Originally Posted by kagolu
I may be wrong but if your using water based stain you can only use it with water based poly. I think you may want to try a base of shellac, sand, use an oil based stain(1 or more coats) then use shellac, tung oil(my choice, and I prefer satin wipe on) or poly(I prefer wipe on as well) as a finish.
Its a pain I know but when you get it right you'll realize it was worth the effort and you'll have a piece you'll be happy with for years to come. Don't get discouraged.
Well, I read in many places that using a water based poly will make the water-based stain "bleed", so all the sites I've visited stated to use an oil-based and even got recommendation from Woodcraft to use oil over water to protect the stain since they can't mix.
Now here's one thing I was thinking about on my way to work, since this is made out of plywood and the Maple portion is only 1/4" thick, will the shellac pretty much be covering the entire surface?? I know plywood and regular wood absorb stains at a much different rate with the plywood absoring much more to become darker (and possibly show more blotching)...just a thought.
As for this morning, I did add a 2nd and 3rd coat of stain on the 1:1 DNA and Seal-Coat test board. Looks 'o.k.' but still not as good as I was expecting. Maybe I'm not sanding well enough after it dries for 15 minutes? Should I be sanding as much as I was trying to sand the surface smooth before adding the shellac? I'm almost tempted to just tint the shellac with my dye (if I am able to mix) and let that be my stain, then coat with poly for top-coat. Another option is to go back to distilled water and sand VERY well after it dries, dilute my current dye to make it lighter and try that. I never imagined it would take this much work to get the stain right. It's actually worse than making the entire unit!
Will try more and more tonight. Hopefully I have enough scrap wood to continue testing or I'm in trouble....