I hate to use a brush or a rag to apply a stain finish. Actually. I hate to clean a brush for any reason. So, I avoid using the brush . What I have found to be a very quick and useful method of applying a stain finish to my carvings. Less mess too. No cleanup either. I place an open can of WOOD CONDITIONER next to an open can of the STAIN next to a paper towel. I stick a straight pin in the top of the carving and dip it into WOOD CONDITIONER first, then into the STAIN. Shake the extra stain off or wipe of, and then lay the carving on the paper towel to dry.
This method assures staining the deepest cuts, and complete even coverage. This technique is most useful when doing multiple carvings. I dip when ever I can.