It's like night and day! I let the wood dry and then sprayed it with Thompson's water seal.
The wood was in such bad shape that I had to spray two coats on it. The wood just soaked it all up on the first coat. I let it dry for a few days and then we started priming and painting the railing. My dad was happier then a pig in slop because he was able to play with his new toy the Wagner Power Painter.... Here are the results.
The final results.