I decided to stain my new desk Minwax Charcoal Gray. I got excited, bought all the stuff, and started as soon as the weather hit 65F today.
And this was the result:
As you can see, I didn't even bother finishing staining the legs or underside of the desk. I am going to switch to primer and paint and polycrylic for this project. No more stain for me.
It's frustrating and sad - a waste of time and resources and materials. But I am determined to fix this project (after all, this is a custom desk made just for me!). I just need to be patient and let the stupid stain dry so I can paint over it.
Not all DIY projects go swimmingly. I'm chalking this one up to experience. Adam told me of a great saying his mother used to repeat: "Adults have experience because they've done it wrong once".
So there you go.