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I was recently trying to stain some hardwood and was getting very poor results. After sanding thouroughly through 220 grit, applying the stain still resulted in severe blotching where ever the wood was slightly more porous. Gel stain worked better, but was still not satisfactory. Commercial wood conditioner was little help. After trying several different methods, I tried applying a coat of danish oil to the wood first and, after 12 hours, I applied a coat of oil based gel stain. Wow! What a difference! The stain went on smoothly, with good color, and with absolutely no blotching. I have also done the same using BLO and Tung oil (not together) with similar results for each.
I've never heard of doing this before, but I find it hard to believe that I am the first. Has anyone done this? Did you get similar results? Are there any down sides to this method?