Minwax Polyshades--Any Experience Or Advice?

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Forum topic by lobro4 posted 04-18-2012 09:13 PM 27461 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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216 posts in 4453 days

04-18-2012 09:13 PM

I have never used the product but I am finishing a HUGE project and wonder if a one step process would be worth the time saved if anyone can comment if the product works… how’s it look… etc. Anyone with experience that can offer their two cents worth?

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!

44 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 4308 days

#1 posted 04-18-2012 10:37 PM

I’ve used it on a couple of projects and don’t think that it’s worth all of the aggravation. I used the Bombay Mahogany, and had a helluva time getting the deep, even, color I wanted. The words on the can are lies IMO.

I did eventually get what I wanted from it, but it took way more work than the advertising implies.

Some of my problems might have been the dark color I used. Something lighter may have worked better.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4211 days

#2 posted 04-18-2012 10:47 PM

I used it on the legs of my workbench, Red Oak faces, and it bloched badly. Removed most of it with steel wool and about 50 lbs of elbow grease. Made me a mixture of polyshades mixed 50/50 with BLO and this worked better.

Think I like the “wipe on/wipe off stain followed by poly finish” method better.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5458 days

#3 posted 04-18-2012 11:43 PM

Advice regarding Polyshades: Put the can down and run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View lobro4's profile


216 posts in 4453 days

#4 posted 04-18-2012 11:49 PM

I sense a common theme here. Thanks for the heads up.

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!

View Mosquito's profile


11271 posts in 3532 days

#5 posted 04-19-2012 12:09 AM

I used the black polyshades on a set of small shelves (knick-knack shelves) and it worked ok. Took about 3 coats to get a good finish. Seems good enough, but I don’t think I’d use it for a large project.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Tom148's profile


39 posts in 3504 days

#6 posted 04-19-2012 12:17 AM

I used it to finish my house some years back. It worked OK but to be honest you really have to work to get an even finish. I think I would do it the old fashioned way….seal it, stain it, finish it!

Goog luck.

-- Tom

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3930 days

#7 posted 04-19-2012 02:03 AM

When I did the woodwork in my daughter’s clinic I added some stain and mineral spirits to Spar urethane and wiped it on. It worked very well and certainly saved us a lot of time. I tried it on some scrap until I got the color my daughter wanted. 2 coats wiped on and I was done. Still looks good 3 years later.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 4003 days

#8 posted 04-19-2012 02:17 AM

The only time I tried it, the color just layed on top of the wood, color never did absorb in to the wood. When the finish chipped there was bare wood under the chip, no color.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 4163 days

#9 posted 04-19-2012 02:22 AM

Like Charlie said, run the other way.
Nasty as far as I’m concerned.

-- Life is good.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3620 days

#10 posted 04-19-2012 02:27 AM

Someone gave me a free can of Natural Cherry and I used it on pine plywood cornhole boards. Brush on, sand, repeat. Worked fine, better than I expected. Doesn’t look like cherry but who cares, they were cornhole boards. As implied above, it is a finish with a toner, not really a stain, so it sits above the wood. The downside is that it takes several coats if you want a rich color, the upside is that it should even out any color variances in the wood. I had no problems with blotching.

-- Rick M,

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4082 days

#11 posted 04-19-2012 02:35 AM

I’ve had good luck with polyshades on certain smaller projects. I do not follow the instructions on the can though. I hold a brush in one hand, a rag in the other. I brush on, let sit for about minute while I’m brushing on further down the project. Between a minute and two minutes (NO MORE, or it’ll blotch) wipe hard. I mean really press the rag into the wood and WIPE. I got this technique down on scrap before using it and have experimented to get different tones on different woods I had on hand.
Now, I done all this because I was given a crap load of the stuff by a contractor I know who had bought it for a job and the customer didn’t like it. Hey. It was free so I wanted to get use out of it.

All that being said, although I wound up with some nice looking projects with it, I would not waste my money actually buying the stuff. If I was given more, I would use it. If I’m buying it though, I’d rather take the time to do several steps and be sure to get it right the first time.

By the way, I did ruin one project with polyshades and it seemed that no amount of sanding in the world would help it. I wound up using the whole projoect as firewood.


View nate22's profile


501 posts in 4115 days

#12 posted 04-19-2012 02:39 AM

If I were you I wouldn’t use it. I have used the bombay mahagony and the problem I find is it bloches easily and you will get one spot that has polyurithane and another spot that doesn’t have any. So if I were you I wouldn’t use it try the old fashion way stain it then put polyurithane on it. I my opion thats the best way to get good results.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View joebloe's profile


157 posts in 3534 days

#13 posted 04-19-2012 02:45 AM

Run don’t walk away from this stuff,tried it once and never again.If you put on multipul coats ofthis stuff you can make a golden oak look like ebony.

View mmcafee09's profile


29 posts in 3512 days

#14 posted 04-19-2012 03:18 AM

waste of money!

-- The College Woodworker

View bandit571's profile


29701 posts in 3923 days

#15 posted 04-19-2012 03:41 AM

Spend the little extra, and get a stain, and a varnish SEPERATELY. Used it a few times, just to get rid of the quart i bought. Well stirred, so the stain is mixed in right, leaves bubbles in the varnish. If not constantly stirred, and mixed as you use it, it WILL STREAK BADLY. Stuff is junk. Take the time to get the colour right, let it dry, and THEN get the varnish going. better

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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