Just use a glaze rather then stain directly on the wood. Hell, you aren't
going to have much better luck staining cherry, it's about the same
Try this on some scrap and see how it goes..
Find an oil based gel stain of a color you like.
Sand the wood to about 189 grit.
Put a couple or three coats of the finish of choice on. Nice coats
When it is dry use a foam brush and apply a good layer of the gel stain and
let it sit till it starts to set (it gets dull in color rather then having a
Use a second foam brush and mineral spirits and start working the stain.
Removing the excess and evening the color over the stock. Keep some toweling
handy to squeeze out excess stain.
You may have to use a dry third foam brush to do some feathering but just
work the stain until you can see the grain and the color is even across the
It takes a gel stain about five hours to dry on it's own and much much
longer to set to the point where it can't be easily manipulated with mineral
spirits so there is no rush and it things aren't going well you can just
wipe the whole thing off.
Let that dry at least over night then apply about three more coats of your
No splotching, no unevenness.
Click to see the full signature.