Minwax Water Based Wood Stain

Minwax Water Based Wood Stain is an easy way to add beautiful color to unfinished wood surfaces. Now available in 40 colors and 4 designer style color palettes. Fast drying with soap and water cleanup.

Water Based Wood Stain

Custom colors can be mixed at our paint counter by each store’s paint specialist.  For best results, use with Minwax Water Based Pre-Stain Wood ConditionerNOT RECOMMENDED FOR LARGE SURFACES, SUCH AS FLOORS.

For a complete list of available colors click HERE.

Product Details

Application Tool: synthetic bristle brush, cloth, foam brush, staining pad or rag
Location: interior wood surfaces
Recoat: after 2 hours
Dry Time: 3 hours
Cleanup: soap and water
Coverage: 100 sq. ft. per quart
Coats: 1 coat. To darken the color, apply a second coat after 2 hours.
Recommended Uses: unfinished wood furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, molding and accessories


(Interior Use Only)

Product Not Recommended For Use On Hardwood Floors

WARNING! Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.

NOTE: Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain is NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE ON FLOORS.

Surface Preparation:

  • Surface must be dry, clean, and free of dirt, grease, glue and any existing coatings before staining.
  • Sand the wood in the direction of the grain, first using medium-grade sandpaper (#120) working your way to fine-grade sandpaper (#220). Do NOT use steel wool. Remove all sanding dust.
  • Apply Minwax Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and allow to penetrate 1-5 minutes. This will help ensure even stain color penetration and reduce grain raising on soft and hard woods. Remove excess with a clean cloth.
  • For best results, wait 15-30 minutes before lightly sanding the surface with a fine-grade sandpaper. This will help smooth any raised grain. Remove all sanding dust.

Product Preparation and Color Testing:

  • Stir the stain thoroughly before and occasionally during use. Do not apply when temperature is below 55 F. Do not thin.
  • Always test stain on a scrap piece or hidden area of wood to verify desired color.
  • When working with more than one can, we recommend mixing together the contents of the cans to ensure color consistency.

Stain Application:

  • Apply stain with a synthetic bristle brush, foam brush, staining pad or rag. Then, allow stain to penetrate no longer than 3 minutes.
  • Remove stain that has not penetrated the wood with a clean cloth. Wipe in the direction of the grain using light to medium pressure to achieve even stain color.
  • Note: For best results, do not allow cloth to become saturated with stain. Replace with a clean cloth as necessary. DO NOT ALLOW STAIN THAT HAS NOT PENETRATED THE WOOD TO DRY ON THE WOOD SURFACE.
  • Note: Any uneven color penetration can be blended. Rewet the surface with more stain and lightly rub the stain into the surface, blending light and dark areas.
  • To darken color, apply a second coat after 2 hours, repeating the directions for application of the first coat. Do not sand between coats.

Clear Finish Application:

Note: Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane will amber slightly and may change the final look of the stain. Spot test on an inconspicuous area to ensure satisfactory results.

COVERAGE: Approximately 100 sq. ft. per quart.

CLEANUP: Use soap and water.


Use only with adequate ventilation. To avoid overexposure, open windows and doors or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air, or wear respiratory protection (NIOSH approved) or leave the area. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using. Keep container closed when not in use. Do not transfer contents to other containers for storage.

FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water. Get medical attentional if irritation persists. If swallowed, call Poison Control Center, hospital emergency room, or physician immediately.

WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.


CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236. Contact a physician for more health information.