Guess it depends a little on whether you're building to fish or show. Assuming you're building your lures for the same reason as I (to fish... I lose a lot of lures!), I use two coats of an all purpose sealer from the craft shop (mine is Delta Ceramcoat), then paint. When it's dry, I shoot a coat of polyurethane over the whole mess. The lures I haven't lost and have been in my tackle box for 3-4 years are holding up very well.
I do use epoxy to set the hooks (most of my lures are light poppers to use with my flyrod), 'cause nothing else will hold the hooks very long. Not the 5 minute stuff, though. I also use balsa, just because that's the only material other than foam that's light enough for flyfishing.
The high-quality, long lasting, showroom finishes are out of my realm. But I do catch a lot of fish!
Happiness is worth waiting for!