Category Archives: Polycrylic Protective Finish

Step it Up with this Ladder Display Rack

While cutting up a wooden step-ladder may seem just a little strange, it actually made my wife Leigh Ann very happy. Not only had she been warning me that this old cobbled up ladder was going to collapse under me, she also had seen photos of old ladders being used as towel displays in kitchens and bathrooms.

While she was insistent that I didn’t sand off all the old paint splatters, it did need a light sanding just to eliminate any rough edges and to bring out some of the natural grain of the wood.

Since the rungs would be a challenge to brush on a finish, I opted for the aerosol version of Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. Polycrylic is water-based, so it dried quickly and did not change the color of the wood. But it did give it just enough sheen to bring the old wood to life.

To hang it, I drilled a quarter-inch hole at the top of each side, then inserted a knotted loop of cord. I set the ladder in our family room while I went back to get a hammer and a couple of small nails. When I came back, Leigh Ann had already started experimenting with hanging dish towels from it.

I managed to get one more picture before she grabbed it and took off to see which room it would look best in. I headed back to my workshop to start another project….

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by.


Create a Paint Dipped Stool

As you may have discovered, furniture in storage does not fare well. I had used this stool for a staining demonstration on a television show I did last year, but afterwards it ended up in my storage room. Before long it had creeping mildew, not to mention, a colony of spiders living on it.

A friend turned me on to the “dipped” look which is now popular. After a light sanding to erase the mildew and scare away the spiders, I measured four inches down from the top of each leg, then wrapped it several times with masking tape.

I then opened a can of “Island Water,” a Water Based Minwax® stain, and applied stain to the area above each of the four taped legs. I then gave the top a fresh coat of stain to match.

After the stain had dried, all that was left was to spray on a coat of aerosol Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. Since both the water-based stain and the Polycrylic dry quickly, before the day was done I was able to move my “dipped” stool into the house and near our fireplace.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Pallet Wreath Perfect for the Holidays

When I saw these crumpled ribbons left over from last year’s evergreen wreaths, I got an idea for a holiday wreath that would last longer than just a few weeks.

I started with four pallet boards nailed to a backing strip to hold them in place. I could have cut them in a circle, but decided this would be a six-sided wreath.

After a light sanding to smooth the edges and open the pores, I tested two stains on my scraps, first choosing Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in “Green Tea” for the wreath.

While it dried, I used that crumpled ribbon to make paper patterns for the bow and tails.

I laid each pattern over my pallet boards, cut them out and sanded them lightly.

Next I used “Crimson” of Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain to duplicate the color of the ribbons. They dried quickly, at which time I nailed them to the top of my wooden wreath.

Then, after a coat of Minwax® PolycrylicTM Protective Finish, my holiday wreath was ready to hang in our stairway – as it will be for years to come.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Rustic and Fun Wood Slice Ornaments for the Holidays

Give me an afternoon off, or even just a part of it, and you’ll find me either in an antiques shop or a craft store. Either way, I’m always looking for a unique twist on a familiar idea, such as turning these unfinished birch coasters into Christmas ornaments.

I started by sealing the unfinished wood with a couple of coats of aerosol Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. This will prevent my stain from seeping under the stencil I plan to use.

I always keep stencil blanks around so that I can draw or trace a design onto the clear sheet, then cut it out. In this case I started with a simple Christmas tree design, and squeezed out a small amount of “Emerald” Minwax® Express Color™ Wiping Stain & Finish, which contains both a water based stain and finish.

I used a piece of sea sponge as my applicator. I moistened it with Express Color, pressed it against a paper towel to remove the excess stain, then gently dabbed the Express Color onto my stencil until I got the amount of color I wanted on my ornament.

After drilling a small hole for my string, I was ready to hang the first ornament of the season on our mantle. But I suspect Leigh Ann will be asking me to make a few more as gifts, which is fine by me.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!