Best way to apply stain to cabinets

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Old 01-20-16, 09:27 AM
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Best way to apply stain to cabinets

I am staining our current cabinets from a golden oak to American chestnut. Bought the minwax polyshade version of it since it had so many good reviews. Having issues with applying it to bigger sections of cabinets and the cabinet doors. What is the best method for applying this stuff? Minwax says only a natural bristle brush. I had been using foam brushes but on bigger sections there are not working too well and I tried using a rag on the doors and that doesn't darken them much at all after a couple coats. I even purchased a wagner spray gun that is meant for stains but minwax rep said not to use it. Any suggestions here?
 
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Old 01-20-16, 09:40 AM
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What problem are you having specifically?

What type of finish is on the cabinets now, and what did you do to prep for staining?

Unless you removed the old finish down to bare wood, you are really trying to apply more of a glaze rather than staining the wood, since the old finish will prevent the stain from actually reaching the wood.
 
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Old 01-20-16, 09:59 AM
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And no way would I be using Polyshades unless I was going for a blotchy finish.
 
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Old 01-20-16, 10:18 AM
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There are times when it's best to use a tinted poly like Polyshades but never over raw wood with a brush - too difficult to get a consistent finish! When you do spray tinted poly it's best to use a conventional type spray gun and not an airless.

What prep was done to the cabinets?
 
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Old 01-20-16, 10:32 AM
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Name:  kitchen current counters.jpg
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Hoping the picture attaches. its like a golden oak color and trying to go to American chestnut. My prep has been to sand them down with 150 grit paper because according to the can it says use 220 grit to lightly sand the wood. the foam brushes worked good for the first part but when I hit my biggest part and switched to using a 3-4 inch foam brush it kind of fell apart. looking blotchy and not uniform like the other part of the cabinets. picture is pre-stained, i'll upload a one of the stained part when I get home.
 
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Old 01-20-16, 02:20 PM
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Ok, with the existing finish just sanded and not removed - a tinted poly is the correct coating to use. It is very important to apply the polyshades evenly! Any lap marks, runs, etc will be darker, missed/thin spots will be lighter. It isn't a coating that can be overbrushed or touched up. I would use a good natural bristle brush to apply it. Did you take the doors down?
 
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Old 01-20-16, 03:55 PM
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Yes I have the doors off the section you see there now and I had read to use a good rag to wipe the stain on but that seems to just push it around and not darken it. Minwax says only a natural bristle brush to use for it. I'm going to try to pick one up tomorrow.
 
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Old 01-21-16, 02:18 AM
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Rags work for regular stains but Polyshades isn't a regular stain but rather a tinted poly - kind of like a see thru paint.
 
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Old 01-23-16, 08:44 AM
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picked up a wooster brush the other day, it still leaves the cabinets with strips after first coat but with alot of work it mostly fills in with 2nd coat.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 07:16 AM
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Tinted poly is tough to work with and one of the more common problems is the lap marks you're seeing. Good to know the next coat seems to resolve this for you.

Once you're done, it's advisable to finish with a coat of clear poly so your wear layer is not a colored layer.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 08:52 AM
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Good point! if clear wears away it's not a big deal but if the color coat wears it will affect the looks of the stain job and be hard to rectify.
 
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Old 01-26-16, 09:25 AM
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I started the project off with foam brushes as that is how I have stained my smaller projects. I also do a very light sanding between 1st and 2nd coats with the polyshades. the brush definitely helps with the coats but kind of a pain to clean in between coats. Do you'll use mineral spirits or paint thinner?
 
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Old 01-26-16, 09:29 AM
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I mostly use mineral spirits. What is commonly sold as paint thinner is basically a higher grade of mineral spirits. Kerosene or gasoline can also be used to clean brushes used in oil base coatings. Another option is to tightly wrap the brush in plastic and store it in a cool place until you unwrap it for the next coat [best not to do that if it will be more than a couple of days]
 
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Old 01-26-16, 09:44 AM
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Name:  Kitchen cabinets stained.jpg
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Here is what a section look like so far, still need to get hardware.
 
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