I stained the entire sides and legs with Java Gel. I then taped off the areas for the Brick Red and painted those. After it dried I proceeded to paint the Federal Blue. This was a labor of love for my daughter, it was her request to use the natural wood instead of adding white. I finished with HP Topcoat- 7 coats. She wanted lots of protection. I'm from England and all of my children really embrace their English and American heritage.