Like I said in this post, when I first got this several years ago I sanded it and stained it (can't remember what stain, but it was dark).
It stayed that way up until a few weeks ago when I got a wild hair and wanted to paint it turquoise.
I used my left over woodlawn valley haze by Valspar from this project, and brushed on 1 coat.
After it was dry, I did another coat. When the second coat was dry, I hand sanded the edges with 100 grit paper. I wanted the piece to look as if the paint was worn off. So I sanded most of the paint off the edges.
Then I wiped it down, and rubbed in some dark stain with a clean cloth in all the areas I just sanded. Let the stain sit there for a minute and then wiped it off with another clean cloth. The stain I used is Minwax wood finish, dark walnut. I wiped and rubbed all over the piece, can't really say exactly what I did, just allowed my creativity to flow through me.
Which I highly encourage you to do.
Finally, I allowed the piece to dry and brought her inside.
I have yet to put a topcoat on it, I think I like the unpolished look of it.
Any other ?'s feel free to ask.
I hope this helps!