The high quality finish for your project can be the crowning touch the really shows off the beauty of the wood. Completing a really fine finish takes time, skill and good quality materials. A fine finish cannot be rushed experiences has taught fine woodworkers a little patience will go a long ways towards achieving a good quality finish.
The first up the good finish is prepping the wood it must be properly sanded as a rule of thumb down to 180 to 220 grit sandpaper depending on the type of wood. Remember to always sand with the grain and not across the grain if you sand across the grain you can leave scratches that will show up once the wood has been stained, all curved surfaces Will need to be sanded by hand by starting with a heavy grit work up to a finer grit. A little trick that I’ve learned is to wipe the wood down with mineral spirits prior to staining this will show any scratches in the wood that normally would not show up until you apply a stain. It is also a good idea to lightly sand all sharp edges.
Once your project has been prepped you are now ready to apply the stain But I prefer to use it in oil based stain tie have not found any water based stains that come close to a good quality of oil base stain. When using any softwoods as good idea to use a wood conditioner prior to staining soft woods can make the stain appear blotchy as the stain is not absorbed evenly by the wood. The bus practiced I’ve found for staining is to simply use old cloth that is clean of course and apply a liberal amount of stain to work peace allow the stain to set for a few minutes And wipe off any extra with a clean cloth.
Allow the stain to dry prior to finishing with a top coat. The easiest most durable top coat to apply is a polyurethane clear finish it will take several coats most likely to three to two desired finish. I prefer to apply 2 coats of polyurethane And allow to dry thoroughly and sand off any dust particles that are stuck in the clear coat and follow up with a third and final coat. Once the third code has tried I like to wet sand with 320 grit sandpaper and then buff to a fine finish