finish for pine wood
I purchased a pine bunk bed from IKEA. It is unfinished wood. I've read about how difficult pine can be to stain and i really don't want to paint it. Can I just put a varnish or lacquer on it? I really don't know which is better, what ingredient (shellac, varnish, poly???). Please make suggestions including brands if possible.
Also, should I apply multiple coats? Lastly, should I assemble the furniture and then put on the finish or finish each piece prior to assembling? Thank you!