White oak has been used for centurys for boat building, cooperage, quality furniture, trim & flooring. White oak is rot & pest resistant due to the high levels of tannens & wood density.
The white oak barrel staves... all 1"+/- weathers beautifully out doors, it's patina changing with time & exposure to the elements... & like many of us... goes silver, grey, dry & rough. If you totally neglect them & leave them out all year, the pieces become rustic in appearance... but that is only on the surface. To maintain its youthful appearance I recommend a light sanding & an application of oil once a year.