So. The original plan, as in my post in October 2014, was to have the tops of my bar stools lighter. I had been using General Finishes Java Gel Stain to do the whole stool.
The whole plan with the china cabinet, table & chair set, and bar stool makeover was to finish it all off with doing the light java stain on the oak trim on my cupboards. BUT. We unexpected circumstances required us to put our house up for sale before I got the plan finished. Then, I figured it best to leave the cupboards as is and just make the rest of the furniture there more cohesive.
So. I decided to use General Finishes Milk Paint in Dark Chocolate. The company assured me it was the exact same color as doing the Java Gel Stain solid. PLUS, the milk paint is water-based so that means fast dry and easy clean up! Whoop!
You can't tell which has been done with the gel stain and which has been done with the milk paint!