The person who turned them told her not to put flowers in the urn as the moisture would harm the wood. So she didn't. At least not directly. What she did do was to put the flowers (in a plastic container and put that in the wooden urn. She was either unaware of both the moisture on the outside of the plastic vessel and/or the condensation that would form on its outside. Of course the urns got damp/wet, the finish came off (inside only) and the bottoms got rough/punky. The outside of the urns looks very good, no water damage. What damage there is, and its not severe, but definitely needs to be treated now to keep them from being totally destroyed.
The question is, what to treat the wood with (its is now dry). I had thought that I might used MinWax WoodHardner or thin CA glue. I could use shellac, but I am not sure just how much wood preserving it would do.
Any thoughts and ideas welcomed.
PS I am also going to post this on ".rec.crafts.woodturning"