Duraseal vs. Minwax: Which Wood Stain Should You Choose?

Hardwood floors are something to always look forward to in a building, especially in one’s business. Unfortunately, it becomes an eyesore when the floors are scratched and have aged. This is why it is essential to find a floor stain that does the perfect job. It is a frequently asked question on which seal is ideal for the job, either Duraseal or Minwax?

Minwax is easy to find as it is available in every supply store, but Duraseal is usually only available in hardwood supply stores. Because of this, Duraseal tends to be used more among the professionals you hire for your floor stain, while Minwax is a floor stain you would see a non – professional (a do – it – yourselfer) making use of.

Duraseal, a fine blend of oil and resin that makes your hardwood floors durable, giving them a shiny look, and Minwax, an easy-to-find floor stain and a very versatile brand. They are both owned by the same company, although Duraseal has been around quite longer than Minwax has, the former being around since 1898 and the latter in 1904.

Duraseal vs Minwax

Differences between Duraseal and Minwax

The main ways to determine which floor stain is suitable (either Duraseal or Minwax) is by examining the differences which are the drying time, cost, color, durability and versatility. Through this, we can identify the strengths and the weaknesses.

Drying time

One of the most significant differences between Minwax and Duraseal is that Duraseal has a fast drying time (2 – 3 hours), which most people would want because it makes the job faster and easier. The quicker the floors dry, the sooner one can walk on the floors as it isn’t possible to walk on them during the process. It also does not smell for a long time because of how quickly it dries.

Duraseal takes about 2 hours to penetrate the floors and then another 8 hours before it is safe enough to apply the first coat of poly. On the other hand, Minwax takes about 8 hours to dry and another 2 – 3 days before it is safe enough to apply the first coat of poly. Using Duraseal leads to a better result because it helps in giving an even coat.

The floor stain color determines how long one has to wait for the floors to dry. The darker the color, the longer the days of waiting. Colors like Ebony, red mahogany can take up to 5 – 7 days before it is safe enough to add the first coat of poly.


Another difference between Duraseal and Minwax is cost. The price difference is not high, but Duraseal costs more than Minwax does. This is because of the higher quality it offers and because it is used among professionals.

They are always willing to pay more for Duraseal because it lasts longer and dries faster, thereby leading to a better outcome. Since Duraseal is used among professionals, the cost wouldn’t be that high as there would be a higher cost in many other things that would be needed for the job such as the renting of a machine.

When the cost of that is compared to the cost of Duraseal, it is not that high.


In terms of color, it all depends on what the user wants. Duraseal stains, when talking about the same colors, are usually darker than Minwax stains.

A Duraseal Jacobean stain is darker than a Minwax Jacobean stain. Minwax is offered in different colors (a wide variety), although Duraseal also has a wide selection of colors.

They both offer the most popular stains that people go after, such as Ebony, Jacobean, dark walnut, etc. There is not that much of a difference in colors between the two floor stains.

Durability & Versatility

The durability of work done is usually determined by how well the worker did the job and the quality of the equipment used. According to research, people tend to find the Duraseal more durable than the Minwax because of its ability to penetrate the wood more as it is more soluble (while Minwax is more pigmented) and dry faster.

The faster a floor stain dries, the fewer problems one has with peeling and finish reacting. It also helps to keep one color throughout as no color changes during the drying process. Minwax is a more versatile brand as it offers all sort of products for clear finishes, one-step staining, maintenance, and even repair. It all goes down to the floor stain you find suitable for the job.

Some Factors to Consider when Choosing a Floor Stain

  • You should always consider the style you’re going for and the overall look.
  • For a building with lots of movements, you should choose a lighter wood color, and for a building with minimum movements, you should choose a darker wood color.
  • Consider room brightness and contrast.
  • Take into consideration the type of wood you will be working with.
  • Are you going for an aesthetic look, a classic look, or a unique look?

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One of the reasons why many people go for Minwax is because it is a friendly brand and can be easily purchased from the closest paint store beside their homes.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly, easily purchasable product, then your best option is to go for Minwax. It comes with some advantages, and its versatility makes things easier for users.

If you are looking for something more professional, it’s best to go with the Duraseal floor stain. Even though it is usually only available in hardwood supply stores, it comes with the best benefits in all areas. It is generally used for a site–finished hardwood floors and is sold to professional flooring contractors, which shows how advantageous it is to go for Duraseal.

Back again to the above question Duraseal vs. Minwax? Duraseal is the best option if you want a professional floor stain, and Minwax is the best option if you wish for a do–it–yourself result.

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