The wheel is finished. Can I tell you how happy I am about that?
I managed to get all the blobs of varnish off, put stain back on, and varnish again. But there’s one small side on the base (the bottom part on the side you see above) where I just could not avoid blobs so I removed everything along that side and only added stain. Screw it. I am not meant to be a varnisher in this lifetime. Putting it back together was super easy (I used this tutorial to take it apart and put it back together). The only part that took two people was reattaching the mother-of-all due to one of the hinges being spring-loaded, but other than that, easy!
I went with an African theme (yes, master of the obvious). I found the stencils at Dharma Trading and got the acrylic paints at Michaels. The varnish was a paint-on but I should have went with a spray-on like the husband suggested. OH! And you will get a laugh to know that I thought mineral spirits was gin (for washing the varnishing brush afterwards). Luckily I asked husband about this before I wasted my Beefeaters!
She really feels like mine now :)