We are staining the chair rails we want to put up in our new nursery. The chair rails are made of pine and we used a stain called Golden Oak. My husband sanded, applied wood conditioner and then applied the stain per the instructions on the cans. However, the wood is now very blotchy and some boards turned out blotchier than others. We really don't understand how this happened since we did exactly as the instructions said so now we just don't know what to do. So we have 3 questions:

Is there anyway to fix the stain at this point?

Should we forget the stain and just try to paint the chair rails now?

If we try to fix it and apply the poly, would we still be able to paint it afterwards if it doesn't turn out well?

Thanks for any responses. We really want to make them look nice.