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Customer reviews for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain

1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain

Use Minwax 1 qt. Clear Water-Based Wood Stain with Minwax Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner for long-lasting beauty that still reveals the natural wood grain on furniture, cabinets, doors, woodwork, cabinets, moldings and trim. The stain can be tinted to create rich, custom colors that complement your decor.
Overall rating:
3.333 / 5
3.3
 / 
5
(12 reviews) 12
Open Ratings Snapshot
80%of customersrecommend this product8 of 10reviews
Rating Breakdown 12 reviews
3.3 out of 5.0
5
(3)
4
(3)
3
(3)
2
(1)
1
(2)
Quality 
3.5 out of 5.0
3.5 out of 5
Value 
3.5 out of 5.0
3.5 out of 5
80%of customersrecommend this product8 of 10reviews
Customer reviews for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
Review 1 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Atlanta, GA

Urethane Water Based Finish

PostedMarch 17, 2010
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
This product applies easily with rags or brush. The finish dries easily and hard. Clean up with water while wet but is not easily removed when dry. Used for interior carving board which is stored in kitchen away from windows.
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 2 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Atlanta, GA, USA
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Professional

Can't beat it for $12!!!

PostedDecember 10, 2012
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I normally make my own stain and dye but needed something in a pinch for bamboo veneer and it worked like a champ, was really impressed. I Epoxied over it and looks great.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 3 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Chicago, IL
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

In Island Blue

PostedMay 31, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
My husband and I purchased the Minwax water based stain when we were redoing our barrister cabinet. We opted for the Island Blue tint and we couldn't be happier!
First, a couple of hints -
1. DO mix with the 40/60 ratio. Honestly, it makes all the difference. We didn't even try using the full-strength stain, but when held up to the color chart the 40/60 ratio is IDENTICAL to what is shown as a sample.
2. DO use a foam brush. This is of course subject (I cannot stain with tee-shirt or cloth. Ever. It's a guaranteed disaster!) I love the way the foam equally distributes the stain -- the trick is, apply the first heavy coat liberally, and then going back and letting the brush do the work for you to "delete" brush strokes -- one long continuous motion brushed up at the end.
As for the color ... because that's important ...
I found Island water to have a beautiful range of hues and shades. In the can it looks like "painters tape blue" and that can be unnerving, but once it's on the piece and has had time to dry, the color is absolutely gorgeous! The base/primary is a rich, yet translucent navy, but you do have lighter hints of teal and aqua. My husband think it looks almost like an "oil slick" in color -- with different parts visible in different light.
On a side note: I have been refinishing furniture for five years, my primary go-to is always paint, but having explored and played with this stain, I'll definitely use it again in the future, it's that awesome.
Pros: Easy to Apply, Looks Great, Looks High End, Modern
Cons: must do some mixing on your own; 40/60
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 4 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Chicago, IL, USA
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Professional

Product has its ups and downs

PostedAugust 31, 2012
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Make sure you prep your woods sand 60 120 than 220 paint wood conditioner on let dry sand again with 220 than stain board and wipe quickly practice on scrap boards I have used sangaria and cherry blossom and have gotten amazing results used oak boards
Pros: Easy to Apply, Easy to Clean
0points
1out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 5 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Uniontown, AL 36786, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Love the product

PostedMarch 15, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Love the product so much that I drove over an hour away to buy 2 of the last ones that this store had. None of the stores close to me had any left and couldn't get any more. I needed this to finish a project in my house.
Pros: Even Application, High Quality of Material, Easy to Apply, Easy Instructions, Good Coverage, Easy to Clean, Easy to Use, Looks Great, Looks High End, Dries Quickly
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 6 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Fort Wayne, in
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Exceeded my expectations

PostedAugust 2, 2014
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Our home was built in the 1940's. We gutted it down to the original block walls that it was built with. I was looking for an old, used, and abused, yet still new look for our replacement oak doors and molding. I thought the water based stain would give the appearance of the worn look I was trying to achieve. It turned out amazing! I will continue to buy this product until my home is completely remodeled.
Pros: Even Application, Easy to Apply, Easy Instructions, Good Coverage, Easy to Clean, Easy to Use, Looks Great, Dries Quickly
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User submitted photo
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0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 7 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain

Water-Based Stain

PostedApril 13, 2012
Overall rating 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
I've tried this stuff a few times now, and there are some advantages to using it. You get a large variety of colors, no odor, and minimal clean-up.
However, there's a price for these benefits. I find this stain to, in many ways, act more like a thin paint. I think stain should enhance the beauty of the wood's grain. This stuff has a tendency to cover them up instead. Moreover, the penetration level is very shallow, something I've never liked. Finally, the coverage can be very uneven. I would definitely recommend using the Miniwax wood conditioner before staining with this stuff.
Overall, I think water-based stain has a solid niche and, if used by a skilled person, it can create some very nice looking pieces. But I personally am never really happy with the way it works for me. I doubt if I'll be using it myself any time soon.
+8points
10out of 12found this review helpful.
Review 8 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Austin, TX, USA
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Terrible if you follow directions - if you don't it's great

PostedMay 16, 2013
Overall rating 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I bought this to stain a pine table - I wanted a darker look, so choose Toffee color.
I put the first coat on, and it was super blotchy - absolutely impossible to get the brush marks out and it generally looked terrible.
Then my wife read the reviews here - so I followed their advice, I watered it down 60% stain, 40% water - and wow what a difference - once watered down it looks like stain and goes on like stain. I literally applied with a stain sponge, then wiped off several seconds later - no blotches, no uneven color it looked great. I wanted a slightly darker color, so after 30 minutes I repeated the same exercise and it darkened up but still looked great, you could see the grain of the wood, but it was nicely stained.
Bottom line, don't use this product undiluted, it goes on like paint - and I will be sanding down the first piece I did so I can do it properly.
This was my method, hope it helps some of you out:
1) Progressively sand down to 220 grit
2) Wipe with a rag soaked in mineral spirits to remove dust
3) Once dry, use MinWax water based wood conditioner - apply quite a lot (surface should be milky colored) then after 5 minutes remove excess with kitchen towels
4) Leave 15 minutes and sand surface with 220 grit wet/dry sand paper
5) Use microfiber fleece cloth to remove any dust from above
6) Use diluted (60% stain/40% water) mix of MinWax stain and apply with a stain sponge pad. I put a reasonable amount on, then immediately wiped it off with the dry part of the same pad. Color was consistent and no blotches after this stage.
7) I wanted a darker color, so after 30 minutes, I repeated step 6 with the same procedure.
After 2 coats the color is what I wanted, I can see the grain of the wood - and it's 100% consistent. I will now leave it to dry for 12-24 hours, then apply polyurethane.
Hope that helps some of you out - and thanks to the people that said dilute it - without this the product is like paint rather than a stain, and that is not the look I was going for.
Pros: Easy to Clean
Cons: way too thick - applies like paint
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User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
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+26points
27out of 28found this review helpful.
Review 9 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Logan, UT, USA
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Not Much of a Stain as it is Paint

PostedJune 25, 2013
Overall rating 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Quality 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
As others have mentioned this goes on entirely too thick as is out of the can. I followed the directions and my project came out a solid color after 1 coat. the downside is that there is so many intricate nooks and crannies that it wasn't feasible to sand it down and start again. So instead I applied a second coat of stain and now I have a gray shelf.
I had some scrap wood that I tired a water down mix (60% stain 40% water) and the results were much better. dilute down the stain if you wish to see the wood grain more clearly.
Pros: Easy to Apply, Good Coverage
Cons: color is not as transparent as it should be
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 10 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Meridin ID
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Be Careful

PostedMay 1, 2013
Overall rating 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
If you follow Minwaxs directions you may as well just paint it, because that's what it will look like.
Short and to the point, this product is a dye not a stain. But there's an easy way to get amazing results, Make sure you treat the wood with at least 1 GOOD coat of water base wood conditioner, 2 coats on end grain and let dry 24 hours. thin the stain by adding 40% distilled water. Apply with a bristle brush for latex paint. If you want a richer and darker tone do a second application. Let it dry for 24 hours.
Pros: Dries Quickly
Cons: dries way too fast, looks like paint
+14points
14out of 14found this review helpful.
Review 11 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain
from Costa Mesa, Ca.
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Minwax water based stain

PostedSeptember 15, 2013
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I will never buy another Minwax product again. I had the color mixed, followed their directions, used their water based pre-stain product, and I might as well have painted my project. Countless hours of prep and sanding have gone to waste. Not what I had expected at all.Thanks Minwax!
Cons: don't bother.
0points
1out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 12 for 1-qt. Water Based Wood Stain

Worse than useless - in "river stone"

PostedAugust 9, 2014
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I bought this to try restaining a blonde pine coffee table in grey to get that old, oxidized wood look.
I didn't know to try watering this down to 60/40. So I applied it like a normal stain. It goes on like paint and rubs off like paint, and dries super fast. There are thick patches of grey where the stain dried too fast to rub off entirely. And there are blonde patches where I rubbed the stain off too quickly to avoid the first problem. My coffee table looks like it came from the dump.
I will have to sand down the entire piece and start over.
The worst part is that my partner has been away for a month and I have been refinishing and upgrading all our furniture. The coffee table was supposed to be the crowning achievement that pulls everything together. Well - he comes back today and there's no time to fix it.
-1point
0out of 1found this review helpful.