Exterior Lintels: Oil or Paint?


I'm restoring an old building that has heart pine lintel beams over the windows and doors. I can't stand the thought of painting these lintels, even though that's the historically accurate thing to do. If I finish with tung oil, will it be difficult to paint it at a later date? Would linseed oil be better than tung oil in order to ensure good paintability?
Thanks.
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How about a transparent water base stain?

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