Varnish or Oil for Wooden Door Cladding

My rear sliding door has an aluminum frame, which is faced off with wood slats which i think are cedar wood.
Over very many years i've tried various modern varnishes like Ronseal etc, but it always peels off in a very awkward way. That is it sticks very hard in some places, making it a real pain to rub down or get rid of; and just peels off in other places.
Many years ago I'm seem to remember varnish just somehow gracefully 'faded' and you just gave a quick smooth down and could re-apply new varnish.
Is there any varnish that you would recommend that is better behaved in that it doesn't peel off in patches, or might it be a good idea to just rub some oil of some kind into the wood?
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Dave West wrote:

Danish oil forms less of a skin and so less peeling problems but you will have to endure the pain of rubbing down one more time before putting it on.
Normally cedar is left in its natural state to go silver grey and does not need protection from the elements.
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On 23/02/2013 09:50, Bob Minchin wrote:

Anything other than cedar will probably by now have become porous in patches. Wood hardener is the way to go IMO but you need bare wood for that, so a lot of work
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On Saturday, February 23, 2013 9:50:06 AM UTC, Bob Minchin wrote:

'Danish Oil' is a generic term. Each manufacturer produces a different formulation under that name and they can be very different products.
We have a hardwood table and chairs we keep on the patio during the summer. Its put away every winter. I finish it once a year with Osmo
http://www.osmouk.com/
Its quite thin and goes on very easy.
5-6 years ago I finished a garden seat with Epifanes http://www.epifanes.com/
following their recommendation of 7 coats. It gets a touch up on the odd spot every year but apart from that has survived remarkably well. Lot of trouble but well worth it IMHO
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On Saturday 23 February 2013 09:43 Dave West wrote in uk.d-i-y:

You are probably thinking of a microporous stain/protector, like Sadolin Classic. It soaks in rather than skinning over the top. Works OK on bare cedar - I just used some on my gutterboard - more for the colour than the protection, as western red cedar is pretty tough unprotected.
You'll have to sand it down, possibly using paint stripper first to get rid of the old varnish.

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Cedar cannot be finished after it has weathered (anything more than about 2 weeks in the open). What you have to do is sand it back to unweathered wood, and then finish it with whatever finish you desire - it should accept just about anything.
Summary: the problem is the state of the wood, not the quality of the varnish.
Alex
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On Sunday 24 February 2013 23:33 Alexander Lamaison wrote in uk.d-i-y:

My gutterboards have been kicking around about 8 weeks prior to finishing.
They appear to have taken Sadolin Classic just fine.
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Perhaps the gutters were sheltering them from the sun. Had they started turning grey yet? When they do that, they get very 'shiny' and nothing sticks properly.
Alex
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On Monday 25 February 2013 10:21 Alexander Lamaison wrote in uk.d-i-y:

"sun"... Ah, that mystereous glowing orb... I see - we haven't had any.

No - not as beige as when completely new, but not far off...
Does this affect woodstains though - that mostly soak in?

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I can't say from experience, but from the cedar trade body literature (can't find a link right now) it affects everything. I believe the problem is that cedar has a very low permeability (that's what makes it so suitable for cladding etc) and weathered cedar is even more impervious. The wood stain doesn't manage to soak in.
Alex
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On Monday 25 February 2013 13:06 Alexander Lamaison wrote in uk.d-i-y:

It certainly was not very porous when I applied the Sadolin. I only did one coat on the one day after 2 dry days when the temperature actually made +6C (Sadolin recommends +8C, close enough).
I do not think another coat would soak in at all. However, it's done the job of colouring it - which is the main objective. I didn't want grey weathered cedar next to rosewood stained softwood soffits - that would look tatty.
Possibly the UV blocking of the Sadolin will slow down weathering too?
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