Medium and Fine Grit Sandpaper
Start by sanding your project with medium grit sandpaper. You can use a power sander or opt to hand sand as I did. Use the medium grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges and smooth out rough patches.
Then sand the project with fine grit sandpaper.
Remove all sanding residue from the project. I recommend a brush followed by a quick wipe down with a damp cloth.
I always recommend starting on the underside first if you are staining it. Just squirt the Minwax Express Color  directly on the project. Use a clean lint free cloth to wipe the stain into the project working in the direction of the wood grain.
Just wipe the Express Color  on, and wipe it off. It's that simple.
Once the bottom is done, move on to the sides. NOTE: If you were working with a project where the inside is less accessible than the outsides, I would suggest staining the inside, harder to reach areas first, and then moving on to the outsides.
May I suggest wax paper to protect your work surface here?
Finish applying Minwax Express Color  and wiping off to the outsides of the project.
Then move to the inside, squirting Minwax Express Color  on to the project. You can also apply the stain to your cloth, and then use the cloth to place stain on the project.
And then just keep working it in until the entire project is
stained. If you want to deepen the
color, you can go back after 1 hour and apply a second and third coat.
Optional Top Coat
Minwax Express Color  is an all in one, meaning a top coat is not required. But for greater durability, you can apply any top coat. For indoor projects, good top coats include Minwax Express Finish,  Minwax Polycrylic , or Minwax Water Based Wipe-On Poly . For outdoor projects, try Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.