Gel stain or regular stain for desk?
I have a little oak desk that I use for extra storage and as a makeup station. So, it's functional but needs to be refinished. It's got some black marks on the surface (probably Sharpie from its time as a middle-schooler's desk) so it needs to have the original finish removed and be sanded. The lighter area of the top is where I sanded a bit already.
I'm wondering whether I should use gel stain or a regular wood stain. My understanding of gel stain is that it's like a paint and sits on the surface of the wood, whereas a regular wood stain gets below the surface. Is that correct? Since a desk surface is more likely to be scratched than a vertical one, is gel stain practical? Or will the poly finish take care of that? I want to go darker; I've seen a 50-50 mix of Candlelight and Java that I like.