Rated 2.6 out of 5 by 56
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by ChewyNacho Absolutely TERRIBLE
I have stained many projects in two steps, First Stain, then Poly. This 2 in 1 seemed like a way to save time. I used this to re finish a hardwood floor for a nursery. The idea of saving a step was great, but it failed miserably. I stirred the can for a few minutes so it was evenly mixed. It seemed like I was painting the floor not staining it. The floor dried very uneven and now it looks like two dark colors of espresso coffee were dumped on my floor and it just looks bad... Some of it's glossy, most of it's not.
Baby is due in a week and I may have to start over. Trust me... Stain, then Poly. Never use this 2 in 1. I wont' tell you what my wife said when she saw the finished product.
March 21, 2016
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by marrsgirl Meh. It worked, but I wish I'd gone a different route.
My neighbor gave me a very beat-up loft bed. It had so many scratches, dings, gouges, and what legitimately looked like teeth marks on one of the rails. It was also covered in marks from pens, crayons, and colored markers. But hey, free is free, and this was a solid wood piece that would have cost me $1000 or more new, and the alternative was to get the Ikea version, which I'm pretty sure is made from the recycled cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls.
I knew I most definitely didn't want to have to strip and sand the whole thing down to bare wood. It's one of those huge beds with rails, headboard and footboard, plus two big end pieces with drawers, a desk, and shelves. I just wanted to sand down the problem areas and go from there. I had a sample can of another brand of espresso stain, and tested a small area. Even with the uneven sanded parts, the espresso color was able to achieve a uniform color and soaked right into the wood, right over the original "honey oak" stain. Bingo! Staining and sealing would be easier than prime+paint+seal, and the darker stain would disguise some of the deeper nicks in the wood. I just need to buy more stain.
When I got to the store I saw this stuff, and like other reviewers, was enticed by the idea of "stain plus seal in one". Well, first off, this stuff is nothing like traditional stain. It's more like painting polyurethane, only much, much worse. Think of it as a tinted polyurethane, with Elmers Glue mixed in. The instructions say to paint a THIN coat, and boy they weren't kidding! It is very easy to overload your brush, and if you get too much on, good luck redistributing it! I finally found my stride and figured out that I needed to keep my brush pretty dry, but the first section I painted looked like I'd used my dog as a paint brush. The good news is that a little does go a long way. The bad news is the pure tedium that is endured trying to achieve a finish that isn't gloppy and full of brush streaks.
The instructions recommend two coats. OHGODNO. I still wasn't quite sure if the one coat of this stuff was easier than one coat of stain + sealer, but I definitely knew I didn't want to do it all over again. Perhaps another coat would have achieved an actual uniform espresso color… what I had was more of an aged/patina sort of dark walnut. The instructions add that a third coat will make the color richer. I'm pretty sure I don't want to live in a world where three coats of this is required. I decided that I could live with it as is, as it definitely looked better than before. Perhaps if this had been going back into the neighbor's house with the marker-happy, furniture chewers, I would have opted for the second coat, but I decided I would take my chances. I found an inconspicuous spot, and using my fingernail tried to scrape away the finish. It stayed put! At least it seems pretty durable.
Oil based products generally have a strong odor, and this product does not fail to deliver in that regard. I worked outdoors with a gentle breeze and still found it overwhelming. Definitely work in a well-ventilated area and wait at least 48 hours to move your finished piece indoors.
In the end, I don't hate how it turned out, so there's that. With a $13 can of this stuff, a few sheets of sandpaper, three partial days of my precious time, and no small part of my sanity, I managed to make a very unsightly bed into something I won't be embarrassed to have in my home. If I had to do it over again, I would not be using this stuff.
January 13, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Rob don't bother brushing on, recommend spray only
Used this to re-stain my kitchen cabinets. I tried 3 different quality brushes and about a dozen techniques with terrible results. Took some advice from another review and tried spraying on. HUGE difference in quality of coat. Above average rating only because very little sanding was required to spray over old stain.
April 20, 2016
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by Josh thin a little bit
I got this in order to save time on a project. I discovered that thinning it a little with mineral spirits prolongs the working time. Then, I scratch in the first coat with some 000 steel wool. Then immediately apply a brush coat with a good brush. It takes a little practice, but a light touch, a well loaded brush, and the right angle will get the material on well enough to flow out. In my opinion, that's the key. The material needs to flow out like a brush on poly. Doing a base scratch coat will work a coat in to the wood, and the second brush coat will flow out more even. After a day to cure, you can scratch in a poly top coat with 0000 steel woowool.
March 16, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by POFFStainjob Worst stain I have ever used
This is paint, not stain. It is meant to cover old stain that you don't prep the wood. Essentially have to completely sand all woodwork and start over. Applied as thinly as possible and it is essentially paint. Horrible product should have read reviews but trusted the HD guy. Never used a combo poly/stain and never will again
April 11, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by dianad11 Good, but need to use it for the correct project.
I wanted to freshen up the stair rails and posts in our house. I purchased of a can with high hopes of it doing what I needed it to do.
First thing to know, this is NOT a PENETRATING stain. If you try to use polyshades on raw or very dry, porous surfaces, it will be a certain fail. This is more of a top coat.
When I first started using this, a few swear words passed thru my lips. I was using a brush to apply it. I applied a small amount to an area to test it and then wiped some off like with regular stains. Nope. I tried carefully brushing it on lightly. Nope. I tried drenching it to get it to apply evenly. Nope. I sat back and eyed the product with contempt. I removed myself from the situation to refuel with stronger coffee. I then went back to the poly, removed 1/3 of the can of the poly to a separate container. I then added mineral spirits to the original can to replace the part I had removed. BINGO!! The poly went on thinner, but smoother and the mineral spirits increased the drying time enough so that I could smooth and blend whatever I needed to. I ended up doing three coats. It turned out gorgeous.
I ended up doing the hand rails, the posts, the spindles, all the 6 panel doors (front and back) on the main floor, the mantle, the french doors to the sun room, and all of the trim including the windows, on the main floor. Three times. LOL. It was like a new house. I used a different technique on the cabinets, but my next cabinet project will be with this instead. It looks good with an under coat of deep red also.
The key to headache free use was to thin the product with mineral spirits.
April 7, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by JP Can of manure
This stuff is flat out horrible...in fact, it should be banned from the shelves. Uneven coloration, visible runs, and brush marks galore even while following their magic 45 degree brush solution. Even following all directions .Even after 5 minutes of drill mixing this stuff clumps like cottage cheese. Thinking of buying? Save yourself the money and and have your woodwork fingerprinted by your local kindergarten class. Because that's all the results you can expect from his can of manure.
March 22, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Shae731 Did what it needed to do
I had some trim that I was painstakingly trying to sand down to barewood, but it was an awkward inverted curve. I decided to give Minwax Polyshades espresso satin a try and, low and behold, it was quick and easy and did exactly what it needed to do. I would say the only downside is they didn't have the exact matching color of the regular minwax wood stains. Took some getting used to, but after figuring out that thin coats are needed to achieve the correct look, and using a bristle brush instead of a foam brush, it came out wonderful.
February 26, 2016