Walnut Minwax Express Color on Cedar

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 02/15/2013 - 10:34
Additional Photos

Thank you so much for the positive feedback on my $1 Cedar Tapered Planters! What I loved most about this project was the beautiful rustic wood grain showing through, making this humble project definitely centerpiece worthy!

But being that this project was so easy to make, I also wanted to give you a finish that was just as simple and easy.  I've done a few projects using Minwax Express Color, and have a tutorial here for using Minwax Express Color in a color. Did you know that Minwax Express Color also comes in wood toned shades?

For this project, I used Minwax Express Color in Walnut, and it is just beautiful! The crème base of the Express Color worked well with the rough cedar boards and was easy to apply. I only needed one coat, and it only took me a few minutes to apply the stain. Because Minwax Express Color is water based, I applied the stain indoors and only had to use soap and water for clean up!

Have a project that you would like to transform quickly and easily? I’ve teamed up once again with the awesome folks over at Minwax to bring you my step by step finish tutorial.

Shopping List

Minwax Express Color in Walnut

Medium and Fine Grit Sandpaper

Staining Rags


Step 1

Project Preparation

Start by sanding your project with medium grit sandpaper.  You can use a power sander or opt to hand sand as I did.  Use the medium grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges and smooth out rough patches.

Then sand the project with fine grit sandpaper.  

Remove all sanding residue from the project.  I recommend a brush followed by a quick wipe down with a damp cloth.

Step 2 Instructions

Stain Application

I always recommend starting on the underside first if you are staining it.  Just squirt the Minwax Express Color directly on the project.  Use a clean lint free cloth to wipe the stain into the project working in the direction of the wood grain.

Just wipe the Express Color on, and wipe it off.  It's that simple.  

Once the bottom is done, move on to the sides.  NOTE: If you were working with a project where the inside is less accessible than the outsides, I would suggest staining the inside, harder to reach areas first, and then moving on to the outsides.

May I suggest wax paper to protect your work surface here?

Finish applying Minwax Express Color and wiping off to the outsides of the project.

Then move to the inside, squirting Minwax Express Color on to the project.  You can also apply the stain to your cloth, and then use the cloth to place stain on the project.

And then just keep working it in until the entire project is
stained.  If you want to deepen the
color, you can go back after 1 hour and apply a second and third coat.

Step 3 Instructions

Optional Top Coat

Minwax Express Color is an all in one, meaning a top coat is not required.  But for greater durability, you can apply any top coat.  For indoor projects, good top coats include Minwax Express Finish, Minwax Polycrylic, or Minwax Water Based Wipe-On Poly.  For outdoor projects, try Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.