pro staining and varnishing very rough - help!
We hired someone to stain and varnish new poplar railings and built-in bookcases. He used a Sherwin-Williams product that claimed you could do it all in one day. Anyway, it has turned out horribly. The stain seems very dark - but not in solid way, the way the rest of the stained wood in our house looks - compared to the swatch (he only did one coat of stain because he was afraid of how dark it was) and the varnish is dull and very, very rough. Not at all acceptable. We have already paid him, of course. We are thinking we'll just try to fix the problem ourselves. Any suggestions to get the smooth finish we want? Do we need to do more layers of varnish? Any way to lighten the stain?