I am finishing the top of a cabinet that has birch plywood with a maple edge. I am trying to match a stain that is on the order of cherry in color. Do I need to worry about blotchy stain on the birch? Secondly, the top of this cabinet is at about 40 inches high. I want a satin, durable finish. I'm thinking of either Verathane Diamond polyurethane or General Finishes Top Coat.
I have seen the recent post on finishes for wood counter top and the recommendation for Waterlox, which is a tung oil blend. I do not think I want the amber tone of this finish.
I would prefer to use water based finish. I will be brushing or wiping, not spraying the finish. I don't want to break the bank.
Is there something better that I'm overlooking?