6 Best Topcoat Gel and Clear Stain for Wood in 2022

Best Top Coat for Gel Stain

So you’re looking to protect your furniture from scratches and stains, but you don’t want to give up the great look of the wood grain. Well, you’re not alone. The answer lies in an invisible layer of protection—a topcoat. A top coat adds durability to any stain.

From wood to leather, the best top coats provide a long-lasting protective finish. So what are the best top coats? Below, we’ll go over the best top coats for gel stain, wood, leather, and more.

Our Top 6 Picks

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Minwax 233334444 Polycrylic Protective Wood Finish

OUR PICK

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat

BUDGET PICK

General Finishes Oil Based Gel Topcoat

BEST CHOICE

Fusion Mineral Paint - Gel Stain & Topcoat

Fusion Mineral Paint - Gel Stain & Topcoat

Fusion Mineral Paint - Gel Stain & Topcoat

1. Minwax 233334444 Polycrylic Protective Wood Finish, Clear Satin

  • PROTECT WOOD SURFACES – Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish protects and adds beauty to your interior wood projects, including woodwork, furniture, doors, and cabinets. The clear topcoat protects against scratches, spills, dirt, and more.
  • CRYSTAL CLEAR FINISH THAT LASTS – The crystal clear finish offered in this protective coating is ideal for use over all Minwax Oil-Based and Water-Based Stains and colors, as well as all wood species including light woods like maple, ash, and birch.
  • SATIN SHEEN – Give your wood projects a sleek finish with this satin clear varnish. It not only protects the natural beauty of the wood but offers an attractive, classic sheen for a modern and subtle look. It’s non-yellowing, non-ambering, and low odor.
  • ULTRA FAST DRYING – Get more done with this protective poly coating. It’s a fast-drying clear coat, which allows for quick recoats after 2 hours, letting you get projects done faster. Be sure to apply with a high-quality synthetic bristle brush.
  • EASY CLEAN UP – This water-based wood finish allows for easy soap and water clean-up, so you don’t have to stress about spills and big messes.
  • Water clean-up
  • Low odor, non-yellowing
  • Fast drying

2. General Finishes High-Performance Water Based Topcoat

  • Do not apply clear topcoats over bright white paint, as yellowing may occur due to a reaction to the substrate. Light color paints may also experience yellowing due to topcoat application, but it will be less noticeable.
  • The hardest, most durable consumer polyurethane topcoat on the market today
  • Dry Time Between Coats is only 1 to 2 Hours
  • Interior use only

3. General Finishes Oil Based Gel Topcoat, 1 Quart, Satin

  • Oil-based penetrating finish
  • Darkens/ambers with time
  • Dry Time: 12-24 hours Cure
  • Time: 30 days
  • Coats recommended: 3 minimum
  • Hand applications: Cloth, natural bristle brush, foam brush, paint pad applicator
  • Cleanup with mineral spirits, Ideal for detailed pieces and any size project

4. Fusion Mineral Paint – Gel Stain & Topcoat – 946 ml- Double Espresso


5. Fusion Mineral Paint – Gel Stain & Topcoat – 946 ml – Greystone


6. Fusion Mineral Paint – Gel Stain & Topcoat – 946 ml – Black


Final Words

When you have decided on the finish you want to use for your wood; you can apply it with one of the following two topcoats. The first is a gel that is applied with a roller brush. This is very forgiving because it dries so quickly. If it is too thick, thin it out by removing some paint with a rag and dipping a roller brush in thinner.

You can also use a foam brush. The second topcoat is oil-based. A paint roller works great for this. After you have applied the top coat, let it dry. Then sand the surface with 150 grit sandpaper, which will remove any imperfections.

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