| Would you like to suggest a good preservative and stain.
You didn't mention what kind of wood it is. PT? Fir?
I gather that it's bare wood. There are not a lot of
choices these days. Water-base deck stain is junk.
It will just wear away in one season.
Oil base stains no longer come in solid colors, though
you can get semi-solid. But most colors don't look so
great with only partial opacity over wood, especially old
If you like the wood look you
might try the Benjamin Moore transluscent alkyd
stains. They have several colors (mahogany flame,
teak, cedar, etc) that are a copy of the Cabot's
Australian Timber Oil stains, which are now off the
market. The can says to only use one coat. I use
two coats. It may take a few days to dry but you
get a nice, thick coat with a gloss that will last awhile.
And the colors are nice.
All of the currently available oil stains seem to have
the same problem with drying. They've fudged on the
driers in order to meet the EPA regulations. So then they
have to tell customers to only use one coat. But few
things look good with one coat. I've considered trying
japan drier to speed up the cure, but haven't yet tried
it, so I don't know how it would work.
Beyond that, it's mostly experimentation. I've used
a combination of good exterior gloss oil paint with linseed
oil and thinner in the past. It makes for a watery liquid
that soaks in and provides solid color with a bit of gloss.
Holds up well. Linseed oil is what people used to use to
protect outdoor wood and it's still used for wood gutters.
The only down side of that approach is that you don't get
any leveling to smooth out the surface. It looks solid
like paint, but since it's more like a glaze it doesn't build
up to smooth out little cracks and roughness.