Deep, Dark, Red Oak (or other color) This finish looks great on plainsawn red oak boards and is impossible to get straight out of a can. The red dye is incredibly strong. But the gel stain is applied without a barrier coat so it darkens both the earlywood and latewood. 1. Apply J.E. Moser’s Wizard Tints bright scarlet to the bare wood and let it dry. 2. Apply Minwax jet black mahogany gel stain. 3. Seal with wax-free shellac and scuff-sand when dry. 4. Apply a topcoat of your choice.