Waterlox / antique door finishing question
I've had my eye on waterlox for a while now and with the humidity climbing, it's time for me to quit dithering and get some to finish my project.
I have my wood (poplar doors) stained to match the woodwork in the rest of the house, and I need to finish coat them with something to keep the humidity out and also to provide a protective finish against dirt, skin oils, etc. I already have the color I want and I'm just looking for a clear coat. I've tried polyurethane in the past but I want to get away from the modern, plastic look of it (this is an older house). I always thought of waterlox as a clear finish, but watching the how-to video on their website, it looks very dark. Has anyone used it? I'm thinking perhaps it is clear, and they just tinted it in the video to show more contrast. If not, then I probably can't use it bc I was going to do a coat of original and a coat of satin, and the color build up could get quite dark.
If it's not clear or at least lighter than shown in the video, are there any other suggestions for what I should use? The doors are 120 year old poplar salvaged from a house of similar age and style to my own, stripped bare, sanded, and have a washcoat of denatured alcohol/dewaxed shellac, then 2 coats minwax gel stain (1 in a light color to fill pores, 2nd in my desired color), then a sealer coat of dewaxed shellac. At this point, if I go much more than a shade darker, it won't match the original molding surrounding the door. (Previous owner took out all original panel doors and replaced with contrasting hollow core. Yipee.)
Here is a picture of the door, stained and just waiting for the finish coats:
Here is a picture of the hollow core it replaced:
Here is a picture of what the door looked like before I started. The two on the left are poplar; ignore the pine one on the right, it will be used elsewhere. I love how red and green the poplar looks raw, but how it stains up into such a rich brown finish. People can't believe it's the same wood after it's finished.