This is my first entry and I am just starting out with wood working. For Christmas I had started making my fiancé a painters pallet. She is an artist and I wanted to make something aestheticly pleasing but also functional. I thought this would be a simple enough first project. I purchased a price of black walnut, kiln dried with a live edge. It’s a beautiful piece of wood. I mapped out my cups and began chiseling. All was well for a while but I don’t have the best tools as I can not afford that right now. I got pretty far in before I needed to sharpen, which is another shit show all together. But now I have this price of kiln dried black walnut that is almost done, and it’s April! My question right now is: if this is going to be a functional painting pallet, what do I finish the wood with. Obviously it is going to get paint on it and it is not going to look like new for long. But how do I protect the wood without leaving something that will distort or ruin her paints? I guess I should have done a bit more planning. Someone help!!