That's the best way to go. I stained my corner table, coffee table and tank stand the same color. Slightly different woods, but very similar when finished. I searched the color and it looks very nice. I'm excited to see how the hardware compliments the wood.
Are you going to assemble the piece, take it apart, stain it, and reassemble it? Stain the wood after cutting, then assemble? Or just stain it as one solid piece?
As for the surface skimmer, I had poor luck with my cheap surface skimmer I was using. That is probably of higher quality, but a dedicated unit does a really good job.
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