Thanks, that was my plan
was going to use a pre stain sealer, stain with a teakish shade, then a nice red mahogany. I had wanted to just paint the darn thing black but my hubby and friend had worked so hard to match the grain lines to surrounding wood, so don't have the heart to cover up all that work( plus my hubby put his foot down
). I used to do this for a living, but it has been a while. Hopefully it will all come back to me as I work.
Starting the project in the next week, will post results to help the next person who might tackle a job like this.