The Do Good With Wood Award


As part of their community outreach program, each year Minwax® recognizes and supports the outstanding work of craftspeople who have used their hands and hearts to improve their communities. This year’s Do Good With Wood® award went to the volunteers at the Assistive Technology Center of the Minneapolis Public Schools, where a group of woodworkers have been designing and creating educational equipment to benefit children with learning disabilities. As part of their award, I got to spend a day with them talking about and working with stains and finishes for their projects. If you would like to see what we did, you can read more about it here.


2. CheckI was joined in Minneapolis by Janet Krakow, Minwax’s® Vice-President of Marketing, who presented Mike Meyers (right), their District Program Facilitator, with a check for $5000 to pay for materials to be used in their future projects. In addition, Minwax® sent the crew several boxes of Minwax® stains and finishes for them to use in their workshops.


This is but one example of the work of the volunteers at the Assistive Technology Center. This adjustable book holder and easel is designed for a student restricted to either a wheelchair or a bed. As you can see, the group often works with birch plywood, so we used the scrap cut-outs for our workshop session.


We came to Minneapolis with a variety of materials and water-based Minwax® products, starting with Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to reduce the blotchiness we so often encounter when staining both softwoods and hardwoods.


Once the Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner had dried, the crew gave their boards a light sanding with #180-grit sandpaper. Then, with aprons and gloves on, we all began experimenting with various colors of Minwax® Water Based Wood Stains, including China Red, Verdigris, and Island Water, all shown here.


While their stain boards were drying, we moved over to Minwax® Express Color, a combination of water based stain and finish in a squeeze tube. Each of the volunteers picked one of the eight colors to stain and finish their own picture frame, which they took home afterwards. Since our water based stains dried in a matter of minutes, they were also able to practice brushing Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish on their first stain boards as part of our workshop.

Time does fly when you’re having a good time, and our workshop session was no exception. The men and women thoroughly enjoyed using the various colors of water based stains, and left feeling confident that with the help of Minwax® they can now add some exciting colors to the projects they will continue to make for their special students.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


PS – If you know someone who has improved their community through woodworking or wood finishing, please let Minwax® know about them. Information on the Do Good With Wood Award is available at