I'm in the final stages of building an outdoor office (yay!). Here's what it looks like:


The wood is supposedly "nordic spruce" according to the manufacturer.

I'm planning to prime/paint the outside but I want to leave the interior as natural wood.

I understand that specific product recommendations are note appropriate for this site but can someone please tell me what type of product I should use for the interior?

Additional details:

  • Temperatures in my area can range from 30 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm based out of Santa Cruz County, CA, USA.
  • I'd like something that can be applied with minimal coats and that will last for several years (if not indefinitely).
  • Ideally, I'd like to start moving furniture in shortly after sealing so it would be helpful if the material was low oder and quick drying.
  • I'd prefer minimal/no gloss.

Is there anything available that could meat this criteria? I think "Stain" is the wrong type of product since I'm not trying to change the color of the wood. I thought "varnish" was more intended for small furniture.


Well, there's always "nothing" - very quick, low odor, and no gloss to speak of. About as natural as natural wood can get.

Next up from that would be boiled linseed oil, or paste wax, or boiled linseed oil mixed with paste wax. I prefer "bowling alley wax" as it does not have the abrasives that most "floor wax" does, and clear .vs. amber as I don't want to change the color of the wood.

If you are wanting to "seal" it I suppose there are deck "sealers" that are clear-ish, but they are primarily exterior and may not be particularly low-odor (and at core, I suspect they are silicone & wax in a carrier of some sort.) I'd rather just wax it with paste wax.

  • Thanks. I thought about just leaving it bare but I worry that it would somehow deteriorate faster if I let it be exposed. Guess not?
    – Mike B
    Aug 8 '15 at 3:07
  • Bare wood is just fine. It may change color a bit over time, but so does plasticated wood. And it's much nicer than plasticated wood. If you'll be smearing greasy dirt or red wine on it, a finish might help, but for moderately civilized occupation no finish is required.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 8 '15 at 3:13

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