How to use polyshades over existing wood finish

Written by dan howard
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How to use polyshades over existing wood finish
Minwax PolyShades provides polyurethane protection and a wood finish in a single coat. (wooden clock image by dwags from

The Minwax Company produces the PolyShades line of wood finish for use with any wooden object other than flooring. PolyShades provides both the beautiful colour of a wood stain and the protective aspects of a polyurethane finish in a single product. PolyShades can be effectively applied over an existing wood finish as long as that finish is not a lacquer or shellac. Two or more coats of PolyShades are required to ensure a lasting, protective finish.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Minwax PolyShades finish
  • Sandpaper
  • Fine paint brush
  • Steel wool (grade 000 or finer)
  • White spirit or paint thinner

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  1. 1

    Sand the surface of your wood-finished object lightly with sandpaper. Doing so will create an adhesive surface that is more receptive to the PolyShades finish. Remove all sanding dust from the surface of the object. Be sure that the surface is entirely dry before proceeding.

  2. 2

    Stir the PolyShades stain before use. Re-stir the PolyShades finish occasionally during application, especially if you notice any change in the stain's consistency or appearance.

  3. 3

    Apply a small amount of stain to an area of the object that is not routinely visible. Verify that the PolyShades finish combines with the existing finish to create the colour that you want.

  4. 4

    Apply a thin coat of the PolyShades finish. Use a finely haired paint brush to brush the finish onto the object in the same direction as the wood's grain.

  5. 5

    Allow the first coat of PolyShades finish to dry for at least 6 hours before proceeding.

  6. 6

    Rub the surface of the object with fine steel wool that is rated grade 000 or finer. Doing so will result in a slightly more adhesive surface for the second application of the finish. Remove all of the sanding dust from the surface of the object.

  7. 7

    Brush a second thin coat on the object in the same direction that you applied the first coat. Allow at least 6 hours for the second coat of PolyShades to dry.

  8. 8

    Add further coats of PolyShades if you prefer a deeper colour of finish.

  9. 9

    Remove any spillage from your work area using white spirit or paint thinner.

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