Following up on my first attempt, I tried using more prestain with my second shelf to see if that would help with the feathered edges and with masking-tape removal. No difference that I could tell. I think if I do this again, I’ll go with paint, since that should sink less deeply into the wood than tinted stain. But overall, I’m pretty happy with my shelves. Masking tape turned out to be a really cheap, easy, fast way to create striking patterns and I’m certainly smiling when I look into my closet.