Rated 2.8 out of 5Â by 24
Rated 5 out of 5Â by Des4973 use a sock!!
I used this product on both my kitchen and bathroom cabinets. At first I tried using a paintbrush, and like other reviews, it was coming out tacky and dripping. But I took someone's random advice and used a sock--and it was amazing. Coverage was perfect, no streaks, no drips..looks like a brand new cabinet. worth every penny! Took four coats and ta da!
July 5, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5Â by Jevari I Like It
I've used Minwax on two projects now, and I've been satisfied both times. It was considerably easier to apply to the bookcase than on the end table, but the end table had a lot more in the way of nooks and crannies.
I took a suggestion in the comments to wear latex gloves and use an old sock, and it worked great! The bookcase took 3 coats and came out even. It looks like very dark wood, but not black--exactly what I wanted! It took almost a full can.
The only time I had a problem with the Minwax being tacky was when I chose to apply a coat midday and in full sun; it was actually steaming as I put it on. I usually worked on it in the evening or early morning, and that temperature was far better suited for it. So... don't mess with it if it's 90+ degrees out.
The end table was more challenging than the bookcase. It was difficult getting the Minwax evenly inside the decorative lattice. I ended up using a Q-tip. Also, it took 4 coats to make the end table a comparable color to the bookcase.
All in all, I'm quite pleased with the stuff. Since I have most of my second can left over, I'll be tackling my other furniture tomorrow!
June 5, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5Â by Jeff Polyshades has a purpose and an ideal application method. This may help you decide if Polyshades is right for you.
After using Polyshades for the first time to finish a custom cabinet and entertainment center I built, I was not all that happy with the finish. I read over the directions. I am very good with oil based paints and from everything I read, using alkyd painting techniques is certainly the best approach to brushing Polyshades. The finish was acceptable, but not as good as if I had stained and finished with polyurethane in separate steps. In that scenario, I would rate this product 2 stars.
The most notable issues with a brushed application (and keep in mind I consider myself good with brush applications of finishes) is the inconsistency in the finished color. Fortunately, the inconsistency was so consistent; the piece appeared to be intentionally finished in that style (if that makes any sense).
If you insist on using the product and applying with a brush, be sure to use a 100% natural China bristle of good quality, adequate bristles (not a chip brush), and keep it clean with mineral spirits as you use it. The Polyshades will thicken up in the bristles and affect your finish. This is the same caveat for alkyd painting.
THERE IS A PURPOSE FOR POLYSHADES and more important, there is a better application method.
First, if you're finishing bare wood (as I was in my first experience of Polyshades), pass on the Polyshades and go the traditional route. The only exception to this is if you are in a rush and have HVLP spray equipment.
Now secondly, and most important to this review: If want to refinish a piece, thatâs when Polyshades works very well. Polyshades can be a time saver, but sometimes it the most practical solution.
Using kitchen cabinets as an example, suppose you wanted to darken your Golden Oak finished kitchen cabinets. This was the project I was willing to give Polyshades a second chance on. Why was I willing to give it a second chance? Well, after reading up on the product, I began to understand what it was exactly. And understanding what the product is as well as reading up on application methods, I was not only willing, but excited to tackle my kitchen cabinet refinish with this stuff.
After my research, Polyshades ended up in a category of being a Toner finish. So what is a toner finish? Simply put unlike the clear finish product one would apply to a piece AFTER stain, dye, oil, etc., a toner is the clear finish product tinted with dye. Theoretically you could make your own Polyshades by adding tint to a can of polyurethane. The take-away from knowing this is understating the intent of a toner. That is, a toner is to be used and thought of as a top coat only. You are not staining / absorbing color into the piece. You are (for lack of better words) essentially âpaintingâ a translucent, stain look-a-like, onto the top of the piece. In fact, when using toners for professional finishing, theyâre usually applied AFTER a first coat of CLEAR.
So, that is when I realized that REFINISHING with Polyshades may just be the best usage. And in fact, it works rather well. To avoid the inconsistent color banding of the top coat and after much reading up on toners, HVLP spraying is the only way to go. In refinishing pieces such as cabinets, prep work for applying Polyshades is exactly like the prep work required for applying a fresh coat of polyurethane. You need to clean the surface, sand or steel wool the finish to promote adhesion, clean the surface dust, and apply the finish.
The best thing about spraying the finish is, once you have done all of the work of masking and after you realize just how quick the product applies via HVLP, you will not hesitate to top coat your new Polyshades finish in a clear polyurethane for the added protection suggested on the back of the Polyshades can.
The color finish is completely uniform when using HVLP to apply
The viscosity of Polyshades is ideal for spraying with HVLP
Stir the product well before pouring into your paint cup and mix your paint cup while spraying
Spraying the product will cut the application time DRAMATICALLY. If you were planning on spending 3 hours brushing, you will spend 20 minutes spraying. This is not an exaggeration.
You will have a flat, stroke free finish
Use a gravity sprayer (I say that only because that is what I used and it worked very well)
Make the first coat as light as possible. It should only be a âsealantâ. The color after the first coat should not be the desired end color.
Using the HVLP method, after the second coat, the color was exactly as desired and advertised on the can. Keep in mind, this was going from a light Golden Oak to a very dark Espresso!
The spray application end result is so much better, and the application time is so much shorter, the time taken to mask and protect the interior cabinet surrounding walls, counter tops, floor, ceiling, etc., is completely worth it.
When spraying in-doors â WEAR A RESPIRATOR, establish forced ventilation, and do not over pressure your sprayer. Paint with the lowest pressure possible. Remember â HVLP â High Volume, Low Pressure.
Finally, if you donât believe spraying is the ideal application method or if you think Minwax would not recommend it, ask yourself why Polyshades is available in a spray can.
January 27, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5Â by DIY207 Waist of time and money
I used the espresso poly shade to stain/poly a 4x8 sheet of maple plywood to build some cabinets. The poly shade was too light with two coats and too dark with a third coat. It gets extremely tacky when applying additional coats even after allowing to dry as directed leaving you with heavy brush strokes even after steel wool/sanding in between coats. Now I have a 42 dollar sheet of plywood ruined not to mention hours of work gone to waist. I'll have to do it all over with stain then poly. I guess this is what you get for trying to cut corners. Good luck
July 13, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5Â by Steve Best to spray
I did a TON of research on this stuff before I tried it. The mixed reviews really make you think twice. I wanted to darken our golden oak cabinets without completely stripping them. Yes, I know, not the "correct way", but we are going to be selling the house and just want to freshen up the cabinets and put new tops on. Anyway, I basically agree with every review on this site.
First I tried a quality china brush. It laid it on pretty thick, and left streaks. It would have covered great, but the brush strokes were highly visible. This stuff tacks up pretty quick.
Not happy with that I tried the staining sponge, a brand new clean very fine rag, and finally a sock! All of them have different positives, and a whole list of negatives.
After sanding my sacrificial door down 3 times, I finally took one reviewers advice and broke out the HVLP spray gun. THATS THE TICKET FOR GREAT COVERAGE, smooth even surface, and cuts on time dramatically. I could not be happier with the results after spraying them, the finish is great and my wife loves them.
If you ask me this product is very hard to get good results out of, unless sprayed. BUT, when sprayed the results are amazing.
FYI, I used the espresso color in a satin finish.
Good luck to you
August 3, 2014