Not all woods absorb stain the same

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Q: First-time homeowner and first-time stainer here! I had a small porch made out of untreated wood built last summer that I would now like to stain. I like the redwood look I see throughout the neighborhood, what I think of as the most common color of stain around! I purchased two sample packets of stain, both by Olympic. One was a toner and one was a semi-transparent version of the same redwood color. I applied them both to a piece of wood leftover from my porch and they both went on like a watercolor paint -- very thin, very clear and not deep colors at all. I feel it colored it maybe only a shade darker than what the natural wood is. I do realize this wood is not the optimal wood to build with, but it has got to be stainable! (Please tell me it is!) Do you have any suggestions as far as getting a deep red/brown coloring to soak in the wood and give it the rich look? Is there something I'm doing wrong? Is there a better stain for this type of wood, or do I just start ...