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Am workin on an old railroad cart for my parents for their anniversary.

am working with 1-1/2" Ash. sanded it up through the ranks to 220 and gave it an initial stain. My question is- now what?!

I feel as if i have read about people sanding down the first staining a little bit and doing it one more time....?

I assume a coat or two of polyurethane over the top of the last coat of stain will help protect it? It is going to be a coffee table.

Any help here would be awesome!
 

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Everyone does things a little differently, but I'd give it another coat of stain to be sure it's even and rich, then would add your finish clear coats when the stain is dry....sand between the finish coats.
 

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I wouldn't sand the stain. If you wiped off the excess stain and you are happy with the color then either start with the finish or use a sanding sealer first. If you are using a water based poly over an oil based stain I would let the stain dry three days or put a coat of Zinsser sealcoat as a barrier coat from the linseed oil in the stain. Oil based poly you can apply after letting the stain dry overnight. The sanding comes after you put a coat of finish on and it dries. A little scuff sanding between coats will make the finish much smoother. Another note about finishes, if the color is light you might want to finish it with the water based poly. An oil based poly yellows as it ages and shows up on light woods.
 

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Are you going to poly it? if so, then no- do not sand after last stain. The stain will often raise the grain of the wood- its okay it if feels a bit rougher than you thought it was. Poly, then sand with 220 super light long strokes , then poly again.

IME its ALWAYS a bad idea to sand final stain coat- it always makes uneven patches in the final product.
 
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