Can you see the heart decal stains? Because I sure can't. Zeke is trying very hard to find them, though.
As suggested by several ladies on Proboards, I picked up a wood conditioner for oil based stain. After two coats of that, the stain absorbed very evenly on the lid. After the first coat of stain, you could still sort of see the lighter wood where the decals were, but after the second coat that problem was solved. I ended up doing four coats of stain on the lid. It's a cherry stain. Yeah, I know that I said I was going to do walnut, but I changed my mind. And I love it. So there. I still need to put poly on the lid, which I hope to do tomorrow.
Now, the next dilemma of mine. Do I stain the bottom, too, or paint and distress it?
Originally, I thought I wanted to just stain it because I love the grain of the wood so much. And honestly, the lid turned out pretty awesome. But I feel that that will be a lot of plain old wood in my living room. And a plain trunk is... sort of boring...
If I painted and distressed the bottom, I would use a blue/gray paint that I have on hand, since it goes with my new pillows and other decor in the living room. Maybe there's something else I can do to it to make it more interesting if I just stain it. I don't know.