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Old 06-02-2017, 01:55 AM
Tracedfar Tracedfar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Balko, OK
Posts: 230

I use clear waterborne poly all the time, even over oil based stain. It dries fast so I can apply several coats in just a few hours. Best of all it cleans up easily. I can't say I have a brand preference since I've had good results with several. The trick to tinting is to make enough for the job since repeating the shade can be tough.

Like you've seen, Birch just doesn't take stain very well. Nor is the grain very appealing. I suppose you could spot stain the lighter places but you can also drive yourself crazy trying to even out what nature hasn't. In fact, less inconsistencies in color often look less natural. For example, a gel stain would even out the color but it may also end up looking painted.

If all else fails, you could start over. Walnut veneered plywood isn't hard to find. However, since you probably don't need an entire sheet for a guitar stand, a few board feet of solid wood might cost less and obviously deliver the look your client wants. Actual walnut won't need any stain at all. Red oak with antique walnut stain can yield very good results, lighter than real walnut but good grain.

Best of luck!

Last edited by Tracedfar; 06-02-2017 at 02:28 AM.
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