I ended up using an acrylic sealer on it, which said it was for wood as well as a bunch of other things. I put 5 coats on, so it should basically hold up. I used matte but wonder now if I should have used glossy. There's just something about gloss that makes things look more finished. But, I was leery that it would be too glossy (does anyone else wonder that?).
All in all, my aunt adored it, and that makes me happy