Remember those dovetailed white ash footstools I made for my niece and nephew a while back? My brother recently painted and stenciled them and sent me a picture of the (literally) finished products.
I have to say the footstools came out quite beautifully. Although paint is not really my thing (I prefer Danish Oil), the finish certainly fits the application and I am happy to see some of the grain and joinery still shows through. I find the colors a bit gender cliche, but it occurs to me the cliche likely evolved because color coding is the most expedient way to settle arguments among children. With the combination of substantial joinery and heavy duty finish, I am certain the footstools will endure.
I still owe my sister-in-law one more footstool (for the kitchen), but I am almost out of spare white ash. I think I have some extra quartersawn red oak offcuts I can scrounge, though, and red oak is close enough in hardness and texture to white ash to work in a mixed stock piece. Going to keep the parsons design of the two footstools pictured above, but I will change up the detail a bit.