What got me thinking on this was Steve and I designed and made our bed – it is a craftsman style (sort of) and I had already done all the inlay work for it. Our finisher friend told me I couldn’t have the darker stain I wanted because it would make my inlays too dark and get lost. If I had stained the bed first, then I have the problem with sanding the inlays and removing or scuffing the stained finish. We had our friend finish the bed for us with a tinted lacquer – he’s set up for that kind of work (we just didn’t have the room or equipment). The only other possibility we can explore is maybe doing the inlay and hand paint the sealer over the inlay and then stain – will be trying that next!