The test pieces using oil based stain then epoxy, and the oil based stain then epoxy solvent then epoxy, failed. As you can see, the stain only yielded the same horrible results as the first time around. I haven't given up on the idea completely of staining and epoxy coating my transom though. I picked up some water based stain/dye, and started yet another test. applied the stain on same kind of wood, one side will get a epoxy solvent treatment before the epoxy, the other side just stain and then epoxy. I shall soon see what happens.