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ok, i'll be first, unless i'm not fast enough on the clicker.

1. Pine will blotch so apply a spitcoat of something like General Finishes wood conditioner. I think Minwax make a wood conditioner also. Just enought to even out the pores just a bit. One coat.

2. Then apply dye, either alcohol or water as the carrier. I would mix the dye in steps and apply to test boards. I would try mixing either very dark brown, dark reddish brown, maybe some black mixed in as you go. Stop once you have a reasonable dark board. Remember, you are just trying to initially darken a light piece of wood so the upcoming stain applications won't need to work so hard. Remember to seal the end grain or they WILL turn black. The board will look ugly with just dye but this is just the first step.

4. After dye, you can apply a thin layer of clear seal coat if you want. It would not hurt.

5. At this point I would try some General Finishes, or similar brand of gel stain. You may need to buy a can or two of different colors to test with. Gel stain sits on top of the board so the more coats you apply, the darker the wood will become. Remember to stir it good prior to applying. Also don't let it sit too long or it will dry solid. You bet it will. It doesn't soak into the wood, it lay on top. Oh, I already said that.

6. When cured you can apply a colored wax. The Bison and Briwax brands are DARK. You may not need a colored wax by this time.

7. After allowing time to throughly cure, apply a clear topcoat as you like for whatever sheen you want.

You may have tried all of this. Take my advice for FWIW. Sometimes it is worth just what you paid for it. ;>)
 
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