Moderator Post (s) for this thread: >Stain then sealbyHandyman on 11/28/2006
Stain takes unevenly because of hard spots and soft spots in the wood and veneer is particularly bad because of the press they put it in to glue it together. The best thing that I have found is a spit coat of one part 3 pound cut shellac to five parts denatured alcohol. these are available at any paint store or paint department. Buy the freshest shellac they have and the cheapest alcohol--try the pharmacy if you shudder at the price of the alcohol in the paint department. Do a light sand with 220 or so paper, just to knock off any fuzz and stain. Because you have lightly blocked all the pores in the wood, the stain takes evenly. You can also use jel stains that sit on the surface, but I prefer the spit coat.