Clearcoating paint grade maple cabinets
This is cross-posted from the Kitchens Forum.
We had new kitchen cabinets custom made out of paint grade maple, with the intention of having a painted white kitchen. We also extended our oak hardwood floors into the whole kitchen area. It is still unfinished, while it acclimates. The cabinets were installed yesterday, also unfinished. We were bowled over by the beauty of the paint grade maple with all its mineral streaks etc. We just LOVE it! We feel the same way about the unfinished floor. They both are about the same color in their unfinished state, and we are seriously considering just putting clear coat on cabinets and floor and enjoying the look. It is light in color (which was why we were going white, to brighten things up) and warm at the same time, and just gorgeous. The cabinets (and our entire decor) is 100% 18th century traditional.
First question is, if we simply clearcoat the cabinets, what might we use? I've learned on GW and elsewhere that lacquer yellows, so does varnish. Is there a more natural product we might use? What about Waterlox? I've heard many here mention it. How about just oiling them? Our favorite varnish when we finish furniture ourselves (seldom) is a wipe-on varnish, totally fool-proof, and always looks wonderful on our furniture. Our floor finisher will use Duraseal for the floor, and we will have to have all the rest of the floors re-sanded if we go au natural. We've had a matte finish on the floors, but I thought we'd give them a little shine this time, but leave the cabinets more matte.
Second, thoughts about the natural floors and cabinets idea are welcome. Otherwise it will be creamy white cabinets and either natural floors, or floors in their current sort of golden tan (toasty) color.
Thank you in advance for your ideas.