couple finishing questions for my first real project
ive been reading a lot on the forums lately as ive started my first real woodworking project. I am making a hope chest out of walnut and cherry ply. my question really comes down to how to finish.
1)do I need to sand down the cherry plywood at all? im assuming not?
2) In my journeys through google I came across a video of a guy and I really enjoyed the color of the walnut wood but he applied a diluted dye ( behlin sol lux I believe), zinser seal and sand, an oil based stain (old masters gel stain) and then finished it off with several coats of lacquer. I liked the color and finish of the wood but would prefer to keep my cherry its natural color and away from the stain and dye. to do this would I just stain, seal and sand, dye and then assemble the entire thing and then lacquer it? does the cherry ply need a seal and sand or any type of grain sealer since its plywood? or would lacquering it be adequate?
3) what should I sand the wood surface to before I start any of this process, Ive read some people say 180 is adequate where others say 340.
4) im looking for a final finish that will be nice and smooth and somewhere around a semigloss.... will this require sanding between coats of lacquer? if so what grits are recommended for this process?
im sure ill have more questions as the replies come in so thanks in advance for all the info and help, ive been reading a ton of stuff about finishing and at this point I feel like my brain was filled with information and than shaken for an hour or so in one of those homedepot paint shaker things.