This actually took some time, most of it spent on the sanding. I used some wood putty to fill in the holes; the lightest MinWax stain I could find (to keep the red of the wood, which I really liked) and finished with about 5 coats of MinWax polyurethane.
I am EXTREMELY proud of this piece, it being my first of what I can only assume to be many. I have never worked with wood before. It was very time consuming, but so much fun.