This post was updated on January 18, 2023
Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Wood Stain Review
Here at DeckStainHelp.com, we take pride in the fact that we have become the Internet’s number one reference for all things exterior wood and deck restoration related. Today we are reviewing the Armstrong Clark in the Semi-Solid Colors. We have found that the higher the solid content, the longer the UV protection when using the Armstrong Clark Stains.
Newer for Armstrong Clark is the Espresso Semi-Solid color, a rich deep brown tone that promises excellent UV resistance.
Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Stains are a highly regarded oil-based stain formulated with 5 generations of stain industry experience. Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Stains are available in 5 colors: Mountain Cedar, Woodland Brown, Oxford Brown, Sequoia, and Espresso.
Armstrong Clark Deck Stains are uniquely blended with drying and non-drying oils that isolate from each other during application. The non-drying oils penetrate the wood fibers and help rejuvenate and condition lost natural oils while the drying oils cure on the surface to lock in the conditioning oils and form a barrier of weather protection at the surface.
Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Stain Review
Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Stain Scores (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 9
– The initial appearance of Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Mountain Cedar was a rich deep finish with naturally enhanced wood grain showing through the semi-solid cedar tone. See the picture to the right.
Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Photos
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8
– Upon our 2-year inspection, Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Wood Deck Stain produced above-average UV resistance. Using the Semi-Solid Mountain Cedar color, we projected better-than-average UV shielding, and it did not disappoint. The Armstrong semi-solid colors have shown to have better UV protection than their transparent and semi-transparent colors.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9
– No peeling was detected at the 2-year point. There was a slight wearing on the high-traffic areas, around the furniture, and on the stairs.
Cost Per Square Foot: 9
– Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Deck Stain can be purchased for about $45.99 per gallon. In our test experience, Armstrong Clark Semi-Solids had one of the best spread rates of any stain. We used a total of 4 gallons on our 800 square foot deck and applied in one coat.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 8
– At 2 years we noticed some slight mold growth on top of the Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid stain in some shaded areas. We did not detect any mildew spores within the stain as the mildew spores could be wiped away using a wet towel.
Ease of Application: 9
– The Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Deck Stain was easy to apply. The stain did not dry too quickly and applied even in those conditions, avoiding potential issues with Applying a Deck Stain in Full Sun. We used stain pads and brushes to apply to the deck. Took about 2-3 hours to apply with a team of 2 workers. One Note, it did take the Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid a few days to fully cure.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8.5
– Our 2-year test of Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Mountain Cedar color did show signs of slight darkening from its original color. We figured this was likely due to a higher solid content of the formula. The AC is over 70% solids, containing both linseed and paraffin oils.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 8.5
– Because Armstrong Clark Wood Deck Stains penetrate well and did not overly darken, it would be easy to re-coat. A simple cleaning with a wood deck cleaner to remove dirt, grime, and mold spores would be plenty sufficient prior to reapplying.
Overall Score Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Stain at 2-Year Period: 8.5
– Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Mountain Cedar held up well at our 2-year test mark. Easy to apply and terrific coverage rates, raise Armstrong Clark to a high level. No peeling and only a slight darkening color shift were more than acceptable. Easy to maintain and prep prior to re-coating. Armstrong Clark is definitely one of our top choices for a professional durable finish that lasts and is easy to work with in the future.
ArmstrongClarkStain.com: Armstrong Clark Semi-Solid Stains
Cost: $47.99 per Gallon, $249.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Solid – Oil-Based
Available Colors: Semi-Solid Mountain Cedar, Semi-Solid Woodland Brown, Semi-Solid Oxford Brown, Semi-Solid Sequoia, Semi-Solid Espresso
Application Temperature: 50-110 F
Coats Required: 1 Coat
Coverage Per Gallon: 200-250 sq. ft
Application Tools: Airless Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 8-72 Hours, Depending on UV exposure and air temps
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: Under 50 VOCs. Compliant in all 50 States and Los Angeles Counties.
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Armstrong Clark
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 800
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: Semi-Solid Mountain Cedar
*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.
Semi-Solid Deck Stain Review Video – DeckStainHelp.com
Deck Stain Help & Questions
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
hi – do you have photo’s of all of the semi solid stain colors in the Armstrong Clark brand. also i removed nearly all of the existing paint – probably 7 coats applied over probably 40 years. The wood did get a bit beat up in the process – I plan on sanding the deck to reduce the damaged spots. originally I was going to use semitrans but since I cannot remove 100% of the paint regardless of pressure washing and sanding I figure semi solid would be the way to go and i definitely dont want to deal with peeling paint again. any further tips on surface prep for an old deck?
See this link for photos: https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/armstrong-clark-photo-album
You cannot apply the AC stains unless all of the prior paint is removed. Does not matter if semi-solid, it will not work. If you cannot get it all off, you will need a solid stain and AC does not make one.