I have several exterior architectural details made of red oak that I need to finish. (These will be new and so have no existing finish on them.) They will be on the south facing side of the house, so exposure to sun/UV is going to happen. I'm in Southern California, so there are limits on what products I can purchase. (Nothing with high VOC.) I'm hoping for a natural (unstained) look and something that doesn't turn the wood too yellow. Any suggestions?

  • Visit Woodworking and look at the [Finishing] tag.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 10, 2023 at 16:08
  • Also, how often are you willing to reapply the finish? Most "natural" looking finishes need to be reapplied regularly...
    – FreeMan
    Mar 10, 2023 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


Linseed oil is non-VOC, traditional, and works. Raw (rather than boiled) is what's normally used outdoors.


Tung oil with uv inhibitors. It penetrates the wood so it doesn’t look like a coated finish.

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