Spruce Up Your Interior Stained Wood Work

Spruce Up Your Interior Stained Wood Work

There are many advantages to using wood for your window sills and doors.  Besides offering a beautiful look, wood is an excellent insulator.  Trouble is, wood is more vulnerable to scratches than most man-made alternatives.  If you have stained wood work in your home that needs a little time and attention to look like new again, do not fret.  You would be surprised, but scratches, worn-out window sills, dingy door edges, and wood that lost its sheen are all relatively easy repairs.  Today, we want to show you how to restore your stained wood to look new again!


For this project you will need: a fine sanding sponge, a touch up stain of similar color (Minwax Wiping Stain or stain left over from construction), Minwax Wipe On Polyurethane, two clean rags and/or tack cloth.  Optional: Gloves for applying stain and polyurethane.

Notes: When using a rag to apply stain, the more stain you apply and the longer you leave it on to dry before wiping off the excess, the darker the color will be.  It’s best to test a spot by lightly applying stain and immediately wiping off to get an idea of how dark it will be.  It’s easier to add more stain later than to strip it off!

Step 1

With your sanding sponge, lightly sand scratches to clean things up and flatten out grooves in the clear coat.  Take care not to sand too far into the stain color.  You just want to sand down to the clear coat.

Step 2

Using a clean rag or tack cloth, remove all dirt and dust from wood.

Step 3

Using your similarly-colored stain and a clean rag, wipe on your first coat of stain.

Step 4

Wait at least 10 minutes for first coat of stain to dry completely.  Optional: Lightly sand with sanding sponge before applying second coat if you want an extra-smooth finish.

Step 5

Apply second coat of stain and wait 6-8 hours.  Optional: You may wish to sand again after about 15 minutes of allowing second coat to dry. 

Step 6

If you are not satisfied with color (i.e. it’s still too light), apply a third coat of stain and again wait 6-8 hours.  Once you are satisfied with stain color and it has been given ample time to dry, you are now ready to apply polyurethane as the finishing coat.

Step 7

Using your second clean rag, wipe on a light coat of your Minwax Wipe On Polyurethane.  Be sure not to get any polyurethane on surrounding walls, etc.  Polyurethane will be visible on walls if you’re not careful.

Step 8

After about 2 hours of letting the polyurethane dry, apply a second coat if you wish.  Again, make sure to protect wall paint, furniture, etc.  A second coat is not required so if you’re happy with the end result, feel free to forgo it!

Please let us know in the comments below or by email how your project turned out! We love pictures!  If you need further assistance and you live near the La Plata or San Juan County area, don’t hesitate to call for an in-person estimate!  Of course, you can always shoot us an email if you don’t live in the area and need further advice.