A high solids pigmented finish made from heavy and light bodied oils specially formulated for application on unpainted hardwoods. Heavy bodied oils provide water repellency. Extra pigments provide enhanced color retention on hardwoods. Light bodied oils combined with solvent penetrate into the wood. Armstrong’s Semi-Transparent Hardwood Finishes repel water, retain color longer and reduce the frequency of re-coats on maintenance intensive hardwoods.
Important Note: Testing for Exotic Hardwood Deck Stains
Exotic hardwoods such as IPE are extremely dense and difficult to penetrate. These wood types when stained, will always fade faster the other woods such as Cedar, Redwood, and Pine. Testing will be changed to 1 year instead of 2 years for exotic hardwoods.
Armstrong Clark Hardwood Stain Scores (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 9
– The Armstrong Clark in the Mahogany color had a very rich look on our IPE test deck. We applied one coat at the Mahogany color enhanced the natural colors of the IPE with a reddish brown color. The stain did not film on the surface but absorbed into the wood.
Preventing UV Graying at 1 Year Mark: 8
– We found the the Armstrong Clark in Mahogany outperformed all other Hardwood deck stains when it comes to color retention on Ipe. Many of the stains we tested had lost the color within 8 months while the Armstrong still had a decent amount of color. See picture below for a sample board that we tested.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9
– Armstrong Clark Hardwood stain did not peel on our test deck. A small amount of wearing was noticeable around the door. Armstrong penetrates very well into IPE wood.
Cost Per Square Foot: 8
– Armstrong Clark retails for $43.99 per gallon for the hardwood colors. We used 1 gallon of stain for our 300 sq. foot IPE test deck. This is very reasonable for a quality stain.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 8
– We had a small amount of black mold growing on the stain after 13 months. Very minor but worth noting.
Ease of Application: 9
– We are fans of the AC stain when it comes to application. Absorbs deeply, spreads far, and dries evenly. Less excess stain to back wipe then other hardwood deck coatings that we have tested.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9
– As you can see from the picture above, the Armstrong in the Mahogany fades in color and does not darken or turn black.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 8
– The AC would need to be cleaned with a deck cleaner to remove the small amount of mold and any dirt or grime. Once this was done a light coating of stain would need to be reapplied to restore the color and prolong the graying better.
Overall Score Armstrong Clark Hardwood Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.5
– Thus far we have yet to test or see a hardwood deck stain perform better than the Armstrong Clark on IPE when it comes to fading. We have also used the Amber color that they offer. It does fade a little faster than the Mahogany but still has excellent overall color retention.
Easy to Apply, Excellent color retention, No issues with reapplication on an annual basis.
More Info: ArmstrongClarkStain.com
Cost: $43.99 per Gallon, $224.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Oil-Based Stains for Exotic Woods
Available Colors: Hardwood Amber, Hardwood Mahogany
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1 Coat
Coverage Per Gallon: 200-300 sq. ft on exotic hardwoods
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 4-12 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in All 50 States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Armstrong Clark
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: IPE
Deck Square Footage: 300
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 1 Years
Stain Color Used: Mahogany
*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.