I built a coffee table of mixed woods, including quartered red oak. How can I stain just the oak to bring out the rays without the stain bleeding into the adjacent woods?
Michael Dresdner: Mask the oak with lacquer tape, a type of masking tape that affords a crisp edge when masking and resists the solvents in finish. Seal everything else with a coat or two of SealCoat™ or dewaxed shellac. That will penetrate the wood and prevent stain from bleeding into it. When the SealCoat is dry, reverse the masking procedure, this time masking off the sealed areas. Stain the oak using pigmented stain with no dye stain. Either liquid or gel stain will work. Remove the masking tape as soon as you have wiped off the excess stain.