I'm working on my first furniture grade woodworking project, a mini bar
for my rec room. It consists of plywood (pine sandy-ply grade?) panels
with 1x2 pine trim pieces covering up the joints, and some 2x4's and
2x2's inside for reinforcement. It was looking pretty good before I
started finishing it.
I chose minwax red oak stain, which is relatively dark. I bought the
wood conditioner too. Even with the wood conditioner, the first coat
went on quite blotchy. Mostly blotchy on the 1x2 trim pieces, but the
plywood too. When I rubbed around with a cloth it seemed to pull up
and roughen the fibers of the plywood, making it look even worse. Also
I had put wood putty around the nail holes and it stained very badly.
I put on a second coat and it looked considerably better. Most
everything darkened, and I left a little extra stain on some of the
pieces that were stubbornly light. I thought it looked acceptable
Finally I put on a coat of satin polyurethane. Now it looks like crap
again. The rough pieces on the wood look really bad, and now any
blotchiness seems amplified. I started to sand it, but figured I'd ask
What are my options from here? Will it look better after a few coats
of polyurethane? My friend suggested mixing the stain and polyurethane
together for the next coats hoping that everything would even out. Is
that good advice? What amount of each to I mix? Should I sand down
and start staining again? Stain over the polyurethane?
Thanks in advance!