A customer has an old 32" recycled entry door they want to use for the pantry in a remodeled kitchen. The joints are sound, but I'm scratching my bald head over how to protect the very dry wood in a humid place like a kitchen and still achieve the look they want. Basically, they want to leave intact what little paint remains, and not alter the grey, weathered look of the exposed wood. I'm concerned that any clear finish will just look like peeling paint wrapped in cellophane. What's the alternative? Wax? Clear Danish oil?
From contributor R:
Why not apply a little finish to an area of the door and let the customers see for themselves exactly what it will look like? Anything you apply will change the color of the grey, even wax or oil.
George Frank referenced a non-finish finish in one of his books. A customer of his wanted a finished look without any finish applied. If I'm not mistaken, he ended up burnishing the wood... The end results yielded a "waxed" look even though no finish was applied.
Shabby chic! Buy an old used door. Pay more than a new one. Have a professional rework it and pay him. And be happy to call yourself "green." Hey, it's work!