I'm getting close to assembly for the cabinet, so it is time to start planning the finish. I know since the cabinet is poplar I want a dark finish to hide the green hues. I decided to finish the inside of the cabinet before assembly. I read an article in Fine Woodworking (membership required) about seal coating particular woods so they wouldn't blotch. Woods like, pine, poplar and cherry are notorious for blotching when stained. So, I used a 2lb cut of Zinsser Seal Coat (de-waxed shellac) for the inside of the cabinet. I got the first coat on, and it is ready for a light sanding before the second coat.
I also seal coated a piece of scrap poplar for testing stains. I applied 2 coats of the seal coat, with a light sanding after each coat. I then applied 3 different stains in 3 different sections of the board. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died. When I get batteries I'll post the test piece and let you know which one I chose.