I'm still a newbie at woodworking. I have nearly finished a coffee table that I plan on staining. I have seen all kinds of recommendations on the internet and hoped to get some resolution here.
First, to what final grit should I sand? I've read that going too fine can lead to closed pores that won't accept the stain well.
Second, is there anything in particular I should be concerned about when applying the stain? Anything to help or worry about with exposed end grain? I plan on using a water based dark stain (the wife hasn't yet picked out a final color).
This table will be outdoors but under a roof with screened in sides. What type of varnish would be best to protect it the most?
Thanks for any suggestions!