This study investigated the discoloration and roughening of finish and unfinished ash (Fraxinus americana), red oak (Quercus rubra), and hard maple (Acer nigrum) wood surfaces exposed to artificial weathering, with the aim of assessing the potential for ash wood for interior and exterior applications. Ash wood surfaces were treated with several coats of satin and high gloss polyurethane finishes in order to evaluate their potential for value added products from waste ash wood generated from an exotic insect (emerald ash borer) infestation. Red oak and red maple wood specimens were included in the study for comparison purposes. The weathering experiment was performed by cycles of UV light irradiation with and without water. Surface discoloration was measured according to ISO 2470 standard with a micro flash reflectometer in the CIELAB system. The surface roughness was measured with a surface profilometer and a roughening profile developed for each weathered surface. Results obtained showed that ash wood exposed to a combination of UV light and water spray had a color change pattern very similar to that of maple, and both species had a faster and higher levels of discoloration compared to red oak. However, when exposed to continuous UV radiation without water, ash had a higher level of discoloration than maple and red oak. Evaluation of changes in the roughness showed that maple had the lowest roughness after weathering, but finished ash surfaces also showed roughness characteristics similar to that of maple after 450h exposure. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.