Water-based stains and finishes raise wood fibers making the wood’s surface feel rough. The usual procedure recommended to avoid this grain raising is to pre-raise the grain by wetting the wood and then sanding smooth after the wood has dried.
But this is time consuming, an extra step, and it is not totally effective. A faster method is to bury, or encase, the raised grain in the first coat of water-based finish. Skip the pre-wetting step and just apply the first coat of water-based finish. Let it dry and then sand it smooth, raised grain and all.
A water-based stain will also raise the grain of the wood, but don’t try sanding it smooth or you risk cutting through some of the color. Instead, go straight to the first coat of finish to bury the raised grain. Then sand this first coat smooth, still being careful not to sand through and damage the color.