I have a dickens of a time staining basswood. I use gel stain and have tried many different prep options, including using a wood conditioner (with staining within 2 hours and also letting it cure overnight) and still getting no consistent results. (blothching) I have applied a brush coat of poly and then a spray coat of poly and let it dry before staining and still get blotching. I have talked with a guy that brushes on one coat of lacquer and then sprays on one coat of lacquer then stains and he has good results, but the stain is very light. I am kinda getting tired of the trial and error method when mostly all I get is error. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks The basswood I am staining is carved--so sanding and starting over isn't an option in alot of cases.