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Your best bet with Redwood is to use a clear pore filler, like 2-part epoxy (Home Depot).

It will help if you thin it a bit (damn if I can remember the thinner now...Acetone I think) thinned down, it will really sink into the pores better than with no thinner, and the epoxy will give you a great flat surface to build your lacquer finish on.

Having said all that...AFAIC, it is not a wise idea to use this kind of wood for your very first build...

...If you do decide to go ahead with it, be prepared to take a risk and ruin/lose it before the end, it is not a beginner wood and you can run into many problems using it, problems you are not yet prepared for.

Good advice and a pertinent warning. :D

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What Drak said....if it is flamed redwood, you'll have a lot of end-grain showing. The main issue with redwood is that it is very soft, so you need to stabilize it. If you go with epoxy, use one with a long set-up time. CA also works well for this, but you'll need a lot and you need to work fast to avoid a blotchy outcome.

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