Finishing (french)? Norm's project

Hey all,
Norm built an oval table from cherry last month and the finishing is where I need help.
He started with a mix of 3 parts cherry to 1 part walnut oil stain. Next, he used shellac to seal. Next, he used ???????????? (gel stain or glaze or ??? what the heck is glaze? Then top coat with 3 coats of wipe on poly..
It's the third step that I can't remember.. Specifically this third step would get rid of any blotchiness on the cherry. His web site doesn't go into much detail either. I think it's what's called French finishing but am probably mistaking.
I've done steps one and two and am stuck..
Any help would be greatly appreciated so I can finish this darn thing once and for all..
Thanks
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A glaze is a colorant that goes between layers of finish..
--
Mike G.
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None of this sounds like a French polish finish.
Glazing is both a technique and a product. The practice of glazing is applying color between coats of finish. The product is a rather thick form of stain similar in consistancy to a gel stain.
As to the blotchiness, that is taken care of best by doing the shellac sealing step first. It will give you greater control over the stain/glaze allowing you to gradually work up to the desired amount of color or wipe off any excess.
As with any finishing schedule, experiment on scrap first and take it completely through all the steps. Nothing wrong with sanding off and starting over with better understanding, most of the rest of us have trashed a finish at one time or another.
Now if you ever want to do a french polish finish do a search on the net there are many writeups. It's really a fun technique to learn and the results are amazingly beautiful. I keep at least two fresh polishing pads in tupperware containers charged with various colors of shellac and use them all the time for all sorts of small tasks, especially repairs.
David
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