Loved building the wherry, so beautiful but the plywood transom on my kit lacked any grain figure and had a pale yellowish color. It didn't match the interior ply. The interior had a rich, redish color and the transom was paler and yellow.
I tried a water based stain but the results were unsatisfactory. The okuma in this piece mildewed easily with any water and I had to sand it back. I finished the boat with epoxy and 3 coats of varnish. Everything looked great except the transom, front and back.
After looking at it for 2 years I couldn't stand it any longer. After emails to varnish manufacters which got no where, I decided to experiment. I found that mixing a small amount of dark red enamel paint into glossy spar varnish worked very well.
The transom still does not have any distinctive grain figure but the color and tone match the interior.