Here in the sunny south summers are either scorching sunlight or thunderstorms. My customer has used old hand-hewn timbers for the porch posts, thus the old wood is weather-split, twisted, somewhat cracked,and generally what you'd expect from 100 year old timbers that were once interior parts. The wood is solid and sound and strong enough. The problem is that they now need weather protection yet we don't want to see any changes in color or finish from the natural state. The finish will need to penetrate the cracks and thus will probably be sprayed heavily to be sure it gets in to all the voids.
Thompsons would probably work but will likely darken the wood and it has to be renewed every couple years around here. Being that we don't want to see any finish and it needs to penetrate the wood common finishes like Poly and varnish are out too as they will show some kind of sheen. These are already installed so vat-finishing is also out. Anyone have experience with doing something like this?