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What is the best way to apply stains? I am planning to use Minwax oil stains on a Philadelphia Gunboat. Traditionally on home projects I would wipe on the stains, let it set and then wipe off the excess and rub down. Many areas of a model, especially the interior, are not accessible for wiping and rubbing. Does everyone stain each individual piece before gluing?

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A stain is essentially a paint.  If you apply it before glue assembly - there is a chance that the glue joint will fail  because the stain will keep the glue from penetrating the wood.    Give some thought to using an aqueous or alcohol based wood dye. It penetrates the wood instead of being a surface  coat.  If it is water based, you first wet the wood with water or water  with some PVA glue mixed in.  This will raise the grain  - the wood is sanded when dry and then dyed.  It will not need to be sanded again so no removal of dye.  The wood will glue as well as it will in a raw state.  A clear satin or matt  finish applied after assembly.  A dye will leave the wood looking as though it was the original wood - instead of the "muddy" effect of a stain.

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