A few years ago we bought some wooden outdoor furniture -- from the store that supplies the pictographs of the least creative way to assemble the parts. Even though they've been stored in the garage for the winters, the finish isn't holding up.
If I recall, they are made of acacia wood. I ended up giving everything a light sanding and gave them a coat of a dark gel stain to even out the colour variations.
Once that dries, I want to apply some sort of finish to provide some protection from the elements. Am I better off applying something like a spar varnish, thompson's waterseal, or something else? I'm sure there are a variety of opinions on the matter -- so let them fly!
If it matters, the furniture is the table and chairs we use on our deck.