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http://toadscastle.net/marduk/aquarium/ ... CT0124.JPG

Well you should ask Marduk about his tank, but several coats of clear high gloss polyurethane over the stain or natural wood will get you the shiney plastic look. Glare is more properly called "gloss" in paint and it will say that on the paint can. High gloss, gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and flat (no shine) are what paint cans say from shiniest to no shine at all.

The color is a wood stain (always applied first). It's name depends on the manufacturer, but it is cherry most likely. Or it could be real cherry wood. In that case you would be seeing the natural color of the wood.
 

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Real cherry wood doesn't have that dark color, not sure why it's assumed that cherry wood is a dark red like the fruit of a cherry tree. Stain can be just about any color, go to a store that carries finishing supplies, Home Depot will do, and look at their stains, they've usually got some kind of a color sample on the can, if you want a better idea of what it will look like take a scrap of wood from your project with you and ask one of the employees to open up a can and show you a sample of what the stain will look like on your wood. There are about a dozen finishes you could use. Tung oil or Linseed oil are natural finishes that can look really nice, then there are water based urethanes, oil based urethanes and other synthetic finishes. I like water based urethanes a lot, they go on pretty smooth, can be cleaned up with water (before cured) and cure clear so you don't have to worry about the finish changing the color of your wood. For use around water I'd definately recommend a urethane, it's going to be a lot more water resistant than an oil type finish.
 

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thanks guy,
is there a different between polyureth and ureth finish? so basically after im done, i add finish gloss paint it the color i want? or use the finish gloss with color? if im painting it what type of paint would i need? house paint? then i gloss it with final finish gloss?
 

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As far as I know urethane and polyurethane are the same thing, one's just easier to say.

So what do you want to acheive with the finish? Are you trying to paint the wood so that the grain and natural color of the wood don't show at all or do you want to see the wood? The picture you linked to shows a stand that was stained and finished with a gloss or semi gloss polyurethane (it's hard to judge the finish in the picture.) If you're going to paint the paint will cover the wood, you won't see the contrasting color of the grain through the paint it won't look like the stand pictured. Usually when you paint you just put on paint with the gloss you want, you can buy paint in flat, satin, egg shell, semi gloss, gloss, etc. There's not any reason to clear coat a gloss over the paint except in a few cases where extra durability or a super high gloss is needed.
 

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kornphlake said:
Real cherry wood doesn't have that dark color, not sure why it's assumed that cherry wood is a dark red like the fruit of a cherry tree. Stain can be just about any color, go to a store that carries finishing supplies, Home Depot will do, and look at their stains, they've usually got some kind of a color sample on the can, if you want a better idea of what it will look like take a scrap of wood from your project with you and ask one of the employees to open up a can and show you a sample of what the stain will look like on your wood. There are about a dozen finishes you could use. Tung oil or Linseed oil are natural finishes that can look really nice, then there are water based urethanes, oil based urethanes and other synthetic finishes. I like water based urethanes a lot, they go on pretty smooth, can be cleaned up with water (before cured) and cure clear so you don't have to worry about the finish changing the color of your wood. For use around water I'd definately recommend a urethane, it's going to be a lot more water resistant than an oil type finish.
Kornphlake, I have three rooms of real cherry furniture. It is all naturally that dark red color. I am puzzled why you would say, "Real cherry wood doesn't have that dark color".

It is true that the outer layers of the tree have a cream color, and you can buy creamy boards that have streaks of red from the inner (heart) part of the tree running though them, but this is not the stuff I have ever seen furniture made from. Although I think it might look nice and would be a great rustic looking piece. I would not be surprised to see some Amish artisan has run with the idea, but even though living near Amish country, and my wife grew up there and went to school with them, I have not seen it yet and we return there very often.

To quote Bingamanlumber.com,

"The heartwood of cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken with age and on exposure to light. In contrast, the sapwood is creamy white. The wood has a fine uniform, straight grain, satiny, smooth texture, and may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets."
 

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shadowdrag0n said:
thanks guy,
is there a different between polyureth and ureth finish? so basically after im done, i add finish gloss paint it the color i want? or use the finish gloss with color? if im painting it what type of paint would i need? house paint? then i gloss it with final finish gloss?
Here is a Q & A on urethanes and related topics. http://www.crosslinktech.com/FAQ.htm

Here is something that is short but explains what gloss is about. Gloss is not a coating. It's how shiny that coating is.

http://www.cabotstain.com/products/choosing-sheen.html

However you touch on some other topics, such as transparency, the difference between paint and stain, and specialty products such as a combination stain and finish on one step. I am kind of leaning toward the one step approach, since I suspect you may not have done a lot of time on the less wet end of a paint brush. This product usually gives results the amateur is happy with if they follow the directions -- Minwax Polyshades. It doesn't take much equipment or experience to use, but the result is not perfect, not the classic hand rubbed look. Still, if someone has little experience with finishes, the Polyshades will probably give them the best end result on their first project.
 

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these guys have a lot of good advice and you should definitely hear them out. but i think you should definitely just grab some of this stuff that looks interesting and practice with it on some stuff you got lying around. Its pretty easy to get the hang of it and learn as you go
 
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