I'd either paint it you use a water base clear poly, like Minwax polycrylic or general finishes high performance. Pine looks like crap stained (in my opinion) and oil based clear coats give it that 1950's yellow knotty pine look you see in basements. A water base clear will leave the natural color. If you are going to stain, use a gel stain. They give it a lot of color and won't blotch like penetrating stains do.