Is wood stain different these days?

The first time I did the front door, maybe 20 years ago, the wood stain I got was like a sort of dark varnish. It looked great, with a nice, even glossy finish. Doing it again more recently, I find that the stain, although sold as gloss, is more like satin; it dries quickly and becomes opaque (which makes it harder for me to get an even finish). It is water-based, which might explain some of this. It looks okay, but I'm already thinking of when I might do it again. Have I just bought the wrong stuff, or is it all like this nowadays? I think it's Ronseal, although I don't have it to hand. Is this one of those 'a triumph of marketing over quality' issues?
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Yes - water based varnish never seems to do what you want. Oil based also tends to darken after some time - which is also nice if you expect it.
You can still buy oil based stuff, though. Maybe yacht varnish?
Even on new bare wood, water based doesn't seem to bring out the grain in the same nice way as oil based does.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

I never imagined anyone would make a water-based exterior varnish/stain (it looks weird when it's been rained on, for a start). But I'll definitely check next time. I always use boiled linseed oil for internal things, but I don't think it'd last too long outside. It makes a reasonable shoe-polish, too :-) Quite tough.
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Actually linseed oil on some sheds if applied liberally survives well out of doors, and brings up the grain.
If though you like the gloss look then some kind of varnish oil or cellulose based is the thing You used to be able to get some polyurethane stuff but to me that was so glossy it looked almost like it was fake wood afterwards. Brian
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Brian Gaff wrote:

By coincidence I had to replace two 'egg-box' doors with mahogany veneers that had been smashed to pieces by the previous occupant. They dated from the 1970s.
The nearest thing that I could find were ply-faced doors from Homebase at around £20 apiece.
Now I usually Colron wood dye at home but B&Q had a 250ML 'Colours' mahogany exterior satin wood stain for £5.72. It is described as quick drying.
I intend using it on internal doors and hope it will come up close to the remaining doors, albeit with a non-matching grain. I propose finishing with Ronseal boat varnish to protect it from heavy-handed children and their toys.
I shall be holding my breath as it goes on.
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Pinnerite wrote:

Jeld Wen sell veneer faced doors, even the paint-grade one I fitted seemed as though it would have been good enough to stain/varnish, but I was looking to get away from 70's 'mahogany' doors with David Dickinson varnish ...
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On 07/11/2017 13:46, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

IME it makes the grain swell and gives a significantly inferior finish when compared to a proper oil based varnish which soaks deeper into the wood making it slightly translucent and alive with tiger eye effect.
Same is true of the water based garden furniture finishes which peel off after a season spent in the sunshine. I found by accident that Sikkens make a fairly impressive oil based wood stain that looks like it bonds into the wood and stays there instead of flaking off. Time will tell.
It is available at Dulux decorator centres. So far so good...
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On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 2:12:45 PM UTC, Martin Brown wrote:

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Epifanes yachy varnish is the best I know for exterior work. when applied c orrectkl a light touch up yearly gives a finish that will last 5-7 year but you have to follow their recomended procedure which is tedious. I've switc hed to OSMO which goes on easier but requires renewing once a year minimum for outdoor projects.
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Its crap. I remember when my neighbour got some overspray on their door from a wall coating and although it came off the door was never the same afterwards as the new varnish went flaky after about a year. Maybe there is more science to this. Brian
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On Tuesday, 7 November 2017 13:12:14 UTC, Dan S. MacAbre wrote:

It's this eco-friendly whatnot. We just can't get anything properly smelly and volatile any more.
Kids spend a fortune on designer drugs now whereas when I were a lad a Saturday afternoon's varnishing left you with a smile on your face until Monday.
Owain
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On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 1:12:14 PM UTC, Dan S. MacAbre wrote:

Water based stain is the spawn of the devil It dries too quick for its flow characteristics
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