Add Color to an Unfinished Wood Step Stool


Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Water Based Wood Stain
  • Minwax Water Based Polycrylic
  • Synthetic bristle brush
  • Sandpaper (#150 grit)
  • Cloth (to wipe away excess stain)

1. Sand step stool with #150-grit sandpaper.

Unfinished Wood Step Stool

My wife Leigh Ann complains each time I put something up so high in our cabinets that she can’t reach it, so rather than waste that space, I decided to pick up an inexpensive, unfinished step stool. It came with several smudges and nicks, so I started by sanding it with #150-grit sandpaper.

2. Apply Minwax Wood Stain to sides and front.

Minwax Water Based Wood Stain in Scarlet Applied to Step Stool

I also decided this would be a good opportunity to add a splash of color to the room, so I stained the sides and front with Minwax Water Based Wood Stain in Scarlet, wiping off enough stain to let the grain show.

Minwax Water Based Wood Stain in Mustard Applied to Step Stool

3. Apply an alternate color of Minwax Wood Stain to the top of each step.

And rather than stop there, I selected Mustard, also in the Minwax Water Based Stain line of colors, for the two steps.

Minwax Polycrylic Protective Wood Finish Alongside Colorful Step Stool

4. Protect wood with Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish.

Stain adds color, but not enough protection for the wood, so after the stain had dried I top-coated it with two coats of Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish, using a synthetic bristle brush.

Completed Project Finished Colorful Step Stool

5. That’s it. You’re Done. Project Complete.

And since the stains and finish were water-based, not only did I not have to deal with any fumes, but they dried so quickly my step stool was ready to move into the house the same day.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!