I made a table for my entry way, and used poplar since my wife wanted me to match the trim in our house. After months of searching, the stain that most closely matches is Minwax Sedona Red. I stained the table and drawers on Tuesday and got a very blotchy look on the beveled edges of the drawer fronts. I did not use wood conditioner. I tried sanding the stain out, but the bevels ended up out of whack, so I'm just going to make some new drawer fronts, and then put the conditioner on before I stain.
Two questions... I use red or white oak on almost all of my projects, so I've never used wood conditioner. Any advice for a first timer and with poplar. And second, how different of a color will the drawer fronts be from the rest of the table that was stained without conditioner?