Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Review

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain is an oil-based stain backed by  5 generations of experience in the exterior wood stain industry. Armstrong Clark is offered in 3 different versions: Trans parents, Semi-Transparent, and Semi-Solid Colors.

Armstrong Clark Wood Stains are composed of drying and non-drying oils that separate during the application process. The drying oils cure and protect the exposed surface of the wood from natural weathering and UV radiation while the non-drying oils condition the interior of the wood by lubricating the wood cellular structure.

Armstrong Clark Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8

- The Armstrong Clark showed a rich deep enhanced color after application. The natural grain of the wood showed throughout the deck surface. The Mountain Cedar color was a “tannish” cedar color.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

- The Armstrong Clark Wood Stain in the Mountain Cedar offered better then average UV protection. When using a semi-solid stain we expected to achieve excellent UV protection and the Mountain Cedar delivered. We would expect that the semi-transparent and transparent colors to offer slightly less UV protection due to the lesser amount of solids.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

- Armstrong Clark Wood Stain had little to no peeling. The only wearing of the stain was on the steps. This most likely was the result of the homeowner’s dogs.

Armstrong Clark Mountain Cedar

Armstrong Clark Mountain Cedar

Cost Per Square Foot: 9

- Armstrong Clark sells for $41.99 per gallon for the semi-solids ($36.99 for semi-transparents). This is an average price for a quality deck stain. We found that Armstrong Clark has one of the best square foot coverages. For our 600 square foot test deck, we used only 2.5 gallons of stain for the required one coat. Final appearance was even with no noticeable bare spots.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 7

- The Armstrong stain did have some very minor mold spores on top of the stain. On further inspection is seemed that the mold was not growing in the stain and could easily be wiped off with a wet towel.

Ease of Application: 9

- Extremely easy to apply! Armstrong’s manufacturer states that their stain can be applied in direct sunlight. We tested our application at 90 degrees in full sun. We did not experience any flash drying or unevenness of the stain. No noticeable drips on the vertical railings. We were pleasantly surprised at how well the semi-solid applied with a garden pump sprayer.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8

- The Armstrong Clark Wood Stain in the Mountain Cedar darkened slightly in color from the original application. Most likely due to the high solid

content of the semi-solid stain.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

- Armstrong Clark Wood Stain would be an easy product to re coat after a light cleaning. The stain does not darken and penetrates extremely well. Key factors when it comes to reapplications.

Overall Score Armstrong Clark Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.2

- Armstrong Clark performed at a high level after the two year mark. Our favorite aspects of the stain were the ease of application and the coverage rate. There was very little to no peeling of the stain and color shifting was acceptable. We would expect that applying a maintenance coat would be easy with a wood cleaning and wood brightening.

Product Information:

More Info:
Cost: $36.99 per Gallon, $184.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid – Oil-Based
Available Colors: Transparent Natural, Transparent Cedar, Transparent Redwood, Semi-Trans Cedar, Semi-Trans Rustic Brown, Semi-Trans Sierra Redwood, Semi-Trans Amber, Semi-Trans Mahogany, Semi-Solid Mountain Cedar, Semi-Solid Woodland Brown, Semi-Solid Oxford Brown, Semi-Solid Sequoia
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1 Coat
Coverage Per Gallon: 200-250 sq. ft
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:

Location of Deck: North Carolina
When Tested: April 2010
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 600
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Mountain Cedar

*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.

257 Responses to “Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Review”

  1. Scott says:

    I've just installed a new poolside cedar deck in Ontario. From the comments on this site I'm sold on AC. But should I go with the Transparent Cedar or the Semi-transparent Cedar? Any comments on the pros and cons of each? Thanks much.

    • Semi-trans will hold color longer than transparents.

      • Scott says:

        Thanks DeckStainHelp! Another thought I had is to leave the cedar uncoated and simply clean/brighten it every spring — or even more often. Will that keep it at its natural light-reddish color, or will it turn grey anyway? Are there major downsides to doing it this way, other than maybe less-rich color?

  2. Tim709 says:

    Built a new red cedar deck aprox. 2 months ago. I have learnt the importance of cleaning and wood brightening a deck before staining it thanks to this website. We will be buying the Defy cleaner and wood brightener for the prep work.
    We have decided on a semi transparent stain because we love the look of the wood grains but would also like to avoid the re application every year. We live in Southern Ontario with a southern exposed deck.
    Looking for your help with a deck colour, my wife and I like the rustic brown color but do not want an orange or yellow look. Are we making a mistake buy choosing this color? Any other suggestions? Would Defy be a better choice for our location?

  3. Gord says:

    We are getting warm sunny weather, followed by some rain every couple days. How long must the AC semi transparent, cure before it can withstand some rain. I guess I am asking if I apply early in the morning and we get some evening rain will it be OK? Can't seem to find this on the AC website.

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