Chalk Paint for Beginners & Java Gel Stain Tutorial

hi everybody its Christina welcome back
to my channel if you’re new here I am into painting furniture and repurposing
stuff that I already have around the house or stuff that you can get on the
cheap versus buying new and today I’m going to be doing a tutorial that’s
gonna be perfect for beginners we’re gonna be working with a nice long chalk
paint as well as general finishes Java gel and just doing a really easy
beginners guide to doing over a side table
if you haven’t subscribed to my channel make sure you do that before you leave
here if you like what you see please give me a thumbs up or leave a comment
in the section and let’s get started okay today I’m gonna be redoing this
little side table I actually got this from my neighbor she had purchased both
of these I think through Craigslist or something didn’t leave the second one
and everybody knows they can always offer me free furniture you definitely
don’t let your first project to be something you really care about whether
it’s your kitchen table or maybe it’s like your grandmother’s dining set you
want to play around with stuff first figure out how to use these products
really get your techniques down and then tackle a big project like that’s what
end table a side table even if it’s a dresser if it’s something that you get
for free that you find on the side of the road or that you get for $5 at
Goodwill those are like the best type of things to start off with so today we’re
gonna be doing really easy beginner techniques know distressing I know which
is like very rare for me I just want to help you get your feet wet and just not
have a lot of steps today I am gonna do a two-tone finish I’m going to do Java
gel on the top and then we’re gonna use a nice lone Chuck paint on the apron and
the legs of the side table I will put links to all the products I use today in
the description box so go check that out if you’re just sort of purchasing
anything that those are all affiliate links through Amazon so if you do
purchase anything through those links I will get a small Commission I really do
appreciate it because that helps me keep my channel running helps me keep the
blog running so thank you again for your support okay I think I’ve given you all
the info so I’m gonna grab all my stuff and zoom you in and we will get started
on this tutorial so the first thing you want to grab is your nitrile gloves
these are reusable but I also use disposable ones a lot then you’re gonna
grab your odorless mineral spirits and pour it in a little Bowl and either have
a sponge with a scratchy surface or a scotch pad and you’re just going to rub
this down over the entire top where you’re going to
you’re not stripping the surface here we’re just cleaning it down to get all
the dirt and grime off to help with the adhesion of the stain okay the next
thing you’re gonna do is grab some 220 sanding paper and put that on a sanding
block and we’re gonna rough up the surface of this top again we’re not
stripping off the finish that’s on the top here we’re just roughing up the top
to give the stain something to stick to if you have any big gouges or water
stains on your tabletop you’ll want to put a little extra love into those spots
maybe even go down a little bit on your sandpaper and really smooth those areas
out before you stain and when you’re finished with sanding just grab a tech
cloth and wipe up all that dust before we grab our stain all right we’re ready
to start staining the top so I’ve grabbed my general finish’s gel stain
and java this is the darkest color that they have I’ve used this before on my
banister tutorial so I’ll link that above if you want to check that out I am
gonna be using a different technique with this today we’re gonna just be
painting it on full strength and not wiping it off at all this is an
oil-based stain and it is really concentrated in pigment so you want to
give it a big stir just so you mix up everything appropriately and then we’re
just gonna start painting this on with a foam brush these are really affordable
you can pick them up at the hardware store for under a dollar and it is what
general finishes uses in all their videos so that’s what I’m using today so
as you’re applying this just make sure that you’re going with the grain and
you’re getting a good amount of stain on there don’t make it too thick and don’t
worry if some of that wood is poking through because this is our first coat
and we will cover up everything on our second or third coat okay so I’m gonna
speed up the process for you here just a quick tip keep a wet edge as you work in
sections and as you’re going do one swoop from the bottom to the top to just
clear out those brushstrokes so here’s a close-up of what it looks like after
your first coat as you can see you can still see some of that honey oak color
coming through so don’t worry about that if you see that and here’s a shot of it
dry you do want to let this dry for 48 hours before you put your second coat on
you can tell if oil based finish is dry if it’s no longer tacky cool to the
touch and if you can press a cotton ball over the surface and nothing sticks
when in doubt wait longer you don’t have to sand in between coats so we’re just
going to go ahead and apply the second just exactly the same way we applied the
first and please make sure that you’re reading all the safety information
that’s on your can you want to dry this stuff out after you’re done working with
that outside it is flammable so please please follow all the instructions on
the can so here’s what your coverage will look like after the second coat for
our top coat you’re gonna want to wait 72 hours for it to dry since we are
putting a water-based coating on top of oil stain it needs to be completely dry
so wait 72 hours and our top coat is the general finishes high performance flat I
just really love the finish of this because it doesn’t give a super shiny
finish before you get started wipe down your top with a tack cloth just to get
any dust off that may have accumulated while it’s drying you still go ahead and
give this a quick stir I do use a foam applicator to put this on if you want
you can use a brush I just prefer using the applicator I find it easier and
they’re really cheap or application of this top coat we’re gonna put it on
really similarly to the way we put the stain on you just want to do a thin
layer keep a wet edge as you’re working across again I do that stroke all the
way from the bottom to the top just to get a clean stroke do a small section
and then move on and don’t go back and rework an area that you’ve already put
on and for time sake let’s speed this up again and here’s a quick tip on this
finish you can actually put this in a ziploc bag and save it and keep reusing
it till you’re done with the project and dry time for that top coat is two to
four hours so while it’s curing we are going to go ahead and start painting the
apron with our a nice loan chalk paint and old white first we need to prep the
piece and while we’re doing that I’m gonna just flip my truck paint upside
down and just set it down beat right beside the piece we’re gonna grab some
hot water and just a little dish soap and a sponge and wipe down the portion
that we are gonna paint don’t underestimate this step look how dirty
it is so go back over with just a wet clean sponge and wipe off any of that
soap residue and then you’re gonna let this dry and while it’s drying we can go
ahead and tape off any areas that we don’t want the paint getting on so I’m
just taping underneath the tabletop and go ahead and take any of your drawers
out and remove your hardware okay we’re ready to start painting so I have
grabbed my natural-bristle purty sash brush it’s
one of my favorite brushes to paint with has been well loved
so grab any kind of container for your paint to go in I have this glass jar
because I can put a lid on it and close it up and save it for later pour your
paint in there grab a spray bottle with some water put about five squirts in
there and then you’re gonna stir that up just to just thin it out a little bit I
have your spray bottle again and give your paintbrush a little spritz and then
we’re going to start painting on because we are going for a smooth finish and a
distressed look I want you to paint with the grain and making smooth strokes and
keep spraying that paint brush with that water bottle if your paint thickens up
on you it’s just gonna help it keep it nice and smooth and kind of get rid of
some of those brush marks so again work in small sections and once you’re
finished with that section do that long stroke from one end all the way to the
other just to smooth out those brush strokes watch out for drip marks you’re
going to want to clean those up as you’re going along just so you don’t
have to go back and say in them later and Here I am painting the drawer front
and I’m just speeding this up into double time just to move it along but
again you see I’m using the same technique going with the grain and at
the end I’m gonna smooth everything out from side to side the dry time for this
paint is about one to two hours so we’re going to hop back and put the second
coat of high-performance topcoat on our table top so I am grabbing some super
fine steel wool just to sand a little bit in between coats you can also use a
really broken in 220 sanding pad or 400 sandpaper
I just prefer using the steel wool because I feel like it doesn’t break
down my stain at all so I’m just going to take the Sun lightly buff the surface
as you can see it’s kind of dusting up a little bit we’re not taking off finish
we’re just roughing it up a little bit to give the second coat something to
stick to the process for putting on the topcoat
is exactly the same as we did it the first time so follow all those steps and
again once this is completely dried again for another two to four hours you
can go ahead and put that third coat on general finish’s recommends doing three
coats minimum you can add more if you want to based on wear of your piece and
before you add that third coat don’t forget to rough
with that steel well a little bit clean off your dust with your tack cloth and
then add that third coat and now back to painting our apron we’re gonna grab our
Chuck pain again put it in our container this time you’re going to thin it out
just a little bit more than the first coat probably do about 10 to 15 sprays
with your water bottle stir that up so this is the consistency you’re going for
a little bit thinner than that first coat we’re going to spray down our brush
and then just paint this on the same way we did the first coat going in the
direction of the grain and really smoothing out those brushstrokes now once the chalk paint is dry you’re
gonna want to seal that and today we’re gonna be using the general finish’s high
performance flat I just did a video comparing this with using a nice loan
wax and clear so I’m gonna link that up above if you want to check that out I
thought this would be easier just to do the same process you’re used to doing on
the tabletop instead of using the wax today and it will give you a little bit
more of a durable finish so this is the exact same process that we used on the
tabletop you just want to be a little bit more careful and use a really thin
layer again because when you’re working on a vertical surface like this it will
tend to drip and run on you so you definitely want to use a thin amount of
product watch for those drip marks and really smooth those out when you go to
sand in between coats here I’m gonna recommend you using the 220 sanding pad
or if it’s brand new a 400 sanding pad versus the steel wool just because of
the shedding factor with the white one more thing I want to show you guys you
will get these little tiny hairs especially when you’re working with
white you’re not in a static free environment please don’t freak out about
these take a step back from your piece you’re not gonna be able to see them no
one’s ever gonna notice them you have to let your inner perfectionist go so again
you’re gonna do three coats just like we did on the top I am replacing my
Hardware today so I had a little funky piece of hardware so I’m actually
drilling some extra holes to put on a little cup pull that I found at the
hardware store sometimes a new piece of hardware can really make a big
difference and I’m a sucker for a couple we are finally done here is the before
and here is what we look like now completed and just for a little bit of
fun I styled it up for you I hope you guys liked this beginners
tutorial I hope you can try it out let me know how it goes for you send me your
before-and-afters I love seeing those if you like this video please give me a
thumbs up don’t forget to subscribe before you leave turn on those
notifications and I will see you guys next time


  • Christy Bartolic

    I’m painting bunk beds that were in our boys room when they were growing up (as now we have 4 small grandchildren & the room needs an update. I’m going to do the top of the dresser in Java Gel & the rest of the dresser & beds, trundle in white chalk paint.

    I’ve been reading reviews on Amazon that the General Finishes Water Based Top Coat yellows white chalk paint significantly, & more over time. I also read that the manufacturer has started to say to not use it over chalk paint. Is this true? I was thinking this might be a better topcoat vs wax in a room for children. I had initially planned not to distress, but as I move forward I think I may lightly distress too.

  • Gypzziroze1

    Most informative! Thank you!!

  • Weirdlyoneoffs

    Amazing! This kind of furniture is very expensive. To buy old furniture and restore, you save so much money and have the satisfaction of making it fantastic and unique yourself. I think it is wonderful, we all should be upcycling.

  • Lizeth Rico

    Where do I find the link to the products

  • Coryny

    Looks nice but takes too long. Especially when you factor in the 48-72 hr wait times. 🙁


    Have the exact same end table

  • Ioannis Kapnisis

    Curious for ur imput, I got these 2 side tables the other and didnt know if I should strip the paint off or just go in and samd it down then paint? Ok so cant load the pics but its white n chips on top that shows wood.

  • Carol Saylor

    very good

  • norma dominguez

    What's the difference between the 2 sand paper that you talked about?

  • Gwen Grayson


  • Lucia Puerta

    En español

  • cycloneyou

    Just WOW 😮

  • Sandy Knight

    Looks good but I like original

  • Noha Naga

    Why you only sanded the top.?

  • Mr Sir

    If you're not removing the clear coat it's not staining the wood. So you're waiting 48 hours to dry for no reason, just buy dark paint.

  • Coplay

    The finished product looks stunningggggg. Great job

  • Heather 296

    I loved the finished table and am inspired, but I have questions. Why did you use a stain and not a paint on the top? Why did you water down the chalk paint? Why didn't the apron need sanding before applying the chalk paint? I can't wait to get out to Goodwill and see if they have anything I can re-finish! thanks for the great video.

  • Stacy Fine

    You did a great! The table turned out perfect. Is this table laminated or wood? I ask because I have a laminate topped table that I would like to paint or stain dark/ebony. The apron, legs and chairs are wood and will be painted back to their original color. So, I wondered if your tutorial would be something I can go by or not. Or, do you have other suggests, without it being a lot of trouble. Thank you for your time.

  • Anna Patty

    Very cute.

  • Bobs World Entertainment Podcast Ltd

    Cool channel

  • csawgle

    I have used stain and the chalk paint before and I really like the tips you gave about using the water. thanks, great video I'm a new subscriber now

  • Nicole Shupe

    Very cute

  • Lucy Villegas

    I love it

  • Angie Randazzo

    Can I use the stain on top of chalk paint

  • kandicek83

    Thank you! This was the most helpful chalk paint video I've come across yet. I'm redoing my kitchen table and 8 chairs using your method. So far, the table is looking fabulous. Can't wait to see the end result!! Thanks again! Keep up the good work!

  • pocketowo

    Wares protective gloves but has no shoes on haha

  • Michael Johnson

    Great explanation. Can you put on the gel stain with a foam roller? I really don't like any brush strokes when I refinish things so I use a foam roller for chalk paint. just wondering if the gel stain works the same. thx

  • Jane Thacker

    To much talking

  • Misha Rosas

    Very nice thanks for sharing your so talented.

  • Kelly Targett

    How did you learn ?

  • Connie Patrick

    Very nice. Contemplating on painting my bedroom suite. It's 4 poster bed with a large dresser and chest of drawers. It belonged to my Mother & Father. I was 4 or 5 when they purchased it. I'm mow 61. Time for a change. Lol! Do you recommend painting all pieces or just the bed? I am thinking of a bluish green for bed and the other 2 pieces in an off white creamy color. I want to use chalk paint. I respect your advice very much. Thank you. Have a wonderful day.

  • Olga Nazarova

    After waxing this tape year ago I decided to pain my guest room. I had black bad, two different color night stands, on black and another mahagony. And one light color dresser. I decided to paint all set white.When I finished my friends thought this is a new furniture!
    Thank you so much Christina!!

  • William Irizarry

    Helpful video and well done. Thanks!

  • MarkNiceyard

    "I will see you guys next time" doesn't really make sense, does it?

  • Greg Perry

    Nice job! Very clear communication and easy to follow. It went quickly, but contained a lot of good information. Thanks Christina.

  • michael pickford

    can you come and do my old bedroom suite xxxxxxx

  • Eric Farmer

    nice job Christina.

  • Biddy Calvey

    Thanks so much, I’m new to chalk painting

  • Simon Womack

    Did you just use gel stain as paint? I'm so confused…

  • cobaltHunter

    Looks great love it!

  • Kristy Lopez

    Can I use tsp instead of the mineral spirits?

  • Lamyaa Alkhafaji

    Good job
    I love it

  • Jennifer Hargrove

    Speaking of inner perfectionist….I don't care about the tiny hairs like in the paint…but dammit I am guilty of using chip brushes to seal my pieces and losing hairs in the finish n noticing after it has dried ..ohhhh it is not fun…I have a couple of beautiful pieces but if u look closely a loose brush hair in the finish on the top. Hah…it's ok…I'm learning a lesson I guess. I'm gonna get some more foam brushes n try it ur way

  • tooshay

    Polished look

  • ayesha qayyum

    i did exact same thing with my nesting tables with gel stain in black.when i sanded the table tops i got scratch marks and now they are showing through the stain.any idea how it happened and how to fix it.

  • G YamBal

    It’s a miracle

  • Vicki Morton

    Very helpful! I appreciate all those specific instructions & demo.
    The transformation was amazing!

  • Nathalie Gould

    Love it!

  • lori richards

    I learned more from you in one video then I have all the others combined thank you

  • naser husein

    Whaere can i get the top finish

  • Diane Hassevoort


  • Christopher Durant

    Matt, satin or gloss varnish? Thanks

  • ReeseyThings

    great job

  • Valorie Lettinga

    What did you use to seal it?….what I used turned yellow!

  • Krystal

    Thank you for this video. This helps out alot for us newbies.

  • milena deltorto


  • Brianna King

    Great video! I'm gonna do my first DIY soon and this helped a lot.

  • Sue Jones


  • BuneFFXI

    Great instruction, but with the wood grain that beautiful I wouldn't want to hide it. Put a nice oak stain and poly sealer to draw out that grain.

  • Jimmy Salcedo

    Very pretty!!!

  • Mary S

    Wow. This is great and the detailed steps are so helpful.

  • Cris McNally

    Very nice!

  • Bigballer

    I love what I see. 😆

  • Anne-Maree Williams

    Why did you use a sponge brush for the top of the side table and a bristle brush for the rest of the table? TY.

  • Terri Juanette

    FLAMMABLE: I learned to let my rags with this one dry before throwing them away. If they're wet and you throw them away, they'll begin to smoke and get really REALLY hot. Voice of experience speaking. If I hadn't caught them in time, I would've had a fire in my trash bin. Fun. Right?

  • Meredith Hamed

    Love the piece! Why did you add water to your paint to thin it out? Is that step necessary? I plan to do this project with latex paint as that is what I have. I have not worked with chalk paint before.

  • starofmecca

    thank you so much ..I am just beginning and have watched other videos, that were either boring or too complicated..left me feeling less than enthused and very confused..:/..I also was unclear on what product to use. I am a list maker so will make notes for reference while buying and creating..I have some nice pieces..but just don't know where to start..or what colors to buy…I love the soft gloss satiny finish of this piece….this was lovely..<3

  • Deb Brantner

    I wish I'd seen this before I painted my furniture. I ended up with brush strokes I really wish I didn't have. I had no idea I should add water to it. It makes so much sense now. Thank you.

  • cshula1


  • Antonia Ortiz

    Loved the video. Very informative. Thank you

  • einstein as robin hood

    I just pictured the rest of my life trashpicking n repurposing furniture with this woman…

  • Evelyn Branch


  • Maris Ocean

    I love it!

  • PenguinCheddar

    Looks really nice! I like how it's a darker finish with lighter bottom!

  • Tony Nameless

    Looks good on camera. I'd like to take a closer look.

  • Cash Rules

    You inspired me. I took on this project right before I closed on my home in Feb.. I have two end tables I got for $15.00 from habitat for humanity store.. I made a few mistakes.. but this definitely can be a great side hustle..

  • Aisha Cabrera

    Nice video. And thank you for speeding up some parts of it to get to the end result.

  • Mitch Fell Off The Fence

    Very Nice!

  • Ralph Castillo

    one of the better tutorials I’ve seen on chalk painting furniture. 👍👍

  • disho chander

    i love the way u paint like a new. I will try it . thanks.

  • Christina Muscari

    Thank for watching! I just posted a new video doing this type of look on a pedestal table using a water based stain from Genereal Finishes. Check it out!

  • mimi v

    I love it. Thank you for your teaching

  • itsmeman9656

    Im having trouble getting little ripples out of my paint.? I sand it but when I paint it.. They come back

  • Danielle Chandler

    My new hobby

  • zehra Atique

    NO CHALK PAINT😏please

  • Ângela Santos


  • Gilmour11

    Honestly these are two colors I never would have thought of but boy did they turn out BEAUTIFUL!!

  • tracy MacEachern

    I was wondering why you don’t have to strip the top of the table before staining it?

  • Sharon Alabama

    Is Java jell good for hinding a table top that is really messed up?

  • ElleSilk

    that's just beautiful!

  • Salma Salma

    take a rest.brain when you talking. plzzz many other s nationality watch you taket easy plz…

  • Roxy Rodriguez

    OMG I am soooooooooooo happy I found this channel amazing 😮🙊

  • MV

    I really love it! Wonder if I can use the same colors to give a different look at my breakfast table. I love it but it looks a little old.. Thank you!

  • Eunice Nield

    Nice job

  • marianne froholdt

    Why so many coat on the top? I only paint whit annie sloan paint,and then wax,and it is done😁

  • D. Gata

    Much more cute before.

  • marianne langford

    Great lesson.. you are awesome at getting a lot of information into a short video.. I hate videos, where people talk so slow and you get very little info from the vid. Your the best… thank you…pls do more..

  • sidehatch69 -

    Way too much work no way.

  • goosecouple

    Why bother turning a perfectly beautiful wood furniture into a cheap IKEA furniture? Weird.

  • Maresa Vera

    I love that you mentioned the hairs!!! Lol knowing me I would’ve probably stressed about them but that little comment you added was perfect! I feel like now I won’t freak out so much haha! My first time watching you and I LOVED IT! Subscribing now 😊


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