I purchased a stair tread from Home Depot that I wanted to use as a window sill. I think it's red oak. I stained several already and the stain didn't come out as nicely as I would have hoped. There were defects where the stain showed up in tiny scratches that were invisible to the eye. Also, the wood seems flat however very frequently the grain seems somewhat torn out, probably from when they cut the wood originally. It's hard to describe w/out a picture and my camera isn't that good. The grain is uneven and has tiny little dips all over it.
Is this "torn" grain something that I can eventually sand out? I've been sanding for a while w/ a random orbit sander, 80 grit sheet, and it doesn't seem to be making any difference. I'm sure polyurethane will cover it and it will still look good, but I'm trying to be a perfectionist here.