One thing you might want to try that could improve the overall appearance. That is, a glaze coat of either paint or stain over the entire piece.
Several of the projects of the month have made use of this technique and, in my personal opinion and taste, make a painted project look better!
Basically, you seal the paint with a clearcoat, then brush on a brown stain or thinned acrylic paint over the entire piece, then wipe off right away. You can wipe off more or less for certain areas, to your liking. Even use a dry brush to control the “wipe off”.
The technique leaves a “warmth” and sort of antique appearance. After the glaze is dry, spray on a few light coats of Satin or Flat clearcoat to seal.
-ShopBot Buddy PRSAlpha CNC