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Finish is what makes your wood shine. It gives it that smooth surface, with rich color. There are two types of wood finishes: those that absorb into the wood, and those that form a protective film above the wood. The finish will give the wood that final touch you are looking for. No matter which finish you select, make sure you are working in a dry area, so the finish will dry. And, allow your wood to acclimate to that temperature. Here is a list of different finishes. Select one that will bring out the color of the wood you are looking for.

Absorbing Finishes
Absorbing finishes allow you to complete the job in one step. They act as a sealant as well to protec the wood.
a.. Danish oil - This oil soaks into wood well. Because it is an oil, a sealant is not necessary before applying the finish. Just spread the finish evenly on the wood with a clean rag, and allow the finish to soak in. For a darker finish, repeat the process.
b.. Tung oil - Tung oil comes from tung trees. It makes a durable matte finish. Brush or wipe the tung oil into the wood in thin coats. For optimal drying, apply this finish when the humidity is low. If the tung oil seems thicker in an area, wipe the excess off with a clean rag. While you do not need sealant before the finish, this oil is more prone to chip.

Protective Film
Other finishes put a protective film above the sealant. This gives the wood the added color and shine.
a.. Polyurethane - Polyurethane is a durable, fast-drying matte. It enhances a woods natural amber or yellowish color. Brush the polyurethane evenly over the surface, following the grain of your wood. Apply several thin coats. You will need to let the varnish dry in between coats. It will take about 24 hours for it to dry. When you go to apply the next coat, make sure you wipe the surface down with a towel, to remove any dust that might have settled.
b.. Lacquer - Lacquer is a darker finish. It dries so quickly most people spray it on. The spray is very flammable, so work outside, and wear goggles. You will want to apply several coats. Make sure you let the wood dry 24 hours before applying the next coat.
c.. Shellac - Shellac is a darker stain as well. It comes in two forms, flaked and liquid. Both should be mixed with alcohol to thin it out. Brush the shellac into the wood with the grain. Recoat as necessary.