- 150-grit sandpaper
- Wood conditioner (for soft woods)
- Wood-grain filler (for hard woods)
- An old rag
- A foam brush
- 000-grade steel wool
- Before scuffing, remove any flaking or bubbling paint or varnish with a paint scraper. Use 150-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining traces.
- Even out a porous grain to ensure consistent stain color. For soft woods, which can be scratched with your fingernail, use a wood conditioner. For hard woods, use a wood-grain filler. In either case, apply the product with a rag, wiping away any excess immediately. Allow to dry.
- Select a stain in a color you like. Pour some onto a rag (enough to saturate), wipe it on the wood and immediately remove with a clean rag.
- Repeat the process until you reach the shade you want. Let dry completely.
- Apply polyurethane using a foam brush and long, even strokes.
- Let dry, then scuff with 000-grade steel wool.
- Apply a second polyurethane coat.
- For extra durability, apply a third coat, repeating the same steps. Do not scuff after the final coat.