"The easiest way to get a consistent color is to use a gel stain. A gel stain is like any other stain -- it's just a little thicker. And because the gel stain is thick, it won't penetrate very deeply into the wood. The result is end grain and face grain with even consistent color. "
Tip #2 Sand with a higher Grit on the End Grain:
" But if you sand it to a higher grit, it tends to burnish the surface and limits the absorption of finish. The result is a lighter color that more closely matches the face grain. So if you plan on sanding the project to 180 grit, I would sand the end grain to about 320. That will greatly improve your results. " 2
Tip #3 - Pre-Seal the wood:
"Now in some woods, sanding to a higher grit just doesn’t do the trick. Or maybe you are just a little lazy and you don’t want to do the extra sanding. Well there is still hope. Simply pre-seal the end grain. A light coat of a 2lb cut of shellac will work great for this. You can also use a solution of glue size. Glue size is basically a solution of PVA glue and water (dilute the glue by about 90%). Regardless of which solution you use, give the end grain a good sanding after the sealer dries and you’ll be ready for your finish. " 2