My grandpere's rocking chair, about 100 years old, is finally finished. I did some digging and found a photo of it's original condition. It had no paint or finish on some parts of it. At some places, it looked like the chair had had stripper left on it and the wood looked like it had been eaten. I did the best I could sanding and more sanding. I rinsed the chemical off carefully with the car wash, let it dry really well and sanded some more.
Here is my chair finished. I'd say it's a massive improvement.
A bit of a closer look at the fine detailed carving.
I started applying the gel stain with an old rag, let it dry completely and applied a second coat. It was relatively smooth so I applied one coat of urethane varnish. Let it dry completely and lightly sanded the whole chair and then wiped it down completely to remove all the sanding dust. One final coat of urethane varnish was once again applied.