Category Archives: Polycrylic Protective Finish

Repurposing a Vintage Crate

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Wood Cabinet Cleaner
  • Minwax Water Based Polycrylic
  • 4 casters
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Dust cloth

Old vintage crate ready to use in refurb project

I’ve had this old wooden beer crate so long I couldn’t recall where I got it. But when my son Eric, who enjoys a good craft beer, asked me to keep an eye out for a vintage beer crate, I was still able to recall where I had stuck this one.

1. Clean the wood with a wood-cleaning spray

Using Minwax wood cabinet cleaner spray to clean old vintage crateNeedless to say, it had accumulated some barn dirt, so the first thing to do was to clean off the dust and grime with Minwax Wood Cabinet Cleaner and a soft cloth.

2. Apply a protective polycrylic finish
Minwax polycrylic spray

As soon as it dried, I applied two coats of Minwax Water Based Polycrylic, knowing the clear finish would protect the original stenciled letters without affecting the color. The aerosol can made getting the polycrylic inside the crate even easier than using a brush.

3. Attach casters to the bottom of the crate

Attaching casters to old vintage crate makes it mobile

Then to make it easy for Eric to move it around in his apartment, I added four low casters to the underside of the crate.

Finished vintage crate project with casters

And with his birthday coming up, Eric will soon have a unique, vintage beer crate in his apartment for magazines, books — or whatever he chooses to store in it.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


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!


Staining & Hanging Floating Shelves: A National Woodworking Month Project

  • Tools Needed: Minwax True Black Wood Finish, Minwax Simply White Wood Finish, Minwax Stainable Wood Filler, Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish, wall brackets, drill, level, tape measure
  • Estimated Cost: 2″x18″x8″ poplar and birch wood ($15 per shelf), wall brackets ($5 per pair)
  • Estimated Work Time: 1 hour per shelf (excludes drying time)

April is National Woodworking Month, so I couldn’t think of a better time to try out a couple of new Minwax stain colors — True Black and Simply White — while also adding some more display space to our family room with four “floating” shelves.

New Simply White & True Black Wood Finishes from Minwax

Follow along with me as I piece together these unique shelves using the steps below.

1. Measure and cut wood slabs

I wanted our shelves to look “hefty,” but a heavy, two-inch slab of wood would pull the hidden wall brackets right off the wall. Instead, I created a hollow shelf by cutting and assembling, using glue and nails, a framework of 2-inch wide, lightweight pieces of poplar. Your width and length will be determined by the location on your wall, plus what looks best. Mine is 8″ deep and 18″ long.

Cut Wood Slabs for Floating Shelves

2. Assemble hollow shelves with internal supports

I then cut, glued, and nailed two pieces of quarter-inch birch plywood to the framework to create my first hollow shelf. The two internal supports are located where my wall brackets will be positioned (see Step 3).

Floating Shelves Framework

3. Drill holes for wall brackets

On the back side of each shelf I drilled two holes; the diameter and depth were determined by the size of the special wall brackets. You want to make sure each bracket hole is drilled into one of the internal framework pieces (see picture below).

Drilled Holes for Wall Brackets in Floating Shelves

4. Hide the unsightly edges

To hide the unsightly edges of the birch plywood top and bottom, I glued and nailed thin strips of poplar to the front and two sides.

• Use Thin Strips of Wood to Hide Unsightly Edges on Shelves

5. Fill shallow holes with Minwax Stainable Wood Filler

After countersinking the nails, I filled the shallow holes with Minwax Stainable Wood Filler. As soon as it dried, I sanded it flush with the wood.

Use Minwax Stainable Wood Filler to Fill Shallow Holes

6. Stain the shelves

I then stained two of the shelves with Minwax Simply White in the Wood Finish line of stains. After letting the stain soak into the wood for five minutes, I wiped off the excess stain with a clean cloth. I then repeated these steps using True Black Wood Finish Stain on shelves number three and four.

Pro-tip: You can also custom mix more than one Minwax wood stain to get the perfect color ideal for your space.

Staining Shelf with Minwax Simply White Wood Finish

7. Spray the shelves with Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish

Once dry, I sprayed three coats of Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish over all four shelves.

Spraying Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish

8. Level and measure placement for wall brackets designed for floating shelves

I next used a level and tape measure to determine the location of the special wall brackets designed for floating shelves, then secured them with screws. As you can see, each bracket is adjustable — and won’t be visible once the shelves are in place, hence the name “floating” shelves.

Measure and Hang Special Wall Brackets for Floating Shelves

9. Slide the hollow shelves onto the wall brackets

Then it was simply a matter of sliding each hollow “floating” shelf onto the wall brackets — and letting Leigh Ann know she could begin filling them up.

Black & White Stained Wood Alternating Floating Shelves

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Portable Make-Up Station

Mobility is always important, even when it comes to putting on make-up. Rather than having to always work in front of a large wall mirror, I decided to devise a portable make-up center to make things a little easier when Leigh Ann is on the go. I spotted this 18″ unfinished pine table top at a craft store, cut it in half and glued the two halves together to make a thicker base.

I then drilled some 1″ holes into (but not through!) the base to hold tubes of make-up, as well as a slightly angled slot across the back to hold a small mirror.

I like pine because it is inexpensive and lightweight, but when stained it tends to turn blotchy, so after a light sanding with #150-grit sandpaper, I brushed on a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

Fifteen minutes later, I returned and applied a coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Classic Gray,” let it soak in for about five minutes, then wiped off the excess stain.

After it dried, I opted to spray on a few coats of Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish to lock in my stain, add a pleasing sheen and give it some protection.

Then it was just a matter of setting it on our bathroom counter and letting Leigh Ann decide which make-up to add to the make up station.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!