That is a nice piece of work!! We are starting to build one of these for my sons office, sad to say it will not be Red Oak (same double window setup on a 12 ft, wall). I have finished a lot of Red Oak. The worst stain I have ever used on Red Oak is Minwax. Once you use it you cannot control the contrast or tone because it has a sealer in the stain and reapplying has no effect. To make the grain really stand out and get high contrasts from light to dark and the in between colors, is to use regular oil stain, then a mineral spirits wash with a rag. I like to use a 1-1-1 mixture of red oak, cherry and mineral spirits. Try it on a piece of scrap until you get the color and tone you want. If it does not have enough contrast then reapply the stain and wash off again. I never use a filler or sealer before staining, when you reach the desired tone you want let it dry for at least 3 days, that is all the sealing it needs. To see what the final finish will look like just run water on your piece of scrap. For the final finish I would use a satin poly, either water or mineral based, but that is just a personal preference.
Where there's a Willis there's a way!
Last edited by Willway; 04-09-2013 at 04:07 PM.