Next time, I recommend you use a light colored dye to get a uniform
color on your piece. I use a bright yellow for a lot of my pieces.
Using a light color will avoid dark splotches while giving you an even
color. Seal this with a clear coat of shellac. Once the seal coat
has dried, you can mix your dye with shellac to create tints. Rather
than trying to get the exact color you want in a single coat, put on a
single tint layer of your cherry stain. If it is too red, follow it in
a couple of hours with a coat of brown. If it is too brown, hit with
another coat of cherry. Obviously, it is best to experiment on a scrap
piece of wood rather than your masterpiece. In this way you can
control the color of your piece. It also allows all three colores to
show through, you get your yellow highlights, and the reds and browns
that all show and make for a more interesting finish rather than a
muddy mix. If you mess up, you can always rub off the shellac tints
with alchohol. Practice rubbing off a layer on the scrap as well.
With a little practice, you can create the finish you want.
My first disaster was a six piece painted breakfront wall unit. I
painted it in January in the garage. I had heated up the garage, but
the wood was too cold. In an hour, all the paint had slumped because
the wood was too cold the hold the paint. It looked like a 500 pound
pidgeon had taken a crap on all my units, the raised panel doors, and
tops. I was so mad at myself I couldn't work on it for another month.
My wife was more motivated to get her wall untis, so she scraped off
the slumped paint and repainted it. You can't tell now and I get a lot
of compliments on it now. Don't dispair, allmost every error can be
fixed by a "design change."