Seattle got two sunny days in a row, and we jumped at the opportunity to stain the the railings around our deck and stairs. (Our insurance company was sort of insistent that we build railings when we bought the house.) As I don’t want to use any product that has a risk of spontaneously combusting — for both environmental and personal reasons! — we decided to give water-based Penofin Aquafin a try. We were not disappointed! The stuff is kind of amazing: It barely smells at all, gives off almost no VOCs, covers great, washed out of the brushes in seconds, and dries in three hours (though you’re not supposed to walk on it for 24). You can even use it on wood that’s damp! Best of all, today it rained, and the water is beading up quite nicely. The only slight difficulty was finding it; we ended up calling around and getting it from a local lumber yard. So do your reseplace before heading out to get some of your own. –Mary T.