Well, first off, all stains SEAL wood! Personally, the best stain company I have come across is SANSIN. www.sansin.com
. I would apply Sansin's DEC stain (an emulsified oil, which means you can clean up with water. It does have oils but it's newer technology that actually works better than high voc oil stains) Apply two coats, at least a few hours apart. That's it, no clear finish afterwards, like I said, this product will seal the wood. And instead of doing it every year, you'll be doing it every two to three years. These guys are beating Sikkens everywhere, and Sikkens are a well known stain company. It's a little more than the lower end products, but you pay for what yo uget, and in the end, you'll save in the long run.