Rated 2.6 out of 5 by 63
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Joel Saved my time and money on staircase.
Okay I did my first staircase. My wife wanted a dark stained tread with white risers and skirts. I stained the first time and it would not get dark enough. Due to improper prep and the filler showing through the stain. I started from scratch. (Sanded it all down and started fresh.) I used a new darker stain which was an espresso 273 from Minwax. BUT because I sanded with too fine a paper. (Found out later.) The stain didn't absorb as dark as my wife wanted. I read on the forums it was not recommended to use polyshades on stairs and floors. But it went on fine and looks better than a lot of professional stain jobs. You can still see grains in the wood. But again it was not recommended so I put three coats of poly over it and its standing up to the beating so far. I dropped a nail gun down the stairs and nicked it. Took some wood glue and sawdust and mixed. Did a repair and then put on some poly and it looks seamless. I know the reason its not recommended for floor and that's because it floats on the wood. So any scratch or gouge will show the true color of the wood. I think I did okay because I already stained twice. (Shrug)
September 9, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by AW How is this product still on store shelves? By far the worst stain I have ever used. How Home Depot and other retailers have not pulled this from their inventory is beyond comprehension. If they were giving this product away for free, I would not even take it. This product will cost you more time & money in the long run.
October 30, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by ctop End result was great... but needed to add 3 coats of Poly
Just like most of these reviews the product really does not have much poly in it and you will have to add your own poly after you apply this stain. I thought this going in so when I purchased this stain I also bought poly just in case. The color of the stain was real nice and after adding 3 coats of poly and sanding after the first and second coat our new bathroom sliding door turned out great!
July 4, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by phil10720 Better Than Ever!
I must admit. It's been more than 10 years since I used Minwax Polyshades and while it was okay, It wasn't anything spectacular but I bought it anyway to go over some previously finished doors because they were showing a little wear and to darken the color a bit. This is the only product on the market that I could find locally where I didn't have to completely strip the wood so I decided to go with this (again) as I said. What do I think about today's Polyshades? WOW, like night and day! Flows well. Adheres to the surface (following the directions and proper surface preparation of course) almost like good old-fashioned varnish which is near impossible to find. It still needs two coats but it lays flatter and looks way better after each coat than I ever remembered or imagined it would.
October 8, 2016
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 1.0 out of 5.0 by WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Doesn't save you time; adds it.
As with many others, I hoped to save a step on some simple unfinished oak cabinets for my laundry. They didn't need to be perfect.
I tried thick coats, thin coats, light brushing, different brushes. Nope...it goes on badly, leaves brush strokes, covers unevenly, and forces you to sand and re-sand through about three coats to get things fairly consistent. Terrible product.
Use standard stain, lots of wiping rags, and then a few coats of poly. Trust me, you will be happier. This is not for the DYI'r looking for something to make life easier.
August 6, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Robertwdc Difficult to work with
Very difficult to use...I agree with another reviewer...doesn't save time...adds it!
Save yourself some heartache - go the traditional route of stain first then poly. I sure wish I had.
August 14, 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