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I'm trying to stain an old end table with a stain/poly combo but the grain keeps showing in the top. Did I need to sand the grain cracks out better to keep it from doing this? Picture included. Thanks!
 

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It looks to me like you are recoating over an old finish that is flaking off. If that is the case it will never have a happy ending. The old finish would need to be stripped first. If you do that I would stain first and put a clear finish on it.
 

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Uncle Fester
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I've never had a happy ending with combo stain and poly
Always came out cloudy and I ended up starting over with wood sealer, two coats of stain and built up poly
 
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