From WoodworkersZone WoodWiki
"Fumed" Oak Finish
Sand the piece up through 150 grit. It's important to raise the grain because you'll be using a water-based product.
Use "Old Growth" (Fumed Oak) from Woodworkers Supplies as directed.
This is what gives it the "aged look".
It looks awful when applied (a grayish-brown). Don't worry -- this is right.
Then apply Garnet dewaxed shellac (I like the premixed 2lb shellac from www.woodfinishingsuppies.com )
Then apply Orange dewaxed shellac
Sand with 400 w/d lubed with mineral spirits
Wipe the piece down completely with mineral spirits and allow to evaporate.
Apply Blond dewaxed shellac
(The reason for the 3 tones of shellac is from the Dutch Masters artists that discovered the beauty and depth of "backcoating" their paintings).
This gives beautiful, rich tones to the wood as the light hits it.
So far, this process has intentionally minimized the grain pattern of the oak. Now you can gain your grain pattern by applying Behlen glaze (Van Dyke Brown). This allows you to control how much grain effect you get -- it's also "softer" than stains or dyes permit. By leaving a little of the glaze in corners (not too much) it also increases the "aged look".
Allow this to dry.
Apply (with foam "brush") Waterlox Tung Oil Finish (semi gloss*) available from www.woodfinishingsupplies.com. Do NOT follow the directions. They say to wipe it off. Don't do that. Leave it on. Allow to dry overnight. *The reason for using semi gloss is because satin has light deadeners in it and it's not as clear as semi gloss. Don't use gloss either -- it takes too long to cure -- especially in humid climates.
Go over the piece with 0000 steel wool. Clean piece completely of all dust.
Apply a coat of satin Waterlox with a soft cloth.
After it's completely cured, apply a coat of a good quality paste wax and buff.
The result of this process is a finish that looks like it's 100 years old and has been well-cared for (as opposed to the "distressed" look where the piece is beaten with chains, etc and looks abused).