Almost 9 months ago I posted a finishing test that I'd done comparing General Finishes new Enduro-Var waterborne urethane and their oil-based Arm-R-Seal urethane. According to the formulator at General Finishes that I spoke to, these products both use the same resin, but one is suspended in oil and the other in water. As you know, the color of Cherry continues to darken and intensify as it ages. I also noticed that the Enduro-Var finish that had been left in the rim of the can had turned a deep amber-brown over time.
A couple of weeks ago I read some info about General Finishes new Enduro-Var Urethane Varnish. From the GF website: Enduro-Var is a self crosslinking polyurethane that looks more like an oil varnish than a water coating. It ambers slightly, is our most durable coating, is highly water resistance, and is both sprayable and brushable. It is our top of the line coating and should be used when you need the very best. Suitable for floors, cabinets and millwork.
I had to give it a shot and compare it with their old standby Arm-R-Seal which is an oil based varnish.
The left side of this board was handplaned smooth and the lightly scraped, the right side was sanded through 320 grit. You can see that the finish is more easily absorbed by the handplaned side. More absorbtion=more protection.