How do I prep dark stained wood for unicorn spit on top?

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I have a wooden tv tray that I sanded and stained with a dark wood stain. I want to do a stencil of mermaid scales on top of the wood, with unicorn spit. Do I have to put polyurethane on top of the stained wood before I start? I am practicing the stencil before I do a dresser for my grand-daughter.


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