Staining Honey Oak Trim Darker

Staining Honey Oak Trim Darker

Staining your outdated honey oak trim is easier than you think. No sanding or stripping required. This easy method provides great result for a quick DIY update.

Stain Oak Trim darker using gel stain and a tube sock

If you follow me regularly, you know that I stained my mantel a few weeks ago. This weekend I tackled the kitchen. One step closer to getting our kitchen finally finished!

I used the same method as I used for the mantel. I am not committed yet to re-staining all of the trim in my house, so I’m using a stain that is just a few shades darker and warmer than the existing honey oak trim. In pictures, you probably can’t tell a huge difference, but in person you can.

I didn’t take a true before picture of this wall, but here it is taped up before I started staining.

Staining oak trim darker - before

You can get a more detailed step-by-step instructions from my previous post, but I’ll give the basics here. To prep, all I did was run a dry Scotchbrite pad over the existing trim and then used a clean damp cloth to wipe off any dust. No sanding or stripping required!

Using General Finishes gel stain in Brown Mahogany, I put a tube sock over my rubber glove covered hand, dipped it into the gel stain and applied a thin coat of stain.
BTW If you’re looking for more creative projects and hobby ideas, you can explore our blog page for Hobbies For Women / Hobbies for Men, where you’ll find a wide array of inspiration and exciting activities to explore.

Stain Oak Trim darker using gel stain and a tube sock

It’s best to work in small sections (I did one wall at a time if it was a long wall or two short walls). After a few minutes I used a clean cotton cloth to wipe off the stain, making sure to get any extra out of the crevices of the trim.

stain honey oak trim darker using gel stain and a tube sock

I did two coats, allowing about 30 minutes dry time in between coats. Then I removed the painters tape after about an hour.

stain honey oak trim darker

All we have left to do in the kitchen is finish the crown molding on one set of cabinets, make curtains for the kitchen window and hang pictures in the dining area. One more rainy weekend would probably do it. I’m hoping for some nice ones though. As long as we finish before Labor Day weekend, I’ll be happy. That’s when we first started with the counter tops and painting the kitchen cabinets last year.



  1. So glad I found you! I want to restain every piece of trim in my house. I can’t look at all of this honey oak one more day :D!I tried it out on a couple of pieces of trim in my closet first and it has been 48 hours and it’s still tacky. Normal? Or what do I need to do differently?

  2. I can’t speak to that brand. I used General Finishes Gel Stain, not sure how much of a difference there is. Mine felt only slightly tacky after several hours and no tackiness after about a day. Is it humid where you are? That may increase “curing” time. If all else fails you could do a coat of poly over the top. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *