I had not successfully stained before. I started out happy how light the stain was, covered half the fireplace, used up the entire can, then wondered what the brown gunk was on the bottom.
Armed with a fresh can and stirring sticks, I diluted 2:1 with mineral spirits and went to town.
Funny how this is the color I usually aim for after the wood has set under the california sun for a week.
Although, this method required releasing about two pints of mineral spirits into the air.