I have a display case made of walnut ( I'm pretty sure, may be pecan.) I've had it for about 10 years unfinished and it looks a little rough in places. Not beat up, but where it has gotten wet a few times over the years and dried. I have a mini-wax cherry stain that I'd like to put on the wood and then finish with a polyurethane gloss ( I think the poly satin looks too much like dull wax.)
The problem is I really suck when using poly. I either put it on too thin and get areas where I miss or I put on too much and I get areas of varying thickness. I've tried to let it set up a few days and then sand, but the sandpaper gets all gummy. Maybe it needs a few weeks to cure, I don't know. I was thinking of using the stain/poly combo. If all I have to do it brush it on and then wipe it off I don't see how I can mess that up. Advice/remarks/suggestions?
Also, I am thinking I should sand the wood first. What grit should I use? Does it matter if I sand with the grain or not? I treated a white pine board with the stain and it came out pretty light after several applications, but when I tested a small area on the Walnut, it was pretty dark. Is this common?