I applied a wave shape to a desk lamp, in mahogany. Mahogany has a pronounced shimmer effect (called chatoyance, if you can believe it); the grain reflects light differently at various angles, so the stripes change as you rotate the piece. Mahogany is also a very porous wood. It took about ten coats of gloss polyurethane to fill in the pores. A couple of months later, when the finish finally stopped curing completely, another coat to smooth it out completely to produce the high-gloss sheen. A lot of sandpaper gave their lives for this process.
I've been asked how I got a piece of glass in that shape. In truth, the shade is a clear acrylic cylinder with a piece of linen paper lining the inside.
I got very lucky with the grain pattern on the base of the lamp. I did a reverse book match for the two halves of the base, and when I cut the curves into it, a beautiful chevron pattern appeared. Sometimes, you get very happy accidents.