There are two types of Minwax stains: oil-based and water-based. I have used a lot of polyshades. The way I do polyshades is I brush it on. Years ago, on one of my first PolyShades® projects, I learned that foam brushes make sloppy applicators, as they apply an uneven coat and leave behind a trail of bubbles. Most stains I brush on or wipe on and walk away. PolyShades provides both the beautiful color of a wood stain and the protective aspects of a polyurethane finish in a single product. I know that Minwax Polyshades is supposed to be “all in one step”, but I still want to topcoat it. Let dry 2-3 hours. This simple to use stain allows you to achieve beautiful color and a classic, hand-rubbed finish in minutes. The Minwax Company produces the PolyShades line of wood finish for use with any wooden object other than flooring. It enhances the beauty of wood, and it is normally used for staining indoor woods such as cabinets, wooden floors, and doors. I may just leave it at a 4th coat of the thinned Polyshades or I may just get a small can of regular Polyurethane or as suggested by epicfail48, purchase paste wax. In general, I think working with any stain is tricky, at least for me, but when I read your plea for help, I recalled hearing somewhere that this product was extra difficult to work with. My only problem with polyshades is application. Shake Minwax® Wipe-On Poly container thoroughly before and during use to eliminate settling on the bottom of the can. Minwax ® Water Based WoodSheen ® Rubbing Stain and Finish makes wood finishing fast and easy. Water-based Minwax stains… And it almost has this plastic look to it and I know that if I were to put a glass on the table it would not slide due to the almost plastic like finish. Some are Pine, Some are Oak, they are bare wood at this point. Minwax Classic Black Polyshades in a Satin finish worked perfectly to create this look. I've used Minwax stains before but not the 1 step Polyshades. Polyshades is a stain with the polurethane topcoat built right in so you only have the one step of applying the stain. I like the look of the stain and gloss but I do not like the brush marks. Apply a liberal amount of Wipe-On Poly to a clean, soft, lint-free cloth and rub it into the wood. I will let you know how it goes Thanks again Marg Jackman With polyshades I have a problem with it “gunking up”. What I love about Pottery Barn furniture is that the paint looks rubbed off, but the finish still maintains a low lustre sheen. For example, some Minwax polyurethane is recommended for use on wood surfaces only, while others can be used on both wood and metal surfaces. Is there something I can use as a topcoat to make it more durable? Then lightly sand entire surface with fine sandpaper (220 grit) to ensure an even finish and proper adhesion. And it's low odor, fast drying, and soap and water clean up. 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