So my son needed a bunk bed and we came upon the sweet pea bed. It was too girly for him so we decided to go with a theme that would be timeless, something he wouldn't mind having when he is 18 (or older, he is 10 now). What is better than Mario! (We are a house full of gamers, my 17 year old is super jealous of this bed lol). The build was fairly easy and the plans were straight forward enough, the time consuming part was the painting (without all the painting we could have probably build this in a long weekend). We changed a few things, like not arching the top windows, adding the 4 inch 2x4 squares to the top to give the castle look and stairs are made to look like stairs from the side so we stepped out the banister instead of angling it.
New Brick, Black, Polar Bear White, Green Crush, Green Acres, Lemon Zest, Windjammer, and French Silver. Some of the colors (like pinkish tone on the stairs) we created on our own mixing the New Brick and the Polar Bear.
Polyurethane. I mixed regular oil based polyurethane (gloss) with mineral spirits (50/50) and wiped it on. It was remarkably simple and gave it a nice seal/finish. Last coat I used Satin Polyurethane because I didn't want the gloss finish. I opted not to sand between coats because this is a kids bed and I wasn't looking for that "perfect" finish, just wanted some added protection.