How to finish old doors
We're converting our 1825 Federal/Greek Revival home back into a single family. We have mostly original 1 3/4" 6 panel black walnut doors in all sorts of condition - painted and unpainted. I've taken them to a highly respected refinishing company to hand strip the doors (at this time I can only afford the 1st 10). The doors are beautiful and I want to keep them unpainted. How should I finish them? I have a new fir door in a half bath that sees lots of water (near pool) that I finished with Bona Woodline products (dry fast sealer and oil based polyurethane) and it was easy and came out great. Should I use this on my other doors? Pardon my ignorance but shellac appeared to be the latest and greatest thing in the 18th - 19th century but it seems to be much more work to apply to the doors. Should I go this route instead? The refinisher thinks some of the doors have been stripped and refinished once (he could see machine sanding on one door).
I have a few pine doors (mainly in the 2nd floor bedrooms) originally painted with milk paint that are being stripped too (the latest paint is having a tough time adhering to the milk paint). Should I repaint once stripped or leave them natural? Thanks for your help!