Sealing old wood with chipping paint
I have a large wooden set of cubbies that we would like to seal for use as storage in our mudroom. The piece has historical value to us as it was originally a parts bin for the Oliver tractor dealership in town. However, it has spent 30+ years in a shed. The original painted finish is chipping and contains a significant amount of ground in dirt. I have removed a large portion of that dirt using a stiff brush, steel wool, and an air compressor/blower. I am wearing a mask as the paint is likely lead paint. What is the best material to use to seal the wood and create a surface that is easy to clean? The original painted parts bin numbers are still present along with the chipping white and green paint. I would like to preserve this weathered look. Also, can I use water and a mild soap in my clean up? I have been hesitant to do so with the old wood. Thanks for your help!