The carcase of my toolbox is made from oak. When I bought the wood it was dark but by the time I had planed and sanded, it was light. I preferred the dark.
So, come time for varnish, I ignored the original article where the wood was painted black (why ?) and picked out a tin of Ronseal Diamond Hard varnish in a fetching walnut colour.
Although I picked a gloss finish, to get anything resembling a shine, three coats have been needed with light sanding between each. One problem has been that it's been easy to end up with an unsightly build up of varnish on the edges. Maybe that's what comes of working in a freezing garage but I have a feeling the varnish is a bit on the thick side. Watering it down, literally as the stuff is water soluble, would probably be a good idea. I didn't have a spare tin to put the space colour in and would never countenance throwing some away to allow space for the water !
I'm not 100% sure about the results. The first coat looks a bit unnatural but I think after 3 I'm coming round to it.