Bunk Beds: Wood Species and Finishing
I would like to build some bunk beds for my two boys. My wife wants them finished pretty dark (chocolate brown), and since walnut is expensive and hard to find in 2x and 4x boards, I am going to end up staining/dying the wood.
Since the beds will be stained dark, and will take some punishment from my kids, I am not sure what kind of wood I should use. I want something that I can get really dark and relatively uniform, but will also be hard enough so I don't get a glaring chip/dent/etc. every time the boys bang it with something.
I have done plenty of wood construction, but not much furniture grade finishing. So, I would greatly appreciate some advice on 1) the best species of wood for this application, and 2) finishing techniques to get a nice even dark chocolate color.