I applied two coats of Minwax Ebony oil stain for 15 minutes and waited a day between coats. The newel posts and the railing on the second floor look much better but the railing coming down the stairs is bad. When I added the second coat it removed a bit of the first in some areas.
Did I not prep well? I striped, used steel wool and then sanded with fine grit sanding sponge. I didn't apply a wood conditioner because I heard that red oak doesn't need it.
I was expecting the end grain to be darker but didn't expect the blotches and I was hoping for a very dark stain. I did some sample boards first and was able to get a very dark espresso-looking stain in two coats but it was on bare wood so I'm sure that made a difference.
Will using Goudey stain even out the blotches? Will adding stain to poly (I know it will cover the grain) even it out? At this point I'm willing to lose the grain because if I can't fix this I will have to paint it.
This wood may only take one more coat of stain so there is not a lot more I can do with it.
Is there any way I can fix this?