I can now say that the foyer stage of the wainscot is as complete as it is going to get. When the room directly above the foyer is redone (hopefully in my lifetime), the remainder of the wainscot up the stairs will be also be completed. It now has two coats of amber shellac and an improvised cap. I had really intended to use a tinted shellac to match it and the new treads/risers more closely to the old stairs, but experience thus far has driven that thought from my mind completely. Besides, the purist in me rationalizes my choice in that I am being “honest” with everyone about what is original and what is not. At the end of the day, it’s a purely academic discussion. But I hate using stain on new pine and tinted shellac is very difficult to make look good, so it is what it is.
Note that the short, antique handrail that was originally installed was switched out with a reclaimed length of Douglas Fir 2×4 from the demolition of the room. I hated the other handrail the day I put it up; it was too clunky. Some might also argue aesthetics with the replacement, but it’s a darn sight better than the old.
The last of the reclaimed base trim was in and all the base shoe in the foyer was installed as of Sunday evening just two weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of the initial demolition!!