Step 8: Stain and Seal It..
I bought a Wattyl product that both stained and sealed in one go - it was cheaper than separate stain and seal products.
Unfortunately, the finish on that wasn't so great.. so I went back and bought a second Wattyl clear sealer product. Much better. Both were water based "for easy clean up".
Oh.. they were both meant to be "satin finish" as well.. but I reckon the end result is more of a gloss finish.
So for the details, I painted two coats of the stain on everything. Because the surface is the main part of the table everyone will interact with, I paid special attention to that and additionally added the second clear seal product (3 coats).
I gave a light sand between coats with black, wet and dry sandpaper that is something like 800 grit (if I remember correctly?!)
The routed edge bits were the hardest to prepare for painting.. I used paint stripper on them in the end.
To scrape that off the paint stripper and old stain gloop, I used the hook-like can opener you find on a swiss army pocket knife (the shape fitted nicely into the routed edging).