Hello Family Woodworking Forum,
I am a novice woodworker - and am on my 2nd project. I have, with the help of a friend, built a Mission-style coffee table out of White Oak.
To finish, I planned on using Transfast Dark Mission Brown dye. On my test pieces I sanded up to 220, then applied the dye. I noticed the dye doesn't really get into the deep grain very well, and with a darker dye like Mission Brown the light natural wood color down in the grain pores really stands out.
To fix this, I tried applying one coat of Poly mixed with Naptha (60/40) to seal the dye, let that dry overnight, scuff sanded with 320, then applied a gel stain. I used Bartleys Gel Stain, Espresso. This actually filled the deeper grain pores and colored them, but accentuated the grain too much. I'm going to try a lighter gel stain color to avoid the darker grain look.
After the gel stain set up and dried, applied 2-3 more coats of Poly, scuffed sanded, then applied 2-3 coats of Bartleys Satin Gel Varnish to finish it off and cut back the gloss a little.
I like the color and the finish, but for the table top I would like the grain filled in a little more and for it to be smoother. I have no experience with any grain or pore fillers. Can anyone shed some light on how they are used? In my above sequence - when do you use a filler? Before dying?