Yes, there is a better method for applying stain to spindles. Using a brush on a flat, even surface is fine, but it will not help spread a stain into wooden spindles very well. There are two items that you can use that will effectively penetrate the wood and do an even job. The first is a wool mitt. It is similar to a winter glove that is formed inside out. The wool fibers are on the outside and the inside is made of rubber. You can easily dip the glove directly into the can of stain and then rub the stain into the spindles. The rubber on the inside of the glove will protect your hand from exposure to the stain. The other item that you can use is a pair of nylon stockings. Again, dip them into the stain and holding either end of the stocking, rub the stain onto and into the grooves on the spindles. Either method works, but the glove is a little easier to handle and cleaner on the hands.