I have a client that has me stumped. We installed a lovely new stone facade for a client, but their vision for the mantle has me at a loss. They like Minwax Carbon color stain, but want a deep color, non-grainy finish. The closest I've gotten is 2 coats on pre-stain conditioned Aspen, but it still has too much grain pattern. Any ideas on other species (tried all the usual ones, oak [too red], poplar [too green], pine [too grainy]) before I move into colored varnishes?