Minwax Water Based Stain - Gray

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:06
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Hi everyone! Remember when Brook and I worked on the simple trestle desk together? Well this is what it looked like before she stained it. Yep, you can make a 2x4 look like this: And today, we are going to show you how! In this staining tutorial, we've partnered up with the folks over at Minwax to bring you step-by-step instruction on how to stain your pine projects with water based stains. Here's from Brook: I am so excited to share a tutorial on how to use Minwax's Water Based Stains. Water Based Stain is great because it comes in 50 traditional wood tones and contemporary decorative colors that you get mixed right at the paint counter. Plus since the stain is water based, it is fast drying, has low odor and can be cleaned up with soap and water. I wanted a desk that would go well with my son's rustic twin bed but not match it exactly. So using the new Trestle Desk plans I built him a desk and stained it charcoal gray. I love the non-traditional gray color of the stain. It looks great with the green and turquoise that we have in his bedroom. The new Minwax Water Based Wood Stains have a bunch of cool colors that I can't wait to try out! Thank you Brook!

Step 1


After you finish building your project use Minwax Stainable Wood Filler to fill any screw or pocket holes. Be sure to apply according to the label instructions and let the wood filler dry completely before applying stain.

Sand your project. I started out with a belt sander and then moved to medium sandpaper.

And then finished with a sanding block of 220 grit sandpaper.

Brush off sanding residue.

I like to use a toothbrush to get the dust out of any crevices.

And then use a damp rag to get rid of any sanding residue leftover.

Step 2 Instructions

In this step, we will apply Minwax Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to help stain penetrate wood evenly, prevent blotchiness, and reduce the effect of wood grain raising.

Stir the Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

Apply Minwax Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to your project with a foam brush allowing it to penetrate for about 5 minutes. Wipe off any excess wood conditioner with a cloth.

Wait 15-30 minutes and lightly sand wood with fine sandpaper.

Then wipe off any sanding dust.

Step 3 Instructions

Now you are ready to apply water based stain to the project! In this tutorial, we use Charcoal Gray, but remember that Minwax Water Based Wood Stain comes in 50 different shades, mixed right at your paint counter.

Carefully stir the stain before and occasionally throughout use.
One thing I like to do before getting started, is I like to test the color of stain on a scrap piece of wood, just to make sure it’s the color I want before applying to my piece.

Apply stain with the Minwax Water Based Brush brush, following the direction of the wood grain. These brushes are great, they are not only for water based clear finishes, but also for applying water based stains, a 2 in 1.

Let stain penetrate wood for no longer than 3 minutes and wipe excess stain off with rag. Be sure to wipe off in the direction of the grain.

If you want a deeper color of stain you can wait at least 2 hours and apply a second coat of stain. Remember, no need to sand between additional coats of Minwax Water Based Wood Stain .

After at least 3 hours of drying, your project will be ready for a protective finish.

Use soap and water to clean up your Minwax Water Based Brushso you can use it again when applying Minwax Polycrylic in clear satin.

Step 4 Instructions

The water based stain adds color to your wood, but is not enough to protect it. So we will use Minwax Polycrylic in clear satin to protect the project.

Carefully mix polycrylic, don't shake! It will look milky in the can but will dry clear.

Use theMinwax Water Based Brush, 2 inch brush to apply a thin coat of polycrylic. Brush in one direction following the wood grain. Be careful not to overbrush.

Let Polycrylic dry at least 2 hours and then lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper to help the second coat of polycrylic adhere and ensure a nice even finish.

Remove all dust with a brush and damp rag.

Apply second coat and third coats of Minwax Polycrylic in clear satin in the same way you did the first, sanding lightly between coats. After your project dries for 24 hours it's ready to use!

Enjoy your finished project!


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