Store Locator
Grouped product items
Product Price Qty
General Finishes Gel Stain, Candlelite, 1/2 Pint
General Finishes Gel Stain, Candlelite, 1/2 Pint Item #32913
In stock
$11.99 Half Pint
General Finishes Gel Stain, Candlelite, Quart
General Finishes Gel Stain, Candlelite, Quart Item #35361
In stock
$24.99 Quart
Shipping Restrictions: Ground Transportation Only

Get Expert Advice

Return Policy

General Finishes Gel Stain, Candlelite

Item #
96% of 100

The foolproof finishing system! Just wipe on with a clean cloth and you're ensured of professional quality results without brush marks. Stains dry to the touch in minutes. If you want a darker color, apply another coat of stain in only 6 hours. Once you're satisfied with the color, apply General Finishes's satin gel topcoat finish. Special formula repels dust between coats. No sanding needed between coats and no unpleasant smell. 

Note: Coded as a flammable substance by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Can not be shipped by air or through the postal system

How To Apply the Oil Base Gel Stain

Applying the gel stain is a simpler process than traditional stains that require sanding between coats. Before you apply your stain however you should prep your piece to ensure the stain covers correctly.

  1. Clean the surface you plan to stain
  2. Sand the surface. The suggested grit is 120-150 grit, you want to make sure that any existing finish that might be peeling is removed so the stain applies to the actual project surface.
  3. Apply the gel stain liberally with either a cotton cloth, natural bristle brush or a poly foam brush. (Be sure to test a small area of your project to make sure it is the finish you want and that the application method you've chosen is working well for you.)
  4. Wipe off the gel stain going with the grain using a clean dry cotton cloth or high quality paper towels.
  5. Let it dry, between coats give you project a chance to dry. Drying time varies based on the size and nature of your project as well as the environment it's located in. Normally drying time ranges from 6 to 12 hours.
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5 IF you want more coverage or you want a deeper/richer finish.

Suggested Topcoat

Topcoat can be used as a sealer over paints and stains or as a clean finish. If you want to use a top coat the recommended topcoat is Oil Based Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat (sold separately).

(1) Gel Stain - General Finishes - Candlelite
More Information
Tech Spec
  • Use: Interior
  • Coating Needs: Normally 1 to 2 (additional coats can deepen the stain color)
  • Ideal Drying Conditions: 70° and 70% humidity
  • Cure Time: 14 Days
  • Application Method: Wipe on, foam brush, natural bristle brush or paint pad applicator.
  • Clean-Up: Mineral Spirits
  • Coverage: 200sq ft/qt
  • Recommended Uses: Any wood project or fiberglass doors
Dry Time 6-12 hrs
Size Quart
Species Candlelite
4.8 / 5.0
31 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Beautiful Finish.
Excellent stain finish. My favorite of all General Finish’s products.
June 28, 2020
over 4 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Candelite stain review
This stain is so easy to use. It produces a very warm color that provides a classy look to whatever you are making. I have used this many times without disappointment.
March 12, 2020
4 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
General Finishes Gel Stain
I've been using this product on tight grained .. blotch prone .. woods like maple and poplar. I first apply a sealer to the wood .. then an aniline dye to provide a color base .. the gel stain to achieve the final color desired. The longer it is allowed to stay on the wood before it is wiped of the darker and richer the color will be. EXCELLENT product.
October 24, 2018
1 year ago
Woodworking Experience:
Candlelight gel stain
Easy on, great color
April 4, 2018
over 2 years ago
Excellent stain
I have used various colors of these stains and they work well. The gel prevents dripping. Two coats produce a good solid color. It is important to wipe off all the excess to prevent splotching. Wear gloves. It also does an excellent job staining fingers.
January 10, 2018
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Easy stain to use
This is the easiest stain to apply that I have ever used. I applied with a foam brush and it took 2 coats to get the color I wanted. I followed up with a clear at topcoat and the project came out great.
October 26, 2017
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Awesome Product
This is my first experience using gel stain and am very impressed with this product. It goes on easy and has outstanding coverage without that "blotchy" look. I plan to use it to update my oak staircase!
User submitted image
Added Oct 22, 2017
October 22, 2017
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
great results!
I was thrilled to find the gel stain I used years ago under a new manufacturer. It's easy to apply with no blotching. I'm completely happy with the results and worth the price. Great color too.
February 13, 2017
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
This is the best and easiest stain I have ever used.
January 13, 2017
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Excellent color
Applied to door and trim (same color)
Oak 6 panel door and trim
Oak 6 panel door and trim
December 30, 2016
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 16 questions Browse 16 questions and 24 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rockler Store
My favorite stain, rich color and nothing works like a gel stain.
Janet R on Apr 24, 2018
mission furniture project
Bruce a on Mar 26, 2018
My favorite stain, rich color and nothing works like a gel stain.
Janet R on Apr 24, 2018
best I can find and color my wife wants
Curtis P on Apr 15, 2018
mission furniture project
Bruce a on Mar 26, 2018
gel finishes are great.
Dianne G on Jan 26, 2018
Easy to work with, nice color for this project
Harry S on Jan 11, 2018
Good experience with product before - trying a new color
Karin B on Sep 25, 2017
matching existing cabinet color
John F on Apr 20, 2017
Peggy O on Apr 3, 2017
Trying out the gel stain. This shade matches my chairs.
Lauren C on Mar 20, 2017
refinishing my banister
FRANCES P on Jan 18, 2017
I just finished a project using General Finishes gel stain and the results were very good. This stain is a good compromise between being too fast to set (thick) and not thick enough to stay in place.
Ronald M on Dec 28, 2016
good reputation
Jay on Nov 11, 2016
I love the gel stains. So much easier than traditional stains!! I won't use any other brand!
Stephanie W on Sep 19, 2016
Very easy to use stain that gives a uniform covering.
2Dog Projects on Jul 15, 2016
I Like gel stains
DadGran on Jul 8, 2016
To use in a project.
Barry O on Apr 1, 2016
Eleanor D on Feb 3, 2016
It was recommended to me by experts and the result is beautiful.
Dennis W on Dec 7, 2015
Easy to apply gel. No blotching. Candlelite is my favorite color - so rich.
MATTHEW on Nov 11, 2015
I like this gel stain. Gel is easier to use than a conventional stain. Also a little bit goes a way.
PHILIP H on Oct 31, 2015
Kitchen cabinet project
Mandy JoAnn M on Oct 24, 2015
Ordered half pint size initially to see if after trying 5 colors from a box store I had found the right product. I have! Ordering the quart size now to finish my project.
Penny P on Sep 21, 2015
Experimenting a combination of this gel stain product to achieve a desired color.
John M on Sep 16, 2015
Easy to use with great results. Cabinets look fantastic. Great product
Cara C on Sep 6, 2015
Good reviews in a woodworking magazine
Mr. P on Jul 28, 2015
This product enhances and brings out wood grains very nicely.
robert m on Jul 23, 2015
I have used other colors of General Finishes gel stain along with trying other brands. The General Finishes is definitely the best.
Bonnie M on Jul 14, 2015
I needed a lighter golden red color. I mixed it with a couple of other gel stains to get the color I needed.
Nona M on Jun 14, 2015
Advice of the employee
Bernard M on Jun 8, 2015
I used previously to stain cabinets in one bathroom. I loved the results and wanted to stain the master bathroom cabinets.
felicia t on May 25, 2015
My local store was out of this color
Whitney R on May 8, 2015
I used it in one bathroom and liked the results so i am using it to do another bathroom
Kim B on Apr 15, 2015
Replacement for Bartley used in past.
James H on Apr 8, 2015
best I can find and color my wife wants
Curtis P on Apr 15, 2018
gel finishes are great.
Dianne G on Jan 26, 2018
I used "Mission" Oak Stain a few years ago and want to match that color. Is there a substitute? Has "Mission" been dropped?
Sir John on Sep 22, 2016
My flor is white oak with a gunsmoke color. What stain color would match best?
Angela L on Jan 23, 2016
I have new bathroom cabinets that are a color called warm cinnamon (homedepot Foremost Naples Vanity Warm Cinnamon) and want to match my golden oak kitchen cabinets to this color. What color gel stain would you recommend?
Teana F on May 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Teana, I used Candlelight gel stain to refinish my honey oak cabinets. The result was a very dark finish. but not quite expresso. I loved the outcome, but it sounds like it may be darker than what you are looking for
I am tring to copy Minwax Golden Oak color. Which Gel stain will be the closest?
regena p on Dec 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Buy a small can of stain that looks close to the min wax golden oak. Try it on a price of scrape material. Hopefully it will match. You can mix to colors to try and get a match. Good luck
Can this be used over an existing finish or do I need to strip the finish off my cabinets?
Carrie W on Apr 29, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Gel stains are designed to be used on raw wood and over previously stained cabinets without stripping. Prior to using, you need to clean the cabinets with a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and water. Then you can use a scuffing pad to lightly "sand" the surface but you do not need to sand off the finish or other stain. Do not sand too smoothly as the gel needs some "extra" to adhere to. You then can apply the gel stain with a chip brush or rag and leave on for at least 5 minutes. Lightly wipe the stain in the direction of the grain to a uniform look but do not rub too strongly as it can wipe a lot of the stain off. Leave the stain to dry 24-48 hours, depending on temperature and humidity and then put on a topcoat of urethane or varnish to protect.
Can this be used on paper covered fiberboard on the sides of my cabinets?
Barbara W on Jan 21, 2017
BEST ANSWER: If your paper covered fiberboard can come off with water then it is not a suitable surface for latex or oil products. General finish gel stain is an incredible product which I use often on all sorts of cabinets!
I typically apply with an ox hair brush!
I have bare pine. Should I seal with a shellac first or can I apply stain directly?
Danielle K on Nov 12, 2016
BEST ANSWER: After some trial and error here's what I did to make my pine trim match perfectly with my maple trim. After sanding the pine up to 150 I applied the General Finishes wood conditioner, allowing 30 minutes for it to soak into the wood. I then applied a coat of General Finishes New Pine. After letting it sit for a day I lightly sanded it with steel wool cleaned it before applying a coat of Candlelite. Three coats of clear finish later it PERFECTLY matches my maple trim. Looks fantastic.
I have "white washed maple" kitchen cabinets, will this product work to change the cupboards ??
Cindy P on Jun 8, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hello, sorry for the delayed answer. Im not so sure I would try it on your cabinets without sanding a bit. It definately would not work as a stain. It may, however, work if you painted it on. By the time you applied enough coats to cover the white you may as well just saved the money and bought paint. We used the product on old trim and wainscott in an old farmhouse. It turned out awesome in our case. If you chose to use it hope it turns out well.
What does candle light color look like? Can you use it over natural finish oak cabinets?
Betty J on Aug 5, 2019
The color is very similar to what's on the can. It has a reddish hue and if you use on oak, it will be consistent with a lighter shade of burgundy depending on how long you allow it sit before wiping off.
my furniture is done in provincial. what color will closely match this?
susan t on Aug 26, 2019
BEST ANSWER: It depends on too many things. I usually try different stains on scrap pieces of wood to find the closest match
What is the difference in Gel Topcoat wipe on urethane and Arm-R-Seal oil & urethane topcoat?
Donna B on Jul 15, 2018
BEST ANSWER: The Gel Topcoat wipe is similar to Minwax wipe on poly. The Arm R Seal is best used for table tops, wood counters etc. as it is a lot harder that the wipe on. It's best applied over the Seal a Cell although it can be used by itself. The Gel topcoat is better suited for items like a jewelry box.
Do you have to put a finish product over the gel stain for on a table ?
Donna B on Jun 21, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I highly recommend it. I always put 3-5 coats of Minwax wipe-on polyurethane over this stain for a perfect finish. The added protection it provides, particularly on a table, is critically important and it imparts a great deal of depth to the finished piece.
I need a stain that has a burgundy tint to it. Which color would be best?
Sara H on Sep 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER: You will have to decide that from the color charts.
Some stains are mixable too.
Not sure if this one is.
Is it possible to buy in a very small amount to verify the color I want?
Karen F on Aug 7, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Sometimes Rockler will have an open jar and I'm able to try a sample on the wood I'm using. Sometimes I have to buy a small jar and take it home. Smallest size I've been able to buy if half pint.
Can i order a small jar to make sure it is the color I want?
Karen F on Aug 7, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The 1/2 pint is the smallest size available.
I have a chest of drawers that I would love to refinish. On the back of the dresser it says,"green oak". So it has a green tint and Formica top. I've sanded the piece,but some green still shows. Would like to use Brown mahogany,is this possible ? Would appreciate an answer.
Annie on Feb 8, 2017
Prop 65 WarningWARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Ethylbenzene, Crystalline silica, respirable powder, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer.