I am working on a home that had condensate drip down on interior of woods sill and mutins. The wood is not rotted but needs work to protect. I began by sanding to smooth surface. I was wondering what would be the best stain and or sealer or all in one product to use? The surface was stained prior but has not had any attention in many years. I am an amateur. Have painted wood, but never worked with stain or sealer. Thank you in advance for your answer.
The question of whether to stain or not is largely an aesthetic issue. Admittedly, it does offer some UV protection, but if that is not important to you, go with a sealer. Choose an all-in-one stain and sealer if you want to tint the wood slightly.
If cost is an issue, go for a water-based polyurethane in a matte or satin finish, it drys quickly with less smell. Oil-based polyurethane is cheaper but adds a slight amber tint to the underlying wood and takes longer to dry. You can also get polyurethanes with stains added if you wish: Varathane 200261H or Varathane 225243H.
I’ve also become a bit of a fan of the SealOnce range, as it gives you the choice of just a clear sealer or a stain and sealer. They offer about nine stain colors from memory. Check out their products on Amazon.
You can’t go wrong with either choice.