can I stain over poly?

Just finished putting two coats of oil based polyurethane on a red oak entertainment center that was stained with Minwax gel stain. SWMBO noticed that the lower section of the entertainment center is lighter in color than the top. (It looked okay in the shop, but my lighting down there isn't the greatest).
Question: Can I tint the poly and apply a third coat to the lower section, effectively darking it? Or, perhaps I can buy some stain/poly combo? I think I'd rather tint it so I can control the color.
I'm concerned that any type of stain over poly won't stick to the poly.
Thanks.
Bob
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buy her some gradient tinted glasses. you are right;stain isn't gonna stick to poly.
dave
bob wrote:

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check the can;if you went well past the recoat time, you'll have to scuff sand the wood before you apply poly again...
dave
bob wrote:

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Actually It becomes glazing. Not exactly staining more like painting. Scuff up the poly, put on the stain and then more poly. However I foresee a never ending problem of evening the tint.
--
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bob wrote:

Artist's oil paints are compatible with poly. Earth pigments sienna and umber, raw or burnt, can be mixed to closely approximate any wood color. Rag on thin coats and buff. Repeat until you build the desired intensity. Addition of thinner and linseed and/or tung oil extends working time, giving you up to a half hour to wipe away mistakes.
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As the replies already indicated there are ways to do the job. Which ever method you choose you are going to run into a few additional problems.
The first of which is that just adding a coat of tinted poly to the light area will leave you a demarcation line, sort of a self induced witness line, between the color coat and the existing coats. That line is going to have to be feathered in and that is going to compound the problem of matching the darker part of the project. The next situation you could run into is that should, somewhere down the line, this color coat, being a top coat, get damaged, repairing it will be difficult because not only will the color coat be damaged but there will be no way to repair the damage without affecting the color coat.
There are other ways to address the problem but, for simplicity's sake I'd suggest you apply you color coat up to the point needed then continue to apply clear varnish to the rest of the project. I'd also suggest a fourth top clear coat over the whole thing to protect that color coat without leaving any demarcation lines.
Too bad the situation wasn't reversed with the darker wood on the bottom and the lighter on the top. Most times you can get away with that sort of thing because it still looks balanced. Having the darker wood on the top sort of makes things look unbalanced and top heavy.
As an aside, I'd use an oil based aniline dye to do the blending rather then a stain or pigments/artist colors.
Just a thought
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Mike G.
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Good news on the demarcation line. The EC was built in two separate, distinct sections with a face frame covering the joining. The face frame is fine. It's only the interior of the lower section that is lighter.
Thanks to all for great suggestions. Sure wish I didn't have to do this...
Bob

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That is good news. It'll simplify things greatly.
Good luck.
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Mike G.
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