To complete the look of a rustic home, interior stain is likely part of the interior. We generally recommend the use of Conditioners to treat the wood prior to staining. Most conditioners provide a surface that will uniformly accept stain. For years lacquer finishes dominated the interior wood finishes. But just within the last three years, Waterborne Lacquers became available.
What can I apply to my deck that will last more than two years? Nothing, especially in the Palm Desert Area climate with its intense direct sunlight.
Wood is a very difficult substrate to preserve on a horizontal plane. It just doesn't hold up well to standing moisture (pools and jacuzzis) and intensive UV. The only good news is that it generally doesn't take very long to apply a refreshing coat to bring the deck back to life.
Three secrets from the professionals:
Used 15 gallons of Flood UV 5 on this 10 year old fence. It now looks almost as good as new!