Stain Tutorial: Special Walnut Stain on Cedar for Exterior Use

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<a href="//!%20%20%23tutorial%20%23DIY" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="beside"><img src="//" /></a> Hi DIY Friends!<p>Thank you so much for the plan love on my <a href="" target="_blank">$2 DIY Cedar Kitchen Herb</a><a href="" target="_blank"> Garden Planter!&nbsp;</a></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p>It was so fun and easy to make, and I’m so glad you enjoy the <a href="" target="_blank">plans</a>! Really looking forward to seeing your planters!</p><p>Someone commented that their planter would probably not look as good as mine, and I just gotta call foul on that!</p><p>Here’s what my planter looked like when I finished building it:<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="height: 367px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><br /></p><p><p>Nothing special!</p><p>And here’s what my Herb Garden Planter looks like now after a quick stain job:</p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><p>It’s ALL in the finish!!! &nbsp;</p><p><p>And I’m delighted to tell you that this finish is actually very easy to achieve! &nbsp;Don’t be intimidated by stain, just follow the steps and take the time to test and you’ll be amazed at what you are capable of!</p><p>I’m partnering up once again with the awesome folks over at <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax®</a> to bring you this tutorial.- Thanks Minwax!</p><br /></p><br /></p><p><br /></p></p>
Shopping List: 
<p>For this stain tutorial, I used</p><p><br /></p><p>•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sandpaper in Medium and Fine grits</p><p>•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Special Walnut</a></p><p>•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Natural Bristle Brush</p><p>•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Minwax® Helmsman® Water Based Spar Urethane&nbsp;</a></p><p>•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Synthetic Bristle Brush</p><p>•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Staining Rags</p><p><br /></p>
Step 1: 
Project Preparation<p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><p>Because I’m using cedar fence pickets which are very rough and uneven, I sanded my boards first before any assemble. &nbsp;It’s much easier to sand a flat board than it is to sand a little planter!</p><p>I used medium grit sandpaper, sanding in the direction of the wood grain.</p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><br /></p><p><p>Then I followed up with a quick hand sanding using sanding blocks. &nbsp;I started with a medium grit, working in the direction of the wood grain, just to make sure the power sander didn’t leave any marks. &nbsp;Then I followed up with fine grit sand paper.&nbsp;</p><p>It just takes a minute to do this!</p><p>Then before I move on to actual staining, I get rid of all sanding residue by brushing off, vacuuming, and then just to be sure, wiping down the project with a barely damp rag. &nbsp;</p><br /></p></p>
Step 2 Instructions: 
Staining <p>For this project, I want to not just protect the wood, but add color to it. &nbsp;<br /></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>So I choose <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax® Wood Finish™ stain in Special Walnut.</a><br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p>Since the <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax Wood Finish</a> is oil-based, I’m using a natural bristle brush. &nbsp;Minwax matches brush colors to can colors to make picking a brush easy! &nbsp;Yellow goes with yellow.<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="height: 368px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p>Even though the stain is brand new, I mixed it up because residue can end up on the bottom - resulting in uneven colors. &nbsp;I also mix as I work, just to make sure the contents&nbsp;aren't&nbsp;settling on me.<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="height: 363px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><p>I choose to stain after painting the letters just because I’m doing a dark stain, and wanted to be able to see the letter outlines when I painted them on the light wood.</p><p>I just apply the stain with the natural bristle brush in the direction of the wood grain. &nbsp;</p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p></p><p>I love this color!<br /></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><br /></p><p><p>After about 10 minutes (5-15 is recommended) of allowing the stain to penetrate the wood, I took a clean cloth and began wiping excess off. &nbsp;Don’t let excess stain dry on the project - it won’t look good! (and could prevent the topcoat from adhering properly)</p><p>The cedar took the stain so well, I only needed a single coat. &nbsp;But for a deeper coat, additional stain coats can be added after a few hours of dry time. &nbsp;Before applying the protective top coat, I let the project dry overnight.</p><br /></p><p><br /></p>
Step 3 Instructions: 
Protective Exterior Top Coat <p><br /></p><p>To protect the finish, I used <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane</a>. &nbsp;I could use oil-based, but I have the waterbased on hand (and love it) so I opted for it.<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>Notice I’m using a blue brush now with the blue label on the can. &nbsp;<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="height: 346px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>I applied a light, even coat of the <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane</a> to the project. &nbsp;I choose the Helmsman Spar Urethane because it’s specifically formulated for exterior conditions to protect against water damage and sunlight.<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>I applied two coats of<a href="" target="_blank"> Helmsman®</a>, waiting a couple hours between coats, and lightly sanding between coats with fine grit sandpaper.<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><img src="" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /></p><p><p>Amazing how a finish can transform a project!</p><p>Thanks <a href="" target="_blank">Minwax®</a> for bringing us today’s staining tutorial!</p><br /></p> <a href="//!%20%20%23tutorial%20%23DIY" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="beside"><img src="//" /></a>