Lamp Black Dresser with Java Gel Stain

Oct 29, 2018 | General Finishes, General Finishes Gel Stain, General Finishes Milk Paint | 3 comments

When I paint furniture, I like to match the makeover with the piece itself. Based upon its shape and style, I can kind of “see” what it would look good in. When I saw this dresser for sale at Morgantown Market, it had an orange finish on it and I envisioned it looking much more handsome with a darker finish.

To get this look, it took a LOT of effort and products. First, I stripped the finish off the top and all of the drawers using CitriStrip.

Once they were stripped of their original finish, I cleaned them off with mineral spirits and 0000 steel wool.

Once the mineral spirits had dried overnight, I sanded down all of the wood surfaces that I had stripped. I started with 100 grit and then gradually moved up to 120 grit and ended with 150 grit. Because I was going to follow up with my absolute favorite oil based wood stain – General Finishes Java Gel – I needed to stop sanding at 150 grit. Going any softer would close off the wood grain and prevent the color from penetrating evenly.

I allowed the Java Gel Stain to dry 72 hours before sealing it with two coats of High Performance Topcoat in Satin.

I chose Satin as my sheen level because it has more clarity than Flat and it’s more durable because it has less matting agents. I wanted the grain on the newly refinished wood to be clear and beautiful.

The pattern on the wood veneer is incredible. It’s butterflied in half and laid side-by-side. It creates the most beautiful movement!

As you can kind of tell by the photo above, I went with a dark color for the body of the dresser. The specific color is Lamp Black by General Finishes.

Lamp Black is a soft black. It isn’t stark and striking, but rather has a lovely faded quality about it. It covers incredibly well and I applied two full coats plus a touch up third. Once the layers dried, I smooth sanded with 400 grit sandpaper and then gently distressed the edges with 120 grit. This gentle distressing drew out the other beautiful features of the dresser while still maintaining a stately appearance.

The trim under the top edge reminds me of an upside-down mountain range!

This beautiful detail is on the base of the mirror harp.

The harp itself has lovely details including a medallion at the base and trim along the middle.

That trim work is also on each front corner.

This piece is incredible. It’s super solid, the drawers slide in and out effortlessly, they’re clean and in great shape, and there are practically NO imperfections on it!

I seriously can’t stop staring at it because it’s so dag’gone pretty! I wish you could feel it too! It’s as soft as satin and as smooth as glass.

This piece will be making its way to Homestead Studios soon. I have some furniture switching to do between there and Morgantown Market and I’ll need Marc’s help to do it all. We have to plan a bit so I’m hoping to get it in by the end of the week. If you’re interested in this piece, send me an email


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I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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