Finishing Maple/Analine Dye
I'm planning a new desk for my wife, we've settled on and purchased a sheet of maple plywood for the majority of the construction. Most of my experience so far has been with softwoods but I've made a few projects with cherry, which has proved to be very difficult to stain so I've just used wipe-on poly to both raise the grain and finish it. I've read that maple has similar characteristics.
In my research so far I've heard it suggested from a reliable Youtube source to sand it rough, say 120, and then stain. Sand it with a finer sand paper, and stain again which can allow you to get some really interesting dual color results as the stain from the first coat will stay in the softer grain.
I've also read a bit about but have no experience using dyes instead of stain. The water based analine dye sounds a little better for color retention, but I've had bad experience using water based stains with oil based finishes. I always use wipe on poly for a finish coat because it's so easy to get good results with, but the only stuff I have on hand now is oil based.
So, that's where I'm at and am wondering if anyone here has any suggestions or comments. The wife usually likes lighter colors so a straight up finish with no color added might be the way to go but when we were looking at flooring options I didn't care for the really light colored maple. I'm thinking a light golden brown would be the way to go, the piece we picked out has some really nice grain patterns in it that I would like to make pop.