In case you missed it, I goofed and accidentally painted the top of this dresser when my client wanted it stained...oops! But like I always say, anything can be changed and although maybe a little more work, it's really not the end of the world.
I also decided it was a good opportunity to share this staining tip with you.
After I stripped the top I added one coat of General Finishes Java Gel Stain. Photo below is after that one coat.
It stained nicely after one coat but had a little blotchiness going on. I was going to do another 2 or 3 coats but decided to do what I have done a few times before...add a dye stain mixed with clear coat.
Here is the result after I used one coat of the mixture and 2 more clear coats added over top of that for protection.
This is a pretty cool product. It can be used alone but is VERY pigmented and like it says, is a dye. so yeah, I personally wouldn't put it on alone. I add it to a water base clear coat. I personally feel you can add to any water base clear coat but it's probably smartest to add to a GF clear just to be safe
I have experimented with different ratios but find that 1:4 (ish) ratio is usually good for the projects I have done.
It basically evens out and darkens the overall color of a stained piece. For me, this has allowed me to NOT have to do many extra coats of stain to get the depth I want on many pieces.
Another recent example is how I used it on these barstool seats. I wish I had a good before photo but naturally, I don't. They were in decent, but not perfect condition. I added a coat of this mixture after lightly sanded them, to create a nice, even, new finish. As always, I also add a few coats of clear afterwards too.
You can spray or do by hand. I have done both and both work well.
Because I had a batch mixed already I sprayed the seat but did the dresser by hand.
There are many different color dye stains but seem to usually reach for the dark brown.
Hope this helps someone and good luck!