Makes and Keeps Wood Beautiful™
Region United States

PolyShades® Aerosol

Minwax® PolyShades® Aerosol


Minwax® PolyShades® Aerosol combines beautiful wood stain and polyurethane in one simple step.

  • Minwax® PolyShades® provides rich wood color and long-lasting protection while enhancing the wood grain.
  • Minwax® PolyShades® will reduce finishing time as compared with staining with one product and protecting with another.
  • To learn how PolyShades® can help you easily change the color of your stained or polyurethane finished wood, view PolyShades® Color Transformation Guide.

Product Details

Sheens: gloss, satin
Application Tool: aerosol
Location: interior wood surfaces, except floors
Recoat: after 6 hours
Dry Time: 6 hours
Cleanup: mineral spirits
Coverage: 40-50 square feet per can
Coats: 2 coats are recommended. To deepen the color, apply a third coat.
Recommended Uses: furniture, woodwork, cabinets, doors and accessories

Directions Instrucciones en Español


WARNING! If you scrape, sand or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. Contact the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to


Surface Preparation:

  1. Before starting, surface must be dry, clean and free of dirt, grease and glue.
  2. For stripped, unstained or raw wood: Sand in the direction of grain with fine-grade sandpaper (#220) until smooth. For previously stained wood that is not being stripped: Sand lightly to ensure adhesion.
  3. Remove all sanding dust.

Product Preparation and Color Testing:

  1. Shake can vigorously for 2 minutes. Shake for 10 seconds occasionally during use.
  2. Always test on a scrap piece or hidden area to verify color. Practice spraying on a sample board before moving on to your project.
  3. Protect adjacent areas from overspray.


  1. Hold can 8"-10" from surface. Depress button fully and spray in an even sweeping motion. Always begin and end each pass off the surface to prevent blotches.
  2. Apply a THIN coat to lightly seal the wood. Do not attempt to achieve complete color coverage with this first light coat. Wait 5-10 minutes before applying the next coat. Be careful not to overapply to avoid runs and sags.
  3. To deepen the color, allow Minwax® PolyShades® to dry at least 6 hours (dry time may be extended due to high humidity, low temperatures, and inadequate ventilation or if the coat applied is too thick). Rub the surface lightly with fine steel wool (grade 000 or finer), remove all dust and apply the next coat. Repeat if necessary.
  4. After final coat, allow 24 hours before normal use.
  5. For additional protection without adding color, add a coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane or Minwax® Wipe-On Poly following label directions.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Keep an even distance from the surface while spraying.
  2. If a run occurs, brush it out with a clean bristle brush immediately. Do not attempt to wipe it off with a rag.
  3. Work outside or in a well ventilated area. Remove overspray with mineral spirits following manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Nozzle Care:

  1. After each use, clear valve by holding can upside down and spraying until only clear gas comes out.
  2. If spray button becomes clogged, wear eye protection, wipe off the button opening with lacquer thinner. DO NOT stick pins or wire into can opening.

DANGER: Rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately place rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue in a sealed, water-filled, metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations.


DANGER! EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE. Keep away from heat, sparks, and open flame. Vapors will accumulate readily and may ignite explosively. Keep area ventilated during use and until all vapors are gone. DO NOT SMOKE - Extinguish all flames, pilot lights and heaters -Turn off stoves, electric tools and appliances, and any other sources of ignition. CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or heat from radiators, stoves, hot water and other heat sources that may cause bursting. Do not puncture, incinerate, burn or store above 120°F. Keep upright in a cool, dry place. Do not discard empty can in trash compactor.

VAPOR HARMFUL. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid continuous breathing of vapor and spray mist. To avoid breathing vapors or spray mist, 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. Overexposure may cause numbness in extremities which can persist for some period of time and may be permanent. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using.

FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water for 15 minutes and get medical attention. For skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water. In case of respiratory difficulty, provide fresh air and call physician.

DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG TERM OVEREXPOSURE. Contains solvents which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal.

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.


The colors shown are for reference purposes only. They have been reproduced using digital production techniques. Always test stain on a hidden area of the wood to verify desired color.

To learn how PolyShades® can help you easily change the color of your stained or polyurethane finished wood, view the PolyShades® Color Transformation Guide.


Frequently Asked Questions

How is PolyShades® Aerosol different from the regular PolyShades® in a round can?

PolyShades® aerosol combines rich color and long-lasting polyurethane protection you expect from PolyShades®, and it offers these benefits in an easy-to-use spray format. There are no brushes to clean and no need to worry about brush marks. PolyShades® aerosol is ideal for working on hard-to-reach areas of your project or any time brush application may be difficult.

Can I use PolyShades® aerosol on a vertical surface?

Yes, PolyShades® aerosol has been tested specifically for vertical application and is designed to minimize runs on a vertical surface. If a run occurs, use a clean brush to blend it in with the rest of the finish before it starts setting.

How many coats of PolyShades® aerosol do I need?

It depends on the color intensity you want, but two coats are recommended. The first coat is very light. Its purpose is to seal the wood, not to achieve complete color coverage or intensity. After the wood is sealed, wait 5-10 minutes and then apply another coat. If you are satisfied with the color, that’s it. If you desire a deeper color, let the PolyShades® dry for 6 hours before applying additional coats.

Do I need to use a pre-stain wood conditioner on woods that tend to stain unevenly?

PolyShades® aerosol is applied directly to wood, so no pre-stain wood conditioner is needed. The first coat of PolyShades® aerosol lightly seals the wood, acting as a "primer" for the second coat.

Are the aerosol colors different from the regular PolyShades® colors?

PolyShades® aerosol is available in 6 colors, which match their corresponding colors in the PolyShades® line. For example, PolyShades® aerosol in Mission Oak will produce the same color results as Mission Oak in a round PolyShades® can.

Can I apply PolyShades® aerosol over an existing finish?

Yes, as long as the existing finish is stain or polyurethane. Make sure you lightly sand the existing finish with #220 sandpaper before applying PolyShades® aerosol.

What do I do if the nozzle gets clogged and I can't get any color out?

Turn the can upside down and spray until only clear gas comes out. This will clear the valve. You can also clean the spray button's opening by wiping it off with lacquer thinner.

Can PolyShades® aerosol be used on floors?

No, PolyShades® aerosol is not recommended for use on floors.

Can I apply a clear protective finish over the last coat of PolyShades® aerosol?

Absolutely. We recommend Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane aerosol or Minwax® Wipe-On Poly for added protection without adding color.

Material Safety Data Sheet

Safety Data Sheet


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