I’m always wary of finishing. I really don’t like it, as I often feel it is such a voodoo black art. And often I think its overdone. (c.f. people with posts that include ‘then I put on 293 coats of french polish, blah blah blah.)
I apologize in advance for the lack of in-progress photos at this point. With finish on my hands and latex gloves on, I was in no position to be touching my nice camera.
I used my leftover stock and prepared some various finishes. I tried a stain, a tinted shellac (worked on the maple, did not on the mahogany.) a gel stain, and a plain topcoat.
I took the finish sticks to the potential customer, and she ended up liking the tinted curly maple, and the plain poly over mahogany. No complaints here, made it easy for me!
First, I taped off the mahogany part of the box and applied the tinted shellac to the curly maple only. I definitely over-tinted, but thankfully the top of the box doesn’t show it too much.
then applied the wipe on poly over the top of the whole thing.