We have had 2 painters tell us different things, one says use just a lacquer on the ceilings and the other says use a stain so it want change colors. We don’t want the wood to get darker over period of time. One painter says that if we use just lacquer it will get darker and the other one says it won’t. One painter suggest we stain it so it doesn’t change at all, the other painter says it still will get darker with stain.
You should think about putting either a natural tone stain then a water born clear coat. The next option is just a water born clear polyurethane. Neither one should become darker.