A tung-oil finish provides protection for the wood while allowing it to retain an antique look -- unlike the glossy finish of a varnish. Once the stain has dried completely, rub tung oil into the wood, and let it dry overnight.
For a final touch, rub a coat of paste wax into the wood with extra-fine steel wool. After about five minutes, when the wax has begun to harden, buff the finish to a satin sheen with a soft cloth. Paste wax in combination with tung oil will give the wood a look and feel similar to that of a real antique.