I'm half way through my first refinishing job and need some advice. I have a nice oak coffee table that had some damage to the finish, so I stripped it off (just black grain filler and urethane I think) and have it all sanded down and is ready to stain. It looks like the grain filler is still intact so I don't think I need that -- I'm just looking to stain and urethane. A number questions I have:
Is there any further prep work I should do before staining? The last think I did was sand it down with 220C and is completely naked (except for the prior grain filler).
Second, what brands should I be looking for for stain? I heard somewhere that Minwax stuff is sort of general swill and there are better ones out there.
Third, how many coats of stain and should I be sanding in between coats?
Last, same questions for urethane - Brands? Number of coats? Sanding?
Oh, and one other thing - what's the deal with the all-in-one stain/urethane mixtures? Are they something to consider or a joke?
Thanks so much, Nate