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I am finishing an attic with a lot of vertical grain fir in an Arts and Crafts (sort of Greene and Greene) style. Some walls have board and batten wainscoting with teak panels and fir frames; fir baseboards and window/door casings, fir box beams, fir mantel, etc. I'd like to keep the fir natural: a couple coats of boiled linseed oil, then some top coat that would be easy to maintain with a soft appearance.
Any suggestions for top coat? I was thinking Watco, but it seems not to be highly regarded on this forum... I've been doing a lot with my homemade wiping varnish (Minwax poly cut with a little mineral spirits) lately. I'm just hesitant around the windows; I've seen condensation and rain get under poly finishes, and it's not pretty, and it seems like a lot of work to fix.
The windows are new, as is a French door set, but in pine. I've done a decent job matching the dark windows downstairs, but with BLO and fir, I know the fir will darken somewhat over time and I think it reddens a bit in a way that pine won't. How do I get a reasonable match, and of course, what non-peeling topcoat?
And finally, I have used ipe as a door frame and casing to the shower, with solid fir panels on the outside doorway walls of the shower. The fir will again get the BLO treatment; the ipe (similar in appearance to teak but a heck of a lot cheaper when bought as outdoor deck stock) will be mostly natural, unless there's a good suggestion for a certain stain/finish. Because of the warm water and steam, I'm particularly concerned about solid finishes. Also, I don't want the ipe threshold to become slippery.
Am I too concerned about the water? Is a spar varnish good enough for everywhere?