Prepare Your Project
We are starting with a newly built project, built from pine. Always do a sample first to ensure you love the stain color on your wood - wood can vary even in the same species.
After you finish building your project use Minwax Stainable Wood filler to fill in any screw or pocket holes. Let the wood filler dry completely before applying stain over it. Depending on the size of the hole, will give you a good idea of how long it needs to dry. One reason why I love working with Minwax Stainable Wood Filler so much is that it accepts their stain well.
Sand your project. I started out with a belt sander and sanded the lumber before building and then moved to medium sandpaper on a little hand sander and then finished with a sanding block of 220 grit sandpaper.
Brush off all sanding residue. Use a damp rag to get any remaining residue.