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: ArmstrongClarkStain.com
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.

271 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?

    • charles says:

      scott, did you find a place to buy this in Ontario?

    • aventures says:

      Hi Scott, We just bought a cedar gazebo and are looking to buy the Armstrong Clark Wood semi-transparent stain but it seems that you cannot buy in Canada. Were you able to find a way to buy it in Canada or elsewhere? Thanks for sharing.

  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.

  4. Rob says:

    Thought I would share my experience with Armstrong Clark Stain. We have a 20 year old house and one of our projects was to convert our cottage style front porch, complete with white picket railing, into a more modern looking front deck entry. Consequently, a mix of old wood and new construction along with very extreme temp ranges over 100 degrees to below zero with snow and ice. The products we had used previously were acrylic based and failed miserably.
    I called the 800 number on the Armstrong Clark website and the phone was answered immediately by Jake Clark, president of the company! We spent a good 10 minutes talking about my project and my home's location, which he was familiar with having visited our nearby resort. He finally said, " you know, I'm going to send you a box of samples so you can check out both the semi-transparent and the semi-solid along with some colors." And, true to his word, within a couple of days I got this box of samples in the mail. Just in testing colors I knew we would be thrilled with the product. I called back after my wife and I agreed on the best look and ordered a couple of gallons of semi-solid in Oxford Brown. Again, process and service over the phone was super easy and personal. The stain shipped out that very day and we had it 2 days later. I had been concerned about how messy a mail order of stain might turn out to be, but it was packed perfectly, arrived in great shape, super fast and at what I consider a good price. The stain went on very easily. I am really impressed with how much pigment is in the semi-solid. It really tied in the look of the old wood and new construction making a uniform appearance with a really rich look. The oils penetrated the wood and I look forward to seeing how much better this is going to last over the coming winter. In short, great company, great product, super service. I just could not be more pleased and have recommended them to friends and family.

  5. Bob says:

    Once opened and half used, how long can 5 gallon bucket be good for? Can I use it 2-3 years from the opening?

  6. Jeff Schroeder says:

    Just finishing up new redwood deck with doug fir posts/beams. I want to use the AC semi-transparent or transparent stain, and you indicated we should let the deck dry for 2-3 months with that product. That will be rainy season and winter up here in the mountains. (It is hot and dry now – no rain). Would it be ok to use the AC stain after a month of drying to beat the rains, or should I let the deck weather thru the winter? A contractor told me it would damage the wood to let it go thru the winter w/o stain. Appreciate your thoughts on it. Thanks for a great website!
    Jeff

  7. Joe says:

    We. Live in central Michigan and have 2, 7 year old ceder decks that have never had anything on them. I power washed it last week and it looks good. Do we have to use a brightner? The decks are stacked and on the west side of the house so we have both lots of sun and partial shade. What stain would you recommend?

  8. Byn says:

    We just had a cedar privacy fence installed and are considering whether to stain or let it weather naturally. I like the look of stain but am uncertain about committing to the upkeep and maintenance required if we stain… Comments/ suggestions welcome. I personally am leaning towards staining as this fence was an investment and I'd like to increase its longevity. I need some guidance regarding when to apply stain, what application method to use( brush, sprayer, etc), and whether transparent, semi-transparent, or solid provide the best protection- especially from long, harsh winters and high winds. We live in Sioux Falls, SD and our fence receives full sun and partial shade. I do like the look of wood grain showing through as much as possible, but would probably opt for the best protection over aesthetic if it came down to it. Finally, a main consideration is when to apply the stain. The fence was installed in mid August- does the fence need to 'sit' a while before being stained, and if so, for how long? The winter here starts early ( I hope we make it to November with no snow), and temps could definitely be freezing by then. I want to compromise the stain by applying in suboptimal conditions, by applying too soon, or waiting too long. We can wait until next Spring to stain, but I'd be concerned about exposing the untreated fence to a long Sioux Falls winter. Or is this not a concern? Also, how long do I need to wait to apply stain after a rain? I appreciate your help- this is a great site.

    • Staining a fence is good for the wood and fence stains will last 4-6 years with a good quality product. Most fence wood is rough sawn and that means it can be stained right away. If so go ahead and stain now with the TWP 1500 Series for this.

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