i hear you, but to be honest i kind of like it, different years different wood color stain lol
personally my 1000s layers of hellsman have held good and not to expensive 20 bucks can gives you a lot of wood to cover
Varnish on top of epoxy , the varnish is just for appearance.
Epoxy seals the wood extremely well.
The varnish/linseed/mineral spirits mix in the thread I linked from another site uses mineral spirits and linseed oil to get varnish to soak deep into the wood. If the grain is filled with hardened varnish it can't absorb water.
No water... no rot.