You know, its funny. I started the Birney Project as a diversion from the ongoing lighting and anti-dust (and anti-cat) valence project. But that was so long ago now, and the Birney project has been so ongoing that working on the valence is now a divergence from working on the Birney!
So this is where I left off. With the major woodworking done, its now time to stain and varnish the inside.
Remember that this blog is not a "how-to" but rather a "how-I-did-it". Which isn't necessarily the best way. As it turns out, since I'm using a two-tone color scheme, the wood should have been stained ahead of construction. Masking doesn't work when it comes to staining. The masking tape will actually draw in the stain underneath it. And as you can see, I have quite a few spots where that happened. But overall it looks all right, doesn't it?
For the stain I used an oil based. Oils are harder to work with, but the results are so much nicer. For the main color I used "Natural", a stain that brings out the natural color of the wood. And for the trim I used "Golden Mahogany". Mainly because Mahogany was used as the trim for the old San Diego streetcars. Over all I'm pleased with the results. This valence is getting that elegant look I'm looking for. Yes sir! Quite elegant indeed!