Medium to fine grit sanding paper
Minwax Express Color  - a little goes a long ways!
Clean cloth or staining rag
I used very rough boards for this project, so opted to sand with medium grit sandpaper. I sanded in the direction of the wood grain.
My sanding motto? If you like it unfinished, you’ll love it finished! So take your time and sand well - your time is worth it in the end!
With a good sanding, you will have sanding residue on the project. Brush it off and then gently wipe down with a damp cloth.
Minwax Express Color Application
For this piece , I am using Minwax Express Color in Indigo Blue . It is highly recommended to test the stain on a scrap piece of wood before staining your actual project.
I like to raise my project off the surface so I can stain underneath it as well.
I was surprised at how far a little bit of Minwax Express Color actually goes, so be careful to not squirt too much on your project.
You’ll want to be wearing gloves and safety glasses if applying vertically or near eyes here. With your cloth, just begin working the Express Color  into the project.
Work quickly in small sections, spreading the stain evenly on the wood. For larger projects, I recommend having someone help you apply the Express Color.  It can dry really fast!
Don’t forget the insides of your project!
Once you have finished applying and covered all areas, wipe any excess off in the direction of the wood grain, using a clean cloth.
And put the finishing touches on it …
And let the piece dry.
For a deeper color, wait one hour and then add additional coats.
For extra durability wait about 3 hours and then apply a Minwax water based top coat, such a Polycrylic , Water Based Polyurethane , or Water Based Wipe On Poly . NOTE: If you are applying Express Color to a table, it’s best to let it dry overnight before normal use.
Have you used Express Color?  What is your favorite color? I think this Indigo Blue is my favorite!