So I’ve spent the better part of my spare time during the last two weeks building a 66″ x 36″ maple mirror frame with a 5 1/4″ wide profile, 1 1/2″ thick. I sanded to 180 and finished with two coats of General Finishes Georgian Cherry Gel Stain and three coats of Java (same brand). The first two coats went of heavy to obtain a deep red. The last three coats went on somewhat lighter to cover with a mocha brown but still let the red shine through.
I debated what to topcoat with and settled on Minwax clear satin poly applied with a brush, only because of my comfort level and my fear of screwing this thing up. I went with a thin coat of poly to avoid pooling in the corners and valleys. I just went to sand for the second coat. I used 320 grit and was very gentle, yet I went through the stain to a pale pink in a small 16″ section on one of the ridges. I am sick! How could I take off this color with such a soft stroke? What the hell do I do now? Can I apply some color and smooth it with a dry brush (which is how I finished the last coat) in this area OVER the poly? Do I live with the bubbles left in the poly from the first coat? If you can’t already tell, I’m a relative amateur woodworker, cabinets and Minwax up till now. Any input would be appreciated.