Stain & Sealer
Once you burn your design into the wood the best way to preserve it is to stain the wood to seal it from any moisture. There are different kinds of stains depending on what effect you want the wood to look like afterwards. For me, I like to mostly show the natural colors of the wood and use a darker stain to accent the wood a little bit to help focus on the design.
Your choice of stain colors is completely by preference of the maker. Just be sure that if you do use a darker stain that is doesn’t hide your design unless that is your intention.
Since I like to use paint to help highlight some things I also use a sealing spray to help seal the paint. The spray sealer I use works for many surfaces as well as crafts materials. I mostly use a matt finish spray because I’m not a glossy, shiny person. Even on project that don’t have paint I’ll use the spray just as an extra layer of protection to seal the wood.
If you make things for outside one can use a UV spray sealer. I’ve tested this on some non-wood projects and it works really good for keeping the sun from fading the colors and material. But keep in mind that you will also need a water resistant spray for weather if they are meant to be outside all the time.
For special projects one can use resin to seal the wood permanently. Resin is a simple and patient process to do, but the results are great. I use resin for coasters mostly and special projects her and there, to protect them from regular usage that involves beverages or washing.
When staining, spraying a finish, or resin I highly recommend using a respirator of some sorts because the fumes from these materials are very strong and do the sealing either outside or a well ventilated room. The fumes will get to you for a while and you may get a nasty headache later.
Sealing the wood is a major part in keeping it clean and from rotting away as time progresses.