16. Select The Right Finish Coat

Oil-based clear finishes don't adhere reliably over water-based stains. And although some water-based finishes will work over some oil-based stains, that's a tricky call based on wood, climate, and other factors, says TOH master carpenter Norm Abram. The safest and surest choice is to stick with the same base—oil or water—for both the stain and the finish.
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