My husband informs me that it's an oil-based, not water-based stain (this is one reason it's still on my arms and knee from the other night!), so I guess using the steel wool isn't a problem (good thing, since we've already rubbed with steel wool after each coat of stain and we're now on coat #4). But do you think I should use sandpaper instead of steel wool after each coat? Or does it not matter at this point? Now that I have read all over the web that trying to stain maple very dark is a bad idea, I'm quite angry at the unfinished furniture store that assured us this would go fine. At this point, if we can't get any darker by adding additional coats (or trying a liquid darker stain as recommended by deecee/Kizmet), are we likely to have better luck if we go ahead and sand down the entire surface AGAIN? Thanks again.