Upstairs, our wood was all stained with a combo of two different stains. The first coat was Mohawk Wiping Wood Stain in Red Mahogany. The second coat was Wood Kote Jel'd Stain in Cherry color.
I tried to finish the wood in the basement with the same, but when I went and bought the stain, I accidentally grabbed the Dark Red Mahogany stain and didn't realize it until after I'd used half the can. To be honest, if I'd realized Light Red Mahogany was an alternative, I would have gotten that instead. A lighter stain would have been preferred for the basement.
It is what it is; I'm already halfway finished with the basement family room. The Dark Mahogany is dark. When I started this morning, I panicked a little about how dark it was but then I reminded myself that once it dries, it does lighten up. And once I add the Jel'd Cherry, the color will shift and be closer to the upstairs.
This plywood is sort of horrible to stain. It immediately absorbs the stain and is nearly impossible to spread it out and get it even. But the plywood was a reasonable compromise to save money on this job. If it turns out really horrible, I will simply paint the interior of the panels, like this.
It took me about 6 hours to stain half the family room today and so I decided to spread the task over a couple of days. That means that it's going to be at least 4 days of staining in just the family room side of the basement. Then I'll have to repeat the process for the rest of basement, so it looks like I'll be at this for about a week.