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General Finishes

Gel Stain - Oil Based - Java - Quart

Item 826979
Model B259-UL Quart


Ships Next Business Day!
  • Will Only Ship to the Contiguous 48 States
  • Not Available for Express and Overnight Shipping.
  • Includes a PaintCare Fee
  • General Finishes® Gel Stains are quite possibly the easiest of all finishes to use and achieve a "hand-rubbed" look without all the work. Application is easy with a foam brush or lint free cloth. The heavy bodied gel formulation permits the product to flow out evenly (no drips or runs)...

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    General Finishes® Gel Stains are quite possibly the easiest of all finishes to use and achieve a "hand-rubbed" look without all the work. Application is easy with a foam brush or lint free cloth. The heavy bodied gel formulation permits the product to flow out evenly (no drips or runs) preventing uneven penetration for consistent color control. Combined with no sanding (your choice to sand or not) between coats and a quick “re-coat” time, you’ll be finished sooner with less effort and better results than ever before.


    • Easy-to-use stains simply wipe on with a cloth or applied with a foam brush (no spills or splashes)
    • Heavy-bodied, and so does not penetrate as deeply into the wood as liquid oil-base stains do
    • This is the stain that has the most "finishing feel" of all General Finishes' products
    • Woodworkers love the lustrous finish of final product
    • Gives a more even appearance on hard-to-stain woods like pine, aspen, maple and cherry
    • Great adhesion on raw wood, existing finishes, fiberglass and steel doors


    • Color: Java
    • Size: Quart
    • Type: Oil based pigmented stain
    • Interior/Exterior Use: Rated for interior use only
    • Coats: 1+ coats (additional coats can deepen the color of the stain)
    • Recommended Use: Interior raw wood surfaces such as cabinets, trim, doors and furniture
    • Application Method: Brush, roll, wipe, pad applicator
    • Clean-Up: Mineral Spirits
    • VOC: <560 g/L
    • Coverage: 150-200 sq.ft.
    • Ideal Drying Conditions: 70° F and 50% humidity, out of direct sunlight, with good air movement
    • Dry Time - Touch: Raw wood (8+ hr), existing finish wipe-off (12-24+ hr)
    • Dry Time - Recoat: Raw wood (12-24 hr), existing finish wipe-off (72+ hr)
    • Dry Time - Recoat - Applied Over Water Based Product: 72 hr

    What's Included:

    • (1) General Finishes - Gel Stain - Oil Based - Java - Quart

    Instructions / MSDS

    Articles & Blogs


    Refurbishing, restoring, and upcycling your furniture can be creative, fun and leave you with an exhilarating feeling that you did it yourself with just about any piece of wooden furniture you may own.  What better time to give your furniture and other home items a new refreshing look.  Amaze your friends this holiday season or anytime with a home makeover that will leave you with the question, “Why did I wait so long?”

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    Introducing General Finishes 2014 color palette for Milk Paint, adding 14 new colors to the premixed line it calls “furniture paint with soul.”  The popular high-tech

    acrylic furniture and project finish can be mixed, lightened, distressed, glazed, layered for different colors and antiqued.  It’s perfect for unfinished furniture, upcycling or
    repurposing furniture.  Available in 28 mixable colors.
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    Join Lori Haught, Woodcraft Marketing Manager and Woodworking Adventures Blogger, for Part III in her series on refurbishing a unique thrift store find — a Telephone Gossip Bench.

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    Join Lori Haught, Woodcraft Marketing Manager and Woodworking Adventures Blogger, for Part II of a three-part series on refurbishing a unique thrift store find — a Telephone Gossip Bench.

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    Join Lori Haught, Woodcraft Marketing Manager and Woodworking Adventures Blogger, for Part I of a three-part series on refurbishing a unique thrift store find — a Telephone Gossip Bench.

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    If the SS Nieuw Amsterdam teak chairs could talk, they would tell you quite a Veteran story. This narration is told to us by Steve Taylor, son of First Army Lieutenant Phillip K. Taylor who served in the 5th Army Air Corps, Pacific theater. Born in 1916, Phillip was a native of Macy, (North Central) Indiana. Phillip was a man that believed in working with his hands and passed that work ethic onto his son, Steve. Those moral principles paid off in the service for Phillip. 

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    Woodcraft invites the Parkersburg, WV area residents to a free Upcycling Event at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Saturday, June 21, at 10 a.m.  Mixed media artist Leslie Yoak from St. Marys will “upcycle” and repurpose ReStore items to improve their look and value.  What’s the difference between upcycle and repurpose?  Upcycling is taking something old or outdated and giving it a fresh modern new look.  Repurposing is giving new life to an item by changing it into something entirely useful than what is used to be.  For example, the item on the left below is an end table from the 80′s, upcycled with General Finishes products from Woodcraft, giving it a new flair with a distressed look to match the rooms decor.  Photo right shows an old bathroom light box fixture, repurposed or transformed into a rack for hanging anything from jewelry and belts to other creative items for remodeling any room.

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    Woodcraft’s 21st National Sales Conference and Vendor Trade Show was held in Cleveland, Ohio, this May. The home of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame provided the perfect inspiration for the 2018 photo prop – a bigger-than-life electric guitar.

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    4.34 out of 5 stars
    32 Reviews
    1. 3.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Ok but not great for newbies

      I purchased this to restain my kitchen cabinets. I had planned to use Minwax but my local big box was out of stock and everything I read in preparation screamed the praises of General Finishes gel stain. I really wanted to like it and maybe for other projects it would be great, but it really wasn't easy to work with and saved me no time. I was happy not to have to strip/sand the cabinets but it's been a week and I've only gotten half of the kitchen done. It takes so long to dry, 12-24 hours per side per coat. Then another 12 hours per side for the topcoat. I followed the GF Youtube tutorial. Started with foam brushes but they went limp so fast and I went through so many I had to switch to brushes (one to stain, one to skim with mineral spirits, one to dry brush). Out of the 6 doors I've done so far only 2 look good. Splotchy, streaky, too thick to easily get it into corners and seams. I have no doubt more skilled people would know how to correct along the way and I have a couple of years staining and painting experience, but this just isn't as great as blogs and reviews led me to believe. Also incredibly messy and hard to clean brushes after.

    2. 1.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Never Again

      I used GF Gregorian Cherry a few years ago and while it gave the color I wanted I was not able to maintain a more translucent finish and felt gritty.Thinking I would have better success with some experience I just tried a project (Urn made with quartersawn oak) with this Java color. It is a pain to apply and you have to be careful not to leave streaks as you gently wipe off. It is all about the wiping off process, you either get it right or it's awful. Just hated using this product and the results are very disappointing. I wish I could just start over.

    3. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great product and beautiful color.

      I loved this point. I didn't have any experience on cabinets paint. Based on reviews I decided to try the Java Gel and I'm very happy with the results. I tried to paint with foam brush but it leave to much marks. I got a better result painting with a small cotton cloth.

    4. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great Results

      I was torn between staining and painting my kitchen cabinets but once I choose to go ahead with Java Gel stain I knew I made the right choice. The results are amazing and my cabinets are beautiful and look so elegant. I even have had people think they are brand new cabinets.

    5. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      love this stain

      I love this stain! I buy second hand furniture and refinish it; and this stain is pure magic. With one quart I have done 2 side tables, a sideboard and a dining table. I have enough for a couple more projects. Will be purchasing another can soon; gotta do the kitchen cabinets!

    6. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Java stain changed my kitchen!!

      My wife and I bought a house recently that was built in 1988. If you do not know,this was obviously the oak cabinet era. You know all the bland oak color that everyone has from that time. Well we decided to try to sand the cabinets and make a change. This was no easy task. It took months!! Fortunately, we saw the Java stain and wanted to stop the back breaking work of sanding every nook and cranny of these cabinets. This product only requires light sanding and you are on your way to a new finish!! It is amazing!! The drying time of this product is crucial and time consuming but it changed the look of our kitchen to old to new almost overnight!!

    7. 3.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Good, but not Great

      This gel does not penetrate the wood very well. Even after extended sitting time, the stain will rub off very easily, leaving light and bare patches. Had to go over several areas with a different dark stain (Espresso) to gain a satisfactory result. Haven't had this problem in over 40 years of furniture making. I'm not a big fan of dark stains, and I certainly won't use Java gel again.

    8. 4.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Fine product

      Java Gel is one of the best stains I've used over many years of furniture building. It applies easily, covers well, and leaves a silky smooth finish with no raised grain.

    9. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on


      The amazing java gel stain transported my tired golden oak cabinets from the 1990s straight to today! Easy to apply, minimal prep needed to use over old stain and poly. It's work, but richly rewarding.

    10. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Love this stuff!

      Decided to upgrade my kitchen. Without spending thousands on new cabinetry, I looked through the web to find the best stain I could find. I read reveiws checked out Local hardware stores and none compared to General finishes. This stuff is amazing! Goes on easy and thick (since it is a gel) I mixed about 6oz (approximate) of the antique walnut shade right into my quart of Java just to add a hint of warmth. I applied 2 coats 2 coats of poly in Flat and they came out beautiful!! Just the right shade and sheen. Very happy

    11. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Fantastic Stain

      Hardly any smell. Unlike other stains I've used. It made my ugly Oak cabinets look pretty and expensive. My family didn't believe I could transform our ugly cabinets. But this stuff works. Thanks for proving me I could make them look fabulous.

    12. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great product!

      I refinished the cabinetry in my 2 baths and my kitchen. It was easy to apply and makes a huge difference from the old builder grade oak cabinetry. It looks great!

    13. 1.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Does not work well on oak.

      I purchased this product after seeing a glowing recommendation on Pinterest. It stated that it covered oak ,making it very dark. Once applied as directed, the oak didnt turn out much darker. Definitely not as described. Probably works great on other wood, but definitely not for oak.

    14. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Awesome product

      I had a professional do the cabinets and this was the product they told me to get. The cabinets look beautiful.

    15. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Love the color!!!!!

      I refinished my bathroom vanity cabinets and they look completely different. Rather than the cheap, stock walnut finish that was there, they now look high- end custom. :)

    16. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Awesome gel!!!

      Since I purchased this product I have been going through my house staining anything and everything I have in my house that is light wood! I have done picture frames, a wooden clock, and I am working up to doing my dining room furniture (which is oak). I love, love, love this gel stain!! It is very easy to use!!

    17. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      I love this product!

      It is very easy to use but remember it is a stain not paint. I had some trouble getting it to dry on my first go around, but realized that I wasn't thinking of it as a stain. Don't apply too heavy, and use a foam brush to wipe off excess. I had to sand a bit off and apply another light application. Make sure to allow adequate dry time and don't rush it. It has low fumes compared to other products I have used so it wasn't a problem to do in the winter, just a fan to keep the air moving was adequate. And I discovered if you get it on paint or the floor or clothes that a little acetone will usually remove it. I am really impressed with this product. I didn't know what I was going to do with my tired looking cabinets when I ran across this on "Monica Wants It" blog from a Pinterest link. Her step by step was very helpful and I love the outcome! It goes a long way, so a quart was enough for my bathroom and kitchen and a practice table!

    18. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Java Gel Stain is awesome!

      I love this stuff! Saw it on Pintrest & have redone my 80's "oak" cabinets in 2 bathrooms & now plan to buy some more to redo my kitchen cabinets! It is very easy & the end result looks fantastic! Definitely recommmend this!

    19. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great product

      I used the stain on my yucky honey oak bathroom cabinets and they look fantastic!

    20. 4.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Makes the job easy for anyone!!!

      This is a wonderful product.It is easy to apply and makes old cabinets look new again. I've also used Gel-stain on metal with great results.

    21. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great stain!

      I used the product to transform a honey oak vanity to a beautiful dark vanity. It was so easy to use and looks great! I plan to use this on other furniture soon!

    22. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on


      I loved the color- it was a keep brown, just what I was wanting- it shipped fast and was easy to apply- I will definitely use this brand again. I heard it was the only one to use, and I understand why!

    23. 4.0 out of 5 stars
      by on


      I love this stuff. I had bought a can after someone had recommended it to me. I used it to restain my bathroom vanity cupboards. I just love the color and it was so easy to apply. I plan to buy more cans to redo our trim and our doors in our house as well!

    24. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on


      I am addicted to this Java stain and so is everyone I have shown my work to. I am getting more because I know I will continue to use this product. I used it on a rolltop desk and it was a joy to work with. I used to be a decorative painter as a profession, now I am just doing things as a hobby, but I love working with this gel stain. Very easy to apply and I even like the way it smells.

    25. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on


      Used this product to stain all the cabinets in my home. It was a labor intensive task but well worth it! I love the outcome and the look of the product. Best of all the Woodcraft customer service was astonishingly helpful! I have never received better customer service at any other store!

    26. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Love Gel Stains!

      Refinished an old bench from the thrift store. Looks brand new. Now that I understand the concepts of using this product, It's time to update my golden oak cabinets...

    27. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      General Finishes, Java

      would use again

    28. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great user friendly product

      Used on honey oak bathroom cabinets. I lightly sanded them and then applied with a tube sock. No streaks and it was super easy. Used 3 coats and it turned out great! It stains easily and quickly so I would recommend wearing gloves under tube sock.

    29. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      gel stain

      Great stuff used it on Poplar what a transformation. Poplar really took the Java Stain well . My wife loved the finish. After I let it dry for 24 hours I shot a clear coat of nitrocellulose lacquer to protect it. I rubbed the lacquer down w/ a paste wax and 0000 steel wool. A very professional looking finish from a very inexpensive wood.

    30. 1.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      General Finishes Gel stains

      I have used 4 different brands of gel stains and gel varnishes in the last 22 years, General Finishes is still pretty bad. A good quality gel varnish is goof proof and a pleasure to use, not this stuff. General Finishes liquid products are great however.

    31. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on


      Definitely do only one area at a time eg. drawer front, then furniture top, then side... must work quickly in large areas to avoid a lot of buffing for evenness. The end result was fantastic! Highly recommend the gel over liquid. I have had this piece of furniture since I was a kid and now it looks like it just came off the showroom floor :o)

    32. 3.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Good for dark

      Chose this because it was the darkest color. Good for those deep dark browns. Added a little Georgian Cherry for more red. Nice, but could get muddy due to the heavy pigment if you overdue it. Biggest problem was that the gel varnish took off some of the stain, leaving streaks, so I had to seal with shellac instead, and then use the varnish over that.

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