Finishing help?

Well, I've finally got most of my design done for my entertainment center and going to be placing the orders for the lumber, hardware, and doors. Almost everything is going to be made out of maple plywood with edge banding. The only solid wood pieces are the rails/stiles on the doors and drawer fronts.
With this piece, I want to color it a medium brown and with a satin finish. My wife isn't into strong grain detail (hence my choice of maple), but I don't want the grain completely hidden either. All of my finishing experience has been with solid wood and usually just a clear poly finish.
So what's the best way to get the color consistent across the whole piece? I heard that plywood and veneer edge banding tend to stain/dye differently than solid wood. Also, how do you deal with the differences between the heartwood and sapwood?
I've never done spraying before, but I have access to a low-end sprayer (I believe it's the $100 one from Rockler).
Any suggestions on how to approach this is appreciated.
Thanks! Winthrop
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Hi Winthrop, I have started to use Fuhr 106 on a few projects. I think it behaves something like a cross between a standard wiping stain and a gel stain. The more retarder you add the more working time you have. If you need to darken a piece you can add a second coat. I have had solid wood and plywood look identical. Since it is a pigmented stain it will obscure the grain a bit. Worth a look. Cheers, JG
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http://www.homesteadfinishing.com /
Winthrop Chan wrote:

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"Winthrop Chan" <winthrop_chan at hot mail dot com> wrote:

I think if it were my project, I'd try toning various representative scrap bits with a variety of shellac brews to see if I could come up with an effect that would please SWMBO. Satin is no problem. Just sand it after to knock the sheen off. If it would work, it might be easier than trying to stain so many slightly different areas of wood evenly.
Of course, I've never actually *done* this, mind you. It's just probably how I would look at it, to avoid dealing with the whole blotchiness issue.
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A common problem. You need to use toners. These are toned lacquers although toned shellac works as well. Tone the parts you need to darken. Since they are transparent, you won't hide the grain.
Good Luck.
"Winthrop Chan" <winthrop_chan at hot mail dot com> wrote in message

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