General Finishes Java Gel Stain Tutorial


Welcome to the Summer Tutorial Series!  I’m excited to show you tips, tricks and techniques, or if you don’t want to do it yourself, there is always something relaxing about watching someone else paint. 

This post contains affiliate links to help you find what you need!  These are products I have tested and used myself or something comparable.

The first tutorial is all about Gel Stain.  Specifically in this video I’m using General Finishes Java Gel, because let’s face it, it’s the best color, by far the most popular and pretty much magic in a can. 

The best feature about gel stain is that you can use it over raw wood or an existing finish.  Say what?  Yep, no stripping required to keep the wood finish you like.  It’s perfect for that antique piece that maybe has a few dings or scratches but you just can’t bring yourself to PAINT it.  Also perfect if you want the wood look, but want to change the COLOR of the wood.  You know, let’s update that 80’s oak – this is a great solution.  Yes, it works on kitchen cabinets too!

Here's a piece I built that started as raw wood, you can see the beautiful color of Java Gel

And here's the piece I refinish in the video, this had a finish already that I cover with the stain. 

In this video tutorial I walk you start to finish through retaining a nightstand that has clearly seen better days. 

Here is what you need to do this project:

-220 Grit Sandpaper

-Wet Paper Towels

-Denatured Alcohol (50/50 mix with water) if piece is extra dirty, oily or you are refinishing kitchen cabinets

-General Finishes Java Gel

-Stir stick


-Cotton Rags (I use old t-shirts)

-Chip Brush

-Clear Finish (I use General Finishes High Performance Poly in Satin Finish)

-Purdy XL Cub

-400 Grit Sandpaper

I’d love to see before and afters if you try it, we are partying this summer with before and afters using #refinishthis and #notuglyforlong (on Instagram and Facebook). 

If you love this tutorial, please PIN to share!


As always if you have any questions, I'm here to help!