Category Archives: Fast-Drying Polyurethane

A Next Level Coffee Table Addition

1. Hero

A few months ago, I made this coffee table for my son Eric. While he certainly was appreciative, he joked that it was too low for him. Eric, I should point out, is six-feet-four-inches tall. His coffee table is where he eats many of his meals and works on his laptop, so, yes, it does cause him to lean over uncomfortably.

2. CutsThe solution, I decided, was to make a simple television tray that Eric could set on top of his coffee table when he needed some extra height. I started by picking up an 18” x 36” pine panel and cutting off two 7” pieces to serve as the sides.

3. Supports

I then glued, and nailed, two strips of wood to the underside to attach and support each side.

HoleKnowing Eric would need a place for either pens or a beverage, I picked up a plastic cup holder, traced a circle, then cut it out.

4. Polyshades

For the sides, I selected Minwax® “Classic Black” Polyshades®, brushing on just one coat before setting them aside to dry.

5. Poly-U

I decided to keep the top natural, so I applied the first of two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane.


When I was finished, I liked Eric’s coffee table tray so much, I decided to make a second one for our own coffee table. Now all it needs is a pizza sitting on it.

Be sure to check Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Create a Table from Vintage Crates

Anytime I see a stack of old shipping crates, or even just one, my mind starts thinking about possible ways to re-purpose them while still maintaining their vintage look.

I typically start by making sure the nails are snug, the metal won’t snag anything, and the wood and lettering is protected by a coat of satin Minwax® Wipe-On Poly.

For this project I picked up a pre-glued, round, unfinished top, then stained it using Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Classic Gray. After the stain dried, I sealed the top with two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane.

All it then took was a wood screw through the inside of the crate to secure the top in place. I then slipped it into the house and put it beside our couch to hold glasses, coffee mugs, magazines, and pottery.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Creating a Simple DIY Frame with Not Just a Housewife

By: Guest Blogger

Guest blogger Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife uses Minwax® to create a simple frame.

I have a picture frame addiction. When Shane and I first were married, I would save my money and then pick out a new picture frame. As poor newly weds, a frame was a total splurge. Sometimes when I find a cute print or my kids draw me a picture, it will be an odd size and won’t fit into the standard size frame. That is when it is handy to know how to make your own frames!

There are many different ways to make a frame but I tried to think of a way to show you that used minimal tools for those of you who may not have a joiner or a router. I have partnered with Minwax® to bring you this simple DIY tutorial :)

Finished frame

I had a long skinny piece of 1/8″ plywood that got stuck in the back corner of my garage because I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do with a piece that size. When I was thinking of this frame, I knew it would be a good choice for this project. I cut two sets. One set was wider by about half an inch. I used my miter saw to cut the ends at 45 degree angles. You could also use a miter box.

frame pieces with dimensions

I sanded all the pieces with a fine grit sandpaper. Be careful not to round the edges.

sanded frame pieces

You will glue the skinny set to the wider set which creates a grove (that normally a router would make) for the glass to sit in.

gluing pieces together

After the glue dries, you can now glue the frame together at the corners.

gluing corner pieces

You can use corner clamps to hold them together or if you don’t have them, use heavy books pressed up against the edges to keep it together while it dries.

After it has dried, add some thin trim to the edges for added detail and to hide the edges of the two pieces of plywood.

glued frame and trim

Clamp or use the book method again to hold it together while it dries. If you need to putty any gaps, use a sandable, stainable putty.

frame with trim added

Choose a stain (or paint) you would like to use on your frame. I went with Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Early American this time. Apply it liberally and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.

staining frame

After the 10 minutes are up, remove the excess stain with a paper towel.

wiping excess stain off frame

Once it has dried completely, add a sealer. I chose Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane. I applied it with a brush but for a small project like this, it might have been easier to use the spray polyurethane.

applying polyurethane

To hold the glass and photo in place, you need to add these little guys. I never knew the real name until I did a search on Amazon for them. They are called turn buttons. They are handy to have for when your other frames lose their little metal bendy tabs. Or am I the only one who accidentally breaks those off?

attaching drill buttons

See how the glass has a place to rest? Now you can customize not only the size of photo your frame holds but you can make your frame thicker than the 1/8″ plywood I used. The piece you add to the back (that is 1/2″ less in width) does need to be 1/8″ thick though. For example, you could use a 1×4 board to make the frame. A 1×4 board is 3.5″ wide so the 1/8″ plywood for the back would need to be cut to 3″wide.

close up of frame with turn buttons

Then your frame is ready to display your favorite print!

finished frame on shlef

I saw this quote by Mark Black last week and it really resonated with me. I have a very hard time relaxing. I feel like if I am relaxing then I am not being productive and being productive is really important to my personality type. But if I don’t force myself to relax, I get burned out. I thought having this in my office would be a great reminder. Relaxing is important :)

Make sure and check out the Made For Love campaign that Minwax® has going on right now. Remember that sweet video from my last post? I just love it!

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

The Perfect Bench for Any Room

Unfinished bench for the Renegade Craft Fair

When we went shopping for some unfinished furniture to feature at last month’s Renegade Craft Fair in Seattle, I couldn’t resist this hardwood bench, for what room in your house couldn’t use a handy bench? I have one at the end of our bed, in our mudroom, and in our workout area in our family room.


Bruce pre-staining bench

If there is one thing I have learned about wood, it is that all wood is unpredictable. So before I stain any piece, I apply a coat of  Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to reduce the possibility that the wood will absorb my stain unevenly.

Bruce Johnson staining the bench base

I love the opportunity for a two-tone staining project, so I selected “Red Mahogany” in the Minwax® Wood Finish™ line for the base. A foam brush works well for getting the stain into corners, but I always follow that by wiping off any unabsorbed stain with a clean cloth. Stain dries in the wood, not on the wood!

Bruce Johnson staining the top of the bench

With a dark toned base, I opted for a lighter top, selecting “Golden Oak” stain. While this light colored stain does not add a great deal of color, it brings out the grain of the wood much more than if I had skipped the stain and only applied a clear coat of finish.

Finished bench

And speaking of a clear finish, my favorite is  Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane. I recommend brushing on two coats, with a light sanding with #220-grit sandpaper of the first coat after it has dried, just to remove the dust that landed in the wet finish.

And when you’re finished, I’ll predict your hardest decision will be which room gets your new bench!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!