So I've been on a walking/hiking stick kick lately, going on hikes and hunting for fallen branches that will make good walking sticks. I have made 6 or 7 of them now but I'm having trouble finding the right finish. On most of them I will leave sections of bark, or the under layer of bark, and then strip the rest and do my sanding. After the last round of sanding I'm happy with the raw colors of the wood, these are oak btw, but when i apply the finish they darken. So I'm wondering if there is a finish that does not darken and is not glossy? Open for suggestions thanks.