I've got a small woodwork project underway, and I wanted to figure out a finish that would blend in with the rest of my furniture, which is mostly off-black. I'm still putting the project together but figured I'd slap some finish on a test piece to see how it might turn out.
The wood in the background is the Ikea drop-front desk I'm using as a rough target, and the piece on top is the wood I'm using for the project under one coat of ebony stain and three coats of water-based satin poly.
1: The base colour of the wood I'm using is a lot redder than whatever Ikea used in their furniture. Or maybe the ebony stain has some red tints in it that soak into the winter rings a bit more, idk. It's close enough that I don't really care.
2: One coat of stain isn't really as dark as I want it, so two coats will probably look better.
3: It's dumb-easy to blow through the finish while sanding before the final coat. 220 is probably not the right grit to have used, even though the package was sitting literally right there just when I needed a piece of sandpaper. I'll use 400 next time, even if that means going into the other room to get it. I guess. Anyway, that's why there's a few bald spots on this piece.
4: The water-based poly is pretty easy to apply but does require paying just a little bit of attention. It seems like if some areas are left a bit too thick it'll still dry nice and level without thick brush marks or drips, but the finish there will be noticeably more matte.
5: Probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. Maybe something about the finish not curing very well in the cold, humid garage overnight. I'm sure I'll remember later.
Anyway, I think this project should turn out pretty nice.