Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Review 4.5/5 (20)

This post was updated on January 19, 2022

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Update 2022

The Armstrong Clark Wood stain has been a solid performer since we started reviewing and using it about 12 years ago. We really like how it penetrates deep into the wood grain and applies easily. Reapplication is simple as needed with a good deck cleaner for the prep. One thing we have noticed is to make sure you do not over apply. You want the AC to soak completely into the wood for the best results.

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Review Below


Armstrong Clark Wood Stain ReviewArmstrong 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 Review

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.

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Photos

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

– The Armstrong Clark Wood Stain in the Mountain Cedar offered better than 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

Cost Per Square Foot: 9

– Armstrong Clark sells for $41.99 per gallon for the semi-solids ($36.99 for semi-transparent). 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. The 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, it 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.

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 recoat 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: $51.99 per Gallon, $259.99 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:

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 into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

Armstrong Clark Wood Deck Stain Review Video


Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

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Adam
Adam
2 years ago

This is Natural Oak Stain. Looks amazing and was really easy to apply after cleaner/brightener!

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Tracy
Tracy
2 days ago

Hi there! I have a yellow cedar deck and every semi transparent stain I have ever chosen always ends up looking bright orange in the sunlight (but fine in the shade). I have always used Sikkens (now Sico Proluxe). I am looking for a simple light or medium brown stain but don’t know how to avoid this orange undertone. Once again I have my deck cleaned, stripped of old stain, sanded and ready to go….and I don’t want to make the same mistake yet again! I am in British Columbia. Thanks in advance!

Tim
Tim
2 months ago

I have an idea but I don’t want to do anything wrong.. We bought our house 3 years ago and our deck is in ruff shape. Where do I start? Clean and brighten or stripping. Pressure wash, sand then stain? Thank you

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Chris
Chris
3 months ago

I applied AC semi trans Natural oak on my cedar deck in July 2021. I am seeing quite a bit of wear/tear at our entrance already in February 2022 (6 months). Is there anything I can do to prevent this in the future? Or is this the reality of a semi trans stain on a softwood cedar deck?

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Chris
Chris
3 months ago

Ok — thanks. Hoped it would hold up a little better but entrance and snow in VT is our reality!

If I have to RAD clean and stain this one horizontal area once every Spring, what is best method? (Circled in photo). Meticulously garden pump spray of RAD clean so as not to hit other areas? When I have done in the past RAD clean always seems to remove most of the stain as well as clean — try less of a concentration? Less scrubbing?

Thanks.

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Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Thank you so much. Just 4 follow-up questions:

1) To clarify, RAD bag says “mix 2/3 to 1 cup powdered cleaner per gallon of water.” I would assume 1/2 strength of their lower end suggestion might be wise, correct? Therefore, 1/3 cup per gallon?

2) I am also thinking applying the solution from a bucket to the wet deck using soft brush will avoid pump sprayer overspray onto other areas like my vertical railings. Would that be your suggestion?

3) I assume I will have to clean the outer deck rim joist (even though it doesn’t need new stain) first so I don’t get cleaning drip marks running down from the horizontal deck surface. Or will the lower concentration of cleaner make that a non-issue?

4) if I also want to do a light clean of the rest of the deck in the spring would you recommend a product like “wet n’ forget?” Something else?

Thanks again. -Chris

Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Great. Thank you. As always, super helpful.

Chris
Chris
25 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I used a “boat brush” — maybe little stiffer than car wash brush? It still looked like I was removing a bit of stain at the reduced concentration of RAD cleaner. Does this look okay for sting and then staining with a cot or two?

First pictures are of how much stain was coming off and final pictures were after a little scrubbing and then rinsing.

Thank you.

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Chris
Chris
25 days ago

Will take a picture when it is dry — stain seemed to loosen up inconsistently even though I applied and scrubbed evenly with 1/2 concentration — hope that is okay. I’m always confused why the stain gets removed at all with just a cleaning.

Chris
Chris
24 days ago

Here is the dry deck after RAD clean and brighten — stain a little unevenly removed but sounds like that might be okay?

When you previously said stain removal is normal with cleaning I wasn’t sure if that was also referring to it being removed inconsistently also being normal. Is it?

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Chris
Chris
24 days ago

This AC semi trans natural oak stain has only been on deck for half a year — we are redoing because it wore off so significantly near our door where we walk (and have to shovel during VT winters). As shown in pics at start of thread.

Would an AC semi solid like Oxford Brown be any more durable (than the AC semi trans natural oak)? Does the soft nature of cedar factor in?

Recoating yearly is a tough pill to swallow when it involves all the prep and work. Not to mention not using that door for the few days it take me to time prep, staining, and weather window shenanigans.

I so appreciate all your insight. Even the one liners 🙂

Chris
Chris
24 days ago

Honestly our walking is what does the majority. I shovel just as much in other areas and they haven’t worn at all.

Guess we need trex or something synthetic for our entry if we don’t want to stain every season.

Chris
Chris
25 days ago

Thanks again — doing this today.

I am planning to skip the brightening as I am just doing a maintenance coat in this one area pictured above. It sounded like that is okay and I’ll just rinse well after a gentle scrub of the restore a deck cleaner.

and hopefully stain in a few days if the weather cooperates!

Chris
Chris
25 days ago

I thought for maintenance coat one could just clean and stain — that is what I was told before.

Well, deck has stayed wet with light rain solid that is helpful. If you are saying it must be brightened, hopefully a couple hours later is okay?

Roxi Mateik
Roxi Mateik
8 months ago

We have a full log white cedar house that is about 30 yrs old. We have been using TWP on it for about 7 yrs now. For the most part it has worked great. We get 3 yrs on the deck (full sun in Michigan) and 4 to 5 yrs on the walls. The west wall get the most weather and full sun so that needs it every 4 yrs. Do you thnk AC would do better?

Cheryl ann monahan
Cheryl ann monahan
9 months ago

hi, have older deck that i tteated with cabot gold oil 3 years ago. i powerwashed it last year using a cleaner and in places a stripper as the person i hired had npot removed the previous dark stain.

it went thr this past year with nothing but i noticed a lot of mildew and black spots.
i then used paramonts deck cleaner but having read the lack of waterproofing decided to use cabot again so cleaned with theirs. I also stripped a few previously stained areas that had been missed.
Now I see mildew in the grain and sanding with a palm sander has not removed it. Its hard to know what to do at this poin t, but I thought to ask you before I try anything else.
I live in Iowa . Half my deck is full sun , the rest has some shading from the house.
I am exhausted from doing all this and still have unsighyly green and black mold stains…help!!

Michelle
Michelle
11 months ago

I just had my deck re-built. All except a couple of posts were replaced. The old posts have a solid stain. I would like to stain the rest of the deck. How long do I need to wait and what is the best way to treat the wood so that the stain lasts and what is the best stain to use?

Nina
Nina
1 year ago

We bought a house that has a nice front porch. The deck, railings, and spindles are pressure treated wood, unsealed and probably 10-15 years old. All the materials are in good shape, give or take a couple of areas that are easily replaced. Can we stain this older untreated PT wood?

michael fields
michael fields
1 year ago

hi, I built a IPE Deck last summer. I would like to seal it with clear sealer. 250 sq ft. please recommend a product.

G. Anderson
G. Anderson
1 year ago

My 5 yr.-old mahogany deck has had 2 applications of Arborcoat water-based semi-transparent stain applied (2 1/2 yrs. since the last application) and it’s now flaking is spots and needs to be re-stained. I am thinking of switching to use Armstrong’s Amber semi-transparent oil-based Hardwood deck stain, and ask what deck preparation is needed to apply the new semi-transparent oil-based stain over the old semi-transparent water-based stain? Is power-washing recommended, plus orbital sanding? Is any other solvent needed? I want to make sure the deck is “prepped” correctly for best results. Also, should I expect that I will have to re-stain every 2 years, or will your oil stain last longer than the water-based stain I was using? Thanks for any info.

G. Anderson
G. Anderson
1 year ago

Here’s the deck at present.

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G. Anderson
G. Anderson
1 year ago
Reply to  G. Anderson

here’s the deck in current condition…

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Kathleen Davis
Kathleen Davis
1 year ago

This is the best stain product by far. We’ve used it on both our current and prior home. Each with two levels of decking over 1200 sf. We made sure the wood was correctly prepared, clean and dry. It’s important to thoroughly mix the stain before starting the day for even coating. We were very impressed with the quality of the product, from the application to the durability and look years after. Both our decks face south east. We live in Michigan.

Larry
Larry
1 year ago

Hello. I am new to deck repairs. We purchased a house 3-years ago but have not done any maintenance to it. We are finding some rotted deck boards that I’m replacing now. The deck is 8 ft. above ground, 16 ft. X 20 ft. made of PT pine. All deck boards are grey and splitting. I have done some research on oils, restoring, and sealing product. I’m sold on Armstrong Clark Semi-Trans stain because of the non-drying oils to help the wood.

We live in a wooded/wilderness area and try to use natural Products.

1. What type of cleaners can I safely use?

2. What do cleaners do to the wood?

3. I’ve never used stain, do I apply it like paint to cover all cracks and hide all view of wood?

4. My deck is old and very dry, how will I know if my deck needs to drink up a second coat and when should it be applied?

5. Since your stain has drying oils that stay on top of wood and non-drying oils that soak down into the wood, how can non-drying oils get through that top non-drying oils when I re-coat?

6. Can I stain posts and get the oils to soak in?

Thank you for your help.

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diggis
diggis
2 years ago

Hi, I just moved into a new house about 2 months back and the deck (screened in porch) was installed around dec/jan time frame. It’s pine wood. I am wondering if AC transparent stain will be a wise option since we dont want to add color to the deck and like the natural color or lighter tone. The deck is covered so wondering if transparent will hold up well for some years. Other option seems like semi- transparent natural oak but it your pictures it looks very dark.

diggis
diggis
2 years ago

so transparent?

diggis
diggis
2 years ago

and any suggestions on water based stain

diggis
diggis
2 years ago
Reply to  diggis

also any recommendations for just a sealer for pine?

Peter
Peter
2 years ago

They rate Armstrong Clark and Twp 1500 top rated stains and I know you speak highly of both , but if you were doing your deck and had to use one and only one which one would it be?

Peter
Peter
2 years ago

They rate Armstrong Clark and Twp 1500 best stains and I know you speak highly of them both , but if you were doing your deck and had to use one and only one which one would you use??

anthony fisher
anthony fisher
2 years ago

Can a second coat of the Armstrong Semi solid stain be applied? First coat on a 18 year old deck was absorbed and some areas appear lighter than others. Deck was stripped down to bare wood before applying.

David
David
2 years ago

What is your best oil stain for a mahogany deck? I used Australia timber oil natural, and it turned my brand new deck brown. It looks horrible. Thanks David

Dennis Mohney
Dennis Mohney
2 years ago

Is a waterproof sealer required following the stain? Who sells this Armstrong Clark product?

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

I have a built a new western red cedar dock (to be installed over freshwater) and I am not sure if it is better to go with a “transparent” Armstrong Clark stain or a “semi-transparent” variant. The deck gets a decent amount of sun exposure, so I would prefer a good amount of UV protection, but without changing the natural red cedar color of the wood too much. Thoughts? Many thanks.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

Thanks so much for the help.

John l
John l
2 years ago

I am in the northeast with hard winters. My cedar deck is 20 years old. I have replaced bad dry rotted boards over the years. I haven’t been steady w oil treatment for the cedar. Should I wait till winter is over before pressure washing and staining w Armstrong? I wouldn’t stain till early spring at this time so I guess I should wait on the pressure wash too.

John L
John L
2 years ago

Thank you.

Mike Liebregts
Mike Liebregts
2 years ago

Hello!

I just bought two gallons of AC semi transparent cedar and I’m planning on applying tomorrow. I don’t have a sprayer so I can either roll it or use a brush. What is the recommended method of application?

Thanks! Love the site

Henry
Henry
2 years ago

How will the stain perform on old cedar wood

Danielle
Danielle
2 years ago

Hello. I have a 25+ year old redwood deck, that is in pretty good condition but needed to replace some boards. The installed replacement boards are of pressure treated wood rather than redwood (not my choice, but was what my husband was advised to do.) We have power washed the deck so far and plan to strip and brighten the deck before staining it. I have a couple of questions I am hoping you can advise on:
1. How should we best prep the deck? After reading reviews, we plan to use Restore a Deck drip and brightening.
2. With two different woods now on the deck, what stain do you recommend — semi-solid or solid?
3. Which best rated semi-solid and solid stains stains come with the most color options, particularly in dark gray (which seems to be harder to come by) and dark brown?
4. We found Benjamin Moore Arborcoat grey stains, either in semi-solid or solid, but I am concerned with using it, after seeing the low rating review. What would you keep in mind for this brand’s stains?
5. Do you have any other suggestions we should consider?
Thank you!

Danielle
Danielle
2 years ago

Thank you. Can you explain further why you recommend a solid stain for my situation. You proposed Flood or Defy Solid stains…is that because per my questions they offer more color options? Would you alternatively use Restore a Deck solid if I were to find a color with them? How long do I need to have the new solid weathered before I stain. I’d like one with the least amount of lead time needed, as I need to stain soon. For maintaining the solid stain what can I expect to encounter. Thanks.

Danielle
Danielle
2 years ago

Thank you! For the stripper and brightener, is it best to use the same brand as the stain we choose? Or, just a quality stripper and brightener?

joe
joe
2 years ago

Not a good experience with Armstrong Clark. Cleaned and prepped a new pressure treated pine deck floor (aged 1 year) with Restore-a-Deck product to specifications, including 3 days to dry. Stained with Armstrong Clark Driftwood Grey with quality brushes . Deck is 15′ up with railings and fascia boards stained with Cabot Solid white. Had to do extensive taping and wiping with mineral spirits since stain is very watery and gets all over the fascia boards with this two tone approach. Instructions on AC stain product calls for bleach and dish soap cleaner, which upon further research does not need neutralizer (or brightener on new wood), and yet there is some follow on paragraph about using a neutralizer with unspecified cleaner. These facts can only be obtained by extensive search on Armstrong Clark. Furthermore, there is a buried document which states that acid based cleaners are not recommended for Driftwood Grey, which does not appear in any of their current documentation. Since we didn’t know this, we used the Restore-a-Deck and stained with Driftwood Grey, with the result that there is virtually no color: in the daylight it looks almost like raw boards. Armstrong Clark was ambiguous about what to do. They claimed we could put another coat (wet-on-dry) , or if we waited until next Spring (and generally for maintenance coats) that we did not need to do anything but a light wash with dish soap. This contradicts there own written recommendations in places, and also sites such as this, which don’t recommend wet-on-dry second coats and do recommend always cleaning and neutralizing/brightening before applying stain. There is so much contradictory information about how to clean and with what, whether to neutralize/brighten, whether to use wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry and how long one can wait between coats for the latter, whether additional coats will darken or only protect, and so on. Very unclear what to do now as the deck has no color whatsoever, we are two days past staining, and there is rain.

joe
joe
2 years ago

Thanks for your reply. Still unclear about the following.

1. Suppose I want to apply new coat now. It has rained and is puddling. The stain has increased the puddling from the rain. Do I go out there and try to sweep the water off? There is tree detrius in the puddles which will smear if I do that. And if I wait 2 days after it dries out, it may be 2 weeks or maybe more after the initial stain since there is more rain on the way . Also, if it is dirty, should I wash it again?

2. Suppose I want to apply new coat in Spring. Do I follow Armstrong Clark recommendation of light was with dish soap, or do I use bleach or some other cleaner and brightener? Also, do I need enough stain for 2 coats?

Jennifer S
Jennifer S
2 years ago

Hello – I have an at grade pressure treated fir deck, almost 10 years old. Part of it is under an overhang and the rest is very wet all winter (Pacific Northwest). I used Thompson’s water seal to poor results in the early years. Unhappy with the performance, I wanted to do a switch. I was told since Thompson’s contains a wax, to let the deck weather for a couple of years so it comes out of the wood, then sand (80 grit) and use an oil based better quality product instead. I’ve left it for three summers and I’m sanding it now. I want to use AC semi-transparent in oak. Once I’ve sanded, do I still need to strip and use a cleaner? And how long between sanding / prep and staining does there have to be in order to have good penetration with the AC product? Many thanks for your helpful site!

Jennifer S
Jennifer S
2 years ago

Thank you!!

Sean Duncan
Sean Duncan
2 years ago

Hi,

We are building our deck with a treated cedar frame and railings, while using Trex for the decking. Im leaning towards using the Armstrong’s semi transparent stain for all the treated wood, aswell as using Vycor deck protector tape on top of all the joists. Would this be a combination that you would recommend? Are there any other brands of stains that you would preferably use on new wood? Should I use the tape, and if so, stain before I apply the tape?

Thanks,

Sean

Yev
Yev
2 years ago

Hello,
I have powersanded my PT pine deck to remove the Behr solid stain it had on it and have RAD cleaner & brightener ready to go. I also purchased Armstrong Clark rustic brown deck stain. Unfortunately, the weather report is saying there is ~50% of thunderstorms from 9am until 9pm Wednesday. Thursday is looking to be 84F and mostly sunny.
1. Can I use RAD cleaner & brightener on wet wood after the storms have passed on Wednesday?
2. If yes to #1, would the deck be ready to stain Thursday evening (~6pm) after drying all day (84F & mostly sunny)?
3. If yes to #2, can I put back my deck furniture / grill on Friday afternoon/evening? Will that be enough time for everything to absorb fully?

Eileen
Eileen
2 years ago

I have an old deck that I want to stain and am interested in AC. I pressure washed and then lightly sanded. Am I ready to use the semi solid stain or need to do more prep like the brightener? Thanks very much.

Eileen
Eileen
2 years ago

Thanks. 2 boards are new as I had to replace due to water damage. Should they be treated differently than the old boards?

David
David
2 years ago

Hello,
I have a year old redwood deck that I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper and prepped with Armstrong Clark cleaning then brightening using a power washer. My first attempt at power washing got most but not get all the gray out so I then put more cleaner on and scrubbed with a stiff bristle brush and then brightened again. Oh so beautiful. I’ve now read that 60 or 80 grit sandpaper is preferred for deck prep. I’m staining with Armstrong Clark transparent stain cedar tone. Will the 120 grit sandpaper hurt things or am I good?
Thanks for your help,
David

Ray
Ray
3 years ago

Hi can the ac semi transparent stain in driftwood be tinted to make it a little darker. Thanks

Michael Kirby
Michael Kirby
3 years ago

My B Grade redwood deck is about 12 years old and I would like to sand and stain this spring. Your suggestions would be appreciated.

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Mikki Hopkins
Mikki Hopkins
3 years ago

After you have prepped your deck for stain i.e., (using cleanser and brightner), I know you are supposed to wait at least 2 days to apply stain. My question is how long can your deck go without staining after you have prepped it?

Mike
Mike
3 years ago

Looking at the AC Semi-Solids. These are the only colors I can find that appear to be dark enough and closest Match to my other deck which has Olympic Maximum in a tinted Tobacco Color (dark brown with a hint of red tones).

BUT … I just saw on the AC site (armclark dot com) that for the Semi-Solids it says: NOT for wood less than 1 year old / NOT for sitting surfaces or furniture / NOT for playground equipment. What?

Ok Perhaps I understand “less than a year old” although my deck will be 3-5 months old when i stain it (new wood that I will prep), but what is up with Not for Sitting Surfaces or Furniture? So am I stuck with the Semi-Transparent colors?

Right now I have a sample of the AC ST Rustic Brown which in the pic looks close to where I need to be, but applied it is very transparent and more red than brown. Also, this product seems to go on and just sit on the wood and not soak in. I tested it on 10 year old lightly sanded but not washed deck plank. It pooled on the top and got spots. I am assuming Mill Glaze?

Also tried the RAD Dark Oak sample on the same board. It soaked in much much better upon application, but was basically the same color and the darkest color available from RAD

I also have a sample of TWP Dark Oak 100 series, but not holding out much hope on the color.

Where can I get a Dark Color? I guess the AC Semi-Solids are out for my use (deck with steps and chairs). AC says I can mix colors, but could I mix the Rustic Brown ST with a darker semi s0lid. or perhaps there very dark Black Walnut Transparent … or just use that alone, but it too may be too light?

Here are the samples I have so far. Pic #3, RAD on Left in Dark Walnut (bottom same) / Center AC Semi-Trans Rustic Brown (bottom same not dry) / Far Right Olympic Maximum Semi-Trans Tobacco (where I’m trying to be). I have an older deck in back and staining 2 newer decks in front. Trying to match them close but not perfectly. And I dont want to use the Olympic if I dont have to.

Pic #1 is where it is going. Pic #2 is the deck Im trying to match, but one is in the front of the house the other in the back so it does not have to be perfect.

Any ideas? If I do a 2 coats will it darken? Or will the same color darker a year later in a refresh?

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Mike
Mike
3 years ago

Just got a sample of the Black Walnut Semi-Transparent. I looks pretty good. I like it Better than the Olympic Max because it is not laying on top of the wood (like paint) and you can actually see nice wood grain thru it. So the AC Blk Wlnt will work for the first year. Also got a sample of the Oxford Brn and Espresso. The Espresso is almost exactly the color I want (but even being a Semi-Solid, it is not much diff than the AC Semi-Transparent).

But following your lead and advice on the AC Semi-Solids, I will go with the Blk Wlnt for the first year or so, and then when I do the refresher coat, if I even want the other color (I may end up loving the Blk Wlnut), but if not, i will at that time, in 12-18 months go with the Espresso Semi-Solid over the Blk Wlnt.

Thanks for the help. Now to wait a few more months before i can stain the new decks. Did get a moisture meter. As of 2 days ago. Most of the tops of the wood on the decks is down to 9-14%. So it is getting close to ready. Few places were at 14-18% (under hand rails, etc). So hope to have it all stained by early June.

Mike
Mike
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Here is my sample plate. Lone 2×4 is where I am trying to be – Olympic Maximum Tobacco.
Full aged deck board shot Left to Right: AC Semi -S Oxford Brn / AC Semi-S Espresso / TWP Dark Oak / AC Semi-T Blk Wlnut / RAD Drk Wlnut / AC Semi-T Rustic Brown

Close up Right to Left: AC Semi-S Espresso / TWP Dark Oak / AC Semi-T Blk Wlnut

I’ll do Blk Walnut on the new wood decks this year and Espresso next year.

I actually like the TWP as a product better. Seemed to go on better than the AC, but the Dark Oak is the darkest color I saw from TWP

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Marvin Rudulph
Marvin Rudulph
3 years ago

Completing the construction of adding a new redwood railing ( top/bottom rail approx. 50 ft. total and two 4 -step stairs ). I desire to retain the natural color. Since construction began the wood has discolored slightly due to the weather. Upcoming forecast here in So. Cal is rain from Wednesday 3/20 – 22/2019. My research on the best solution for treating the redwood has rendered the following; No Varnish/Urethane or Oil based finish with the exception of Quality oil-based finishes, including those based upon linseed oil, containing mildewcides, and are appropriate for use on exterior redwood. With this information what would you recommend for recapturing and retain the natural hue of the wood?

Thank you!
Marvin

Mikki Hopkins
Mikki Hopkins
3 years ago

I applied the Armstrong Clark semi transparent stain in the color chestnut about 2 years ago. Part of my deck is covered all summer and that part has maintained the color rather well. But the other part of the deck is exposed to sun and has little stain left on them. I want to reapply the same color this year. Do I just have to use a cleaner and brightener then stain, or since there is such a variation of color on the boards should I do something else in addition to using a cleaner and brightener.

Mikki Hopkins
Mikki Hopkins
3 years ago

Here’s the pics

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Mikki Hopkins
Mikki Hopkins
3 years ago

I guess I don’t understand what you mean. Do you mean I need to put the cleaner in my pressure washer then do the same thing with the brightener.

Mikki Hopkins
Mikki Hopkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Mikki Hopkins

My name is Mikki Hopkins. I asked a question a hour ago and can’t open your response. Thanks.

Mikki Hopkins
Mikki Hopkins
3 years ago

These are the pics.

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Mikki Hopkins
Mikki Hopkins
3 years ago

I sent you pics. Hope you got them.

Ciara
Ciara
3 years ago

Hi, what’s the prep needed to apply a second coat of stain? We stained our newly built fence last summer and would want to apply a second coat this year for added protection.

Barbara
Barbara
3 years ago

I live in California, 1 hour north of San Francisco. I have a 650 sq. ft. redwood clear heart deck built in Oct. 2016. It was sanded and stained 2 weeks after completion with 1 coat of Super Deck transparent “Cedar 1901”. Seven months later, on May 30, 2017, it was washed 3 times with Super Deck exterior wood cleaner and stained with 1 coat of Super Deck transparent
“Cedar 1901”. Approximately 6 weeks later, on July 10, 2017, it was stained again for the 3rd time with Super Deck transparent “Cedar 1901”. No deck cleaner was used and no other preparation was done prior to this last staining on July 10, 2017.

I want to try using an Armstrong Clark semi-transparent stain, hoping for better color retention and I would like to be able to still see the wood grain. Since I could not stain the deck this summer, I will wait until next spring. Can you tell me the correct preparation to use before staining with Armstrong Clark? Also, should 1 or 2 coats of stain be applied?

I spoke recently with Armstrong Clark Customer Support about this semi-transparent stain. Part of my deck is shaded and is prone to get mold. They recommended a product called “Wet and Forget” which can be sprayed onto the deck and should help prevent mold. Do you know anything about this product and can you recommend it?

Thank you very much for your help!

Barbara
Barbara
3 years ago

Thank you. Will I need to power wash and sand the deck in this process? If so, when would I power wash and when would I sand? Will the Restore A Deck Stripper and Brightener Kits give me more specific directions? Can you give me any special tips to using these two kits? Do you know anything about the “Wet and Forget” mold inhibitor product recommended by Armstrong Clark Customer Support?

Barbara
Barbara
3 years ago

Thank you for your advice! The same person at Armstrong Clark Customer Support who recommended “Wet and Forget” also told me I could buy a tube of mildewcide to mix into each gallon of stain. Does this sound like good advice to prevent mold?
I just interviewed a painter who has agreed to stain my deck in the spring. He told me that he power washes while using a deck cleaner and then sands the deck. He said that because cleaning and power washing raise the grain of the wood, sanding is necessary to smooth it out before staining. I will follow your advice and ask him to use a stripper and brightener to remove the old SuperDeck stain on my deck. What could happen if he insists on sanding afterwards? Should I insist that he not sand the deck at all? If my deck appears to need a second coat of stain, what should the painter do before applying the second coat?

I was happy with the initial color of the SuperDeck transparent “Cedar 1901” stain. It brought out the natural color of the redwood without overwhelming it or making it too red. Can you recommend a color in the Armstrong Clark semi-transparent stains which might do the same? What is the best way to test the color of an Armstrong Clark semi-transparent stain? My painter suggested doing a color test on my deck steps. How could I remove the testing colors from the steps before staining the deck?

My deck gets very dirty and is surrounded by trees and exposed to pollen. How can I clean it over time without damaging the applied stain?

Thank you once again. I really appreciate your help!

Sue allen
Sue allen
3 years ago

We applied per the directions about 10 days ago Spray then rolled out. No puddles, etc. It’s slick. Help.

Pete
Pete
3 years ago

Had redwood Deck stained last year with a cheap transparent product, it has failed and I want to apply an oil based Mahogany from Armstrong and Clark, I am sanding the old stain and now the wood looks good to apply an oil stain, what about areas under the deck that are hard to reach, if I can get sand paper to it, will oil stain adhere to the wood

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Kevin Fried
Kevin Fried
3 years ago

I stripped and belt sanded a nice old mahogany porch and purchased the AC transparent natural tone wanting the wood to show its true beauty. These are pictures when I applied to a couple of the steps on my porch. I must say for natural tone, this appears rather dark. To me that was ALOT of work to see these results hoping that natural tone would allow the wood to speak. Any suggestions?

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Debbie Devereaux
Debbie Devereaux
3 years ago

could I use Armstrong Clark Wood Stain on a new deck that has been up for six weeks. I looked at the Timber wood oil and we wanted a darker color than what they had and winter is coming around the corner. So we were hoping we could use the Armstrong because of the color we wanted

Debbie Devereaux
Debbie Devereaux
3 years ago

Thanks for the reply we will wait till spring than. One more question, if we wait till spring that would be about 9 months we would like a dark walnut or wood look with a semi what would be the best stain

Jeremy
Jeremy
3 years ago

You can stain the new deck once the moisture content of the wood is around 12%. You can buy a moisture meter and check it yourself. The meter is very inexpensive and easy to use. Check multiple spots including 4×4 posts. New decks typically take from 6-12 weeks to be dry enough for coating.

Alex
Alex
3 years ago

Why does the mfg instructions forbid garden sprayer application if you found it to work well?
I am about to apply AC semi solid on new cedar and need guidance as to whether your method works or I need to follow the mfg instructions.

Jeremy
Jeremy
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex

The garden sprayer will not apply a even coat. It is best to Roll and back brush to avoid over application. Be sure to roll three to four complete boards at a time to avoid lap lines.

Tom Hayes
Tom Hayes
3 years ago

How does Chabot compare with the other stains on a new deck surface. Will it penetrate into the wood?

joe
joe
3 years ago

installing new red cedar kiln dried 5/4″ covered porch decking, want a natural finish , do i have to sand before applying.
it is a wraparound porch 100’x 10′ sounds like 5 gal should do

william
william
3 years ago

I have replaced a lot of boards on my deck last month. I have eight older ones that are in good condition. And added then for a different look. When should i clean and stain my deck here in Atlanta, Ga?

Susan Reed
Susan Reed
3 years ago

This is a great site! So much information; it’s also overwhelming for our older brains and our level of wood smarts. We’ve ordered a red cedar pergola kit from “Outdoor Living Today” and can either let it weather naturally or (preferred) put some type of stain on it prior to assembling it for protection from elements. Originally we were thinking of using a solid but the reviews we’ve seen on different sites indicate lots of issues with peeling etc. We live in the Chicago area. From what we’ve read, our understanding is that the TWP stains cannot be used on unweathered wood. What types of stain would you choose for a new red cedar structure. Thanks for this site and thanks in advance whether or not you have any recommendations. Don’t know if this is helpful at all, but I’m including the photo from the manufacture’s site.

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Melinda Dennis
Melinda Dennis
3 years ago

Can you mix a transparent with a semi transparent. Would like the chest nut or pale oak a little lighter. Going on pressure washed boarding.

Mike
Mike
3 years ago

I reached out for deck stain options and you suggested Armstrong Clark as well as TWP 1500. I have not decided which product to use but since your suggestions and in prepping the deck I have had to replaced 14 12′ deck boards. Now I have created a problem. The boards are new treated pine and don’t match the older weathered boards. Now I’m not sure when I can clean, brighten, and apply the stain. Your additional help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike

Dawn
Dawn
4 years ago

I had a redwood deck and planter boxes constructed last Spring (2017). I used Behr Transparent Penetrating Oil Wood Finish on them. It was “Clear” as I wanted to keep the natural wood finish. It turned out awful, streaky, blotchy and the wood turned a yellow/golden color. I was told today that their product that they call “Clear” is not clear, but is designed to turn the wood to natural or without color. I am starting to sand it off, which is not as bad as I thought. Coming off pretty easy and for the most part back to the original redwood color. I don’t generally like the redwood stains as they look a little fake to me. I do like natural red cedar as well as the natural redwood. If I can find a color that I like in the AC line, will I be able to use it after I get done sanding and cleaning the wood, or should I sand, clean and leave until next Spring? I live in Reno, NV and the sun is very hot.
Thank You for your help with my questions

Karol
Karol
4 years ago

Can I put this over oil based stain?