I have used gel stains and used a base with a swab of mahogany on a rag to match my hickory kitchen cabinets I installed. I made a pie safe for Carol and it matched. I also did all the trim in the kitchen the same. It is from white oak I slabbed from a tree struck by lightening. I love wood but it can be a challenge to finish and also protect from weather. Don't forget to seal under all metal, butt plate, etc. I seen factory ML's get ruined from rain. I watched a TC butt swell so bad the finish cracked. My Hawken with Tru-Oil held up perfect.