coat to dry. This could be because it was cooler out. Highly recommend. First picture is the before. Second picture is after one coat. Third picture is right after I finished(top still looks wet).
by Lindz
2 people found this helpful
easy peasey
I had never used gel stain but this waso easy. Love the color too. Easy update to our rail.
by shopsalot
I was able tp paint a 3 quarter edge with no dripping. Love it!
I was able tp paint a 3 quarter edge with no dripping. Love it!
by Jq
Went on easily and results are beautiful. Painted my Honey Oak cabinets and wanted a deeper tone ...
Went on easily and results are beautiful. Painted my Honey Oak cabinets and wanted a deeper tone for the trim along my countertops, it came exactly how I wanted it to.
by MamaBare
2 people found this helpful
Showing 1-10 of 301 reviews