Wood staining these days isn’t as popular as it has been some decades ago. But for certain high visibility stain grade wood it can still be a very high end wood finish. First you are probably going to want to make sure the wood is a high grade wood like oak and mahogony for some because you are going to be showcasing the grain in the wood. Semi transparent wood stain is exactly what its name implies transparent. Although the shades of stain vary greatly from no color to dark stains that soak into the wood and protects it as well as allowing your guests to appreciate the quality of the wood and the finish.
Staining alone is not usually a finished product because to give it a sheen and protect anything else from penetrating you want to use a clear finish to add depth to the aesthetic property and making sure nothing else is absorbed into the wood to alter or ruin your nice stain.
And staining wood isn’t always just an interior finish but on the exterior of your home it can be a very high maintenance finish. While paint protects your wood or other surfaces from water intrusion other functions of using stain are that they are designed to soak into the wood and adhere very well. In semi transparent stain as opposed to solid color stains the clear or semi transparent does not protect from ultraviolet rays which kill the cells in the wood giving it a dull grey or dirty look. Exterior urethane finishes although having UV protection for exterior applications still allow much more sun to affect the wood adversely and you need to recoat often to retain the original effect.
Of course unless you plan on doing the work yourself the cost of paying a professional greatly increases the cost of your finish by having to do it as much as every six months in some cases.