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  • Melissa Geskie

Easy Gel Stain & Chalk Mineral Paint Tutorial

This is a great tutorial for beginners on how to use chalk mineral paint and gel stain. It’s a simple way to update a boring brown wood buffet to a updated classic navy style.

I purchased this buffet at the Goodwill for under $40! I always evaluate to see how easy a piece of furniture can be Upcycled and this one was a winner. First of all the price was right and I had saved a 20% off coupon. All hardware was present and could be reused easily. The drawers and doors opened and closed well. The cosmetic issues were small and easily fixed. I could barely squish it into the family mini van with my child in the back seat, but she’s used it by now.

Materials needed

-Spray Paint


First things first. Proper prep before you begin to chalk paint always saves the day. Remove all the drawers, check for any issues like loose joints or missing veneer. This is the time to glue those joints and use your Dixie Belle Mud to repair the small damages. Mud is a great alternative to wood filler, it dries quick and is so smooth when you sand it down! Vacuum the inside of the piece and wipe out all the drawers. You can use a cleaning agent called White Lightning to clean and remove all residue on the furniture. Any left over grime or oils can cause the paint to not adhere well or stains to come through. If needed to remove any lingering small Dixie Belle makes a salve called Big Mama's Butta. This salve is scented and takes old musty smells away. I like to use it inside the drawers to refresh and lubricate wood on wood drawer glides.

Sand your surface well then wipe off the dust. Remove your hardware and you are ready to paint! Make sure to number your drawers so they all go back in the proper position.


Before I begin painting there are a couple things I like to have handy. A spray bottle filled with water. A couple of brushes. A rag or paper towel to have to wipe up spills. I tend to always paint buffets in some form of navy color. I think it looks classic and regal. For this buffet I used to colors Mixed together to create a custom look. One part In The Navy and one part Bunker Hill Blue. Even 50/50 mixed into a jar. One small 8oz jar of Dixie Belle paint can cover two full coats on this large buffet.


Begin by wetting your brush. This helps the paint move well and keeps it smooth. Minimizing any paint lines. I painted the entire base with the navy color. I covered all the wood surface and then applied a second coat.


While the base dries thoroughly I was ready to start the top. I like to use Gel Stain. It’s a product with a thick pudding like consistency that covers the surface without having to sand to the bare wood. Since I am painting inside my house sanding and making a big mess is not a option! I apply the gel stain right over top of the previously stained surface to cover any marks and darken the color. I chose Dixie Belle Espresso to change the cherry color wood to a modern dark color. Wearing gloves I use a t shirt like rag to apply liberally to the surface. I like to work quickly so the gel does not dry and become tacky. I pull from one end to the other in the direction of the wood grain. Once the first coat has dried I apply a second coat. I then covered the entire top with Gator Hide. This product is durable And a great top coat. I like to apply with a large wide brush. Work in the direction of the wood grain and pull from one end to the other.

To see a video of gel stain being applied please click here.

After the base has dried you are ready to apply your wax. I use a wax brush to apply clear wax to the entire base. When this has dried you are able to buff to a sheen. I applied Best Dang Wax in Black to the edges to show some definition. I then used gold gilding wax in Warm Gold to lighten the edges of the drawers. It provides the buffet with a classic look that makes it stand out in photos.


I took the hardware and spray painted it in a gold to update the look. After it has dried I installed back onto the buffet.

I was able to complete this buffet quickly with minimal supplies or repair needed. The dark stain gives it such a rich look. The navy is classic and will compliment any room. The gilding makes it stand out from the rest and shine in the light. And the best part? It sold within a couple of days! For a video tutorial on this navy buffet click here!

Using Dixie Belle paint is Great for quick easy updates.

Want to buy your own Dixie Belle paints? Click here!

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