I'm kind of having the same thoughts, and I already bought a wooden sword.
Problem is: the wood gets notched very easily, because it's a soft, light wood. I'm planing on using spray paint, but I fear the paint will crumble as soon as the wood gets bumped.
So maybe you should choose a harder wood from the start.
..I know thats not was you asked xD Sorry, but anyway, just to share experiences
When's your deadline for the blade?
Is clear lacquer impact-resistant?
Sorry my English fails sometimes öö