The most important step in any exterior wood restoration or maintenance project is to prep the surface properly prior to staining. Armstrong Clark Wood Stains are quality formulated wood coatings with five generations worth of experience that will give your deck lasting beauty and protection.

To ensure you get the expected results from any of the Armstrong Clark Oil Based Wood Stain products it is essential that the wood surface be cleaned and prepped prior to staining.

The exterior wood surface being refinished needs to be free of any dirt, grime, gray wood fibers, and any old deck stain or sealer. Even new wood needs to be cleaned to remove mill glaze and contaminants. For newer or grayed out wood we highly recommend using Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner. This two-step powder system is specially designed to clean and prepare wood for new stain.

 

For wood surfaces that have any old deck stains or sealers on them we recommend the Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper. This product is designed to break down and soften transparent and semi-transparent wood stains so they can be washed away.

 

This process of cleaning or stripping the wood will ensure that the Armstrong Clark Wood Stain will penetrate the wood and perform properly. Use the simple to follow step-by-step instructions for either RAD product for properly prepping the wood surface.

Applying a new coat of Armstrong Clark Stain (maintenance coat) over an old coat is made easy. Prior to applying a maintenance coat of any Armstrong Clark Stain it is still important to clean the wood surface. It is not necessary however to remove the old Armstrong Clark stain, simply clean the surface using the RAD Wood Cleaner and any old Armstrong Stain that remains will bond with the new stain coat.

Following either the RAD Cleaner or RAD Stain Stripper is step two of the system. The RAD step two is a Wood Brightener that will counteract the causticity of the cleaner or stripper and will correct the pH level of the wood making it more acidic. This opens the pours of the wood and allows it to accept as much new stain as possible.

Once the exterior wood surface is ready following the prepping instructions allow 1-2 days for the wood surface to dry. With proper prepping you can expect the most from your new Armstrong Clark Oil Based Wood Stain. It will enhance the wood’s beauty and give you extended use for many years to come.

Ask Below for Questions on Prepping for Armstrong Clark Stains

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Faye Forhan · 08/14/2017
    Have your your stain and brightener...and ready to go but I put what I thought were stainless hinges on new cedar window frame and when they got wet made a black "iron?"stain will the cleaner brightener remove that???? any suggestions if not they are aabout 2 by 3 inches not solid black but smeary looking. Thanks
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    Armstrong · 08/13/2017
    Peter C Meyer:
    If I use wood stripper, should I use wood cleaner first? One year old deck with oil based/acrylic stain in place.

    If using a stain stripper, you do not need to use a cleaner. Brightener after the stripping.
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    Peter C Meyer · 08/12/2017
    If I use wood stripper, should I use wood cleaner first? One year old deck with oil based/acrylic stain in place.
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    Armstrong · 08/04/2017
    James W.:
    Love our AC deck stain in Sequoia (on redwood). First applied, then easily reapplied 2 years ago. But now the house was painted, and we're wondering if we can change to a different AC stain. Steps?
    Thinking Oxford Brown or possibly Walnut.

    Strip and brighten for the prep to switch:
    https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/restore-a-deck-stripper
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    James W. · 08/03/2017
    Love our AC deck stain in Sequoia (on redwood). First applied, then easily reapplied 2 years ago. But now the house was painted, and we're wondering if we can change to a different AC stain. Steps?
    Thinking Oxford Brown or possibly Walnut.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 07/25/2017
    Faye Kennedy:
    About to purchase natural tone stain for new cedar sided building. Sided over the winter months on dry days (Oregon weather)and some of the wood is faded (slightly gray) compared to the protected parts of building, I guess it is due to rain splattering up on bottom 3 boards and the eave boards either from sun or water dripping off of the roof. Should I use deck brightener(restore a deck) you sell on the faded boards or just clean with the bleach mixture. No sign of mildew just not as bright reddish as the rest of the building. The splash back on the bottom boards if thats what caused the gray is mostly from gravel around building no obvious mud splatters. Its now been sided and sitting there for about 2 months. Have a power washer if needed. Thanks so much for your help, biggest project I have ever done.

    You will need both the Restore A Deck Cleaner and the Brightener Kit for the prep while pressure washing.

    All the wood needs to be prepped to remove the mill glaze and any oxidation that has occurred.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Faye Kennedy · 07/25/2017
    About to purchase natural tone stain for new cedar sided building. Sided over the winter months on dry days (Oregon weather)and some of the wood is faded (slightly gray) compared to the protected parts of building, I guess it is due to rain splattering up on bottom 3 boards and the eave boards either from sun or water dripping off of the roof. Should I use deck brightener(restore a deck) you sell on the faded boards or just clean with the bleach mixture. No sign of mildew just not as bright reddish as the rest of the building. The splash back on the bottom boards if thats what caused the gray is mostly from gravel around building no obvious mud splatters. Its now been sided and sitting there for about 2 months. Have a power washer if needed. Thanks so much for your help, biggest project I have ever done.
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    Armstrong · 07/18/2017
    Tom123:
    How would you recommend using your product on teak furniture previously treated with teak oil?

    As long as you prep by removing any Teak Oil, you can use the Armstrong. Strip it off with this:
    https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/restore-a-deck-stripper
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    Tom123 · 07/17/2017
    How would you recommend using your product on teak furniture previously treated with teak oil?
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    Armstrong · 06/30/2017
    richard Robbins:
    I've got a pine board and baton house last stained no less than 15 years ago with an oil stain - blue/grey - the second coat following the original one appied some 10 years before that . It's fading a bit and it seems time to re-stain. even after I've started power washing the stain is holding
    1. in addition to cleaning - which I was planning with simply continue powerwashing - is stripper required? if so, is Restore -a - Deck the product of choice? what's the coverage per container of the powder?

    Is this blue-gray stain a semi-trans or solid color.? To use the AC you will need to remove the old coating but how to remove the old coating depends on the type and brand it is.
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    richard Robbins · 06/29/2017
    I've got a pine board and baton house last stained no less than 15 years ago with an oil stain - blue/grey - the second coat following the original one appied some 10 years before that . It's fading a bit and it seems time to re-stain. even after I've started power washing the stain is holding
    1. in addition to cleaning - which I was planning with simply continue powerwashing - is stripper required? if so, is Restore -a - Deck the product of choice? what's the coverage per container of the powder?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/27/2017
    Alan R:
    I saw the video of a guy using a nice brush head to apply his stain - what kind of brush head is that attached to the pole?

    Soft bristle car wash brush.
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    Alan R · 06/26/2017
    I saw the video of a guy using a nice brush head to apply his stain - what kind of brush head is that attached to the pole?
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    Armstrong · 06/24/2017
    patricia:
    south and east deck very weathered with some newer replacement boards/covered deck have hardly any wear. i used ben/moore arborcoat and last years coating is terrible. i understand from research that i'll have to sand off all in order to use your product??? also, the south logs are very damaged by sun-how much sanding needed??? will a plastic garden pump work for spray application? i'm new to this maintenance in hot sierras--thanks for the help

    Yes you will need to remove the BM Arborcoat and to remove any sun damage. The AC should not be pump sprayed. Best to use an airless sprayer.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    patricia · 06/24/2017
    south and east deck very weathered with some newer replacement boards/covered deck have hardly any wear. i used ben/moore arborcoat and last years coating is terrible. i understand from research that i'll have to sand off all in order to use your product??? also, the south logs are very damaged by sun-how much sanding needed??? will a plastic garden pump work for spray application? i'm new to this maintenance in hot sierras--thanks for the help
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/20/2017
    gardnvarcher:
    I have a cedar fence, 7 years old, never stained, looks pretty good yet. I live in western Nevada, fairly dry and sunny. What is the best prep and stain for this fence?

    Prep with the Restore A Deck Kit and stain with the Armstrong Clark in on of the semi-transparent colors.
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    gardnvarcher · 06/19/2017
    I have a cedar fence, 7 years old, never stained, looks pretty good yet. I live in western Nevada, fairly dry and sunny. What is the best prep and stain for this fence?
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    Armstrong · 06/18/2017
    shilohbandana:
    I used Armstrong Clark stain on a new deck two years ago with beautiful results. I am now ready to apply a maintenance coat of the same AC stain on the areas that are most exposed to the direct hot Tennessee sun. I understand that I need to use the RAD Cleaner first, but I am not totally clear as to whether I also should use the Brightener as well prior to restaining......can you please clarify this for me. Any other advice also welcome.... Thank you, i'm a big fan of your products ! Rob J.

    Best to use both. Thanks!
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    Robert Jackson · 06/18/2017
    I used Armstrong Clark stain on a new deck two years ago with beautiful results. I am now ready to apply a maintenance coat of the same AC stain on the areas that are most exposed to the direct hot Tennessee sun. I understand that I need to use the RAD Cleaner first, but I am not totally clear as to whether I also should use the Brightener as well prior to restaining......can you please clarify this for me. Any other advice also welcome.... Thank you, i'm a big fan of your products ! Rob J.
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    Armstrong · 06/08/2017
    dennis:
    just put stripper down on wet deck and waited 1/2 hour and tried pressure washer on it, not taking the old stain off

    What stain brand and type of stain are you trying to remove? Feel free to reply to your email with a picture.
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    dennis · 06/08/2017
    just put stripper down on wet deck and waited 1/2 hour and tried pressure washer on it, not taking the old stain off
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/04/2017
    moscarwhite:
    Regarding my last question w/ the 1 year old deck with the mold:

    1) should I use the RAD kit first and then pressure wash, or pressure wash the deck first and then use the RAD kit?

    2) what can be done to prevent the mold so I don't have to repeat this process again next spring?

    Thank you

    !. Use the RAD while pressure washing.
    2. There is a product called Wet and Forget that you can use after the stain dries. It should help.
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    mdub1 · 06/03/2017
    Regarding my last question w/ the 1 year old deck with the mold:

    1) should I use the RAD kit first and then pressure wash, or pressure wash the deck first and then use the RAD kit?

    2) what can be done to prevent the mold so I don't have to repeat this process again next spring?

    Thank you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/03/2017
    moscarwhite:
    1 year old redwood deck was prepped w/ RAD kit at 4 months of age (last Sept) and stained w/ AC natural stain a few weeks later. The deck looked great for a few months - then the mold took over and covered the entire deck after the heavy rainy season in Northern CA this past winter. I plan to pressure wash the deck to remove the mold. I also plan to use RAD kit again before re-staining. I may also re-sand the deck if needed.
    1) Does the deck need to be re-sanded?

    2) What is the proper sequence for RAD kit, pressure washing, and sanding (if necessary)?

    3)How long should I wait after pressure wash/RAD kit/ sanding before staining the deck?
    Thank you.

    1. Deck does not need to be sanded.
    2. About 2 days.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    mdub1 · 06/03/2017
    1 year old redwood deck was prepped w/ RAD kit at 4 months of age (last Sept) and stained w/ AC natural stain a few weeks later. The deck looked great for a few months - then the mold took over and covered the entire deck after the heavy rainy season in Northern CA this past winter. I plan to pressure wash the deck to remove the mold. I also plan to use RAD kit again before re-staining. I may also re-sand the deck if needed.
    1) Does the deck need to be re-sanded?

    2) What is the proper sequence for RAD kit, pressure washing, and sanding (if necessary)?

    3)How long should I wait after pressure wash/RAD kit/ sanding before staining the deck?
    Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 05/29/2017
    jajmco:
    Full sun exposure in Orange County NY. deck is cedar, what is the best staying to use? We are looking at the transparent and semi-transparent

    When in full sun, the semi-solid would be best. Next best would be the sem-trans.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim Osborne · 05/29/2017
    Full sun exposure in Orange County NY. deck is cedar, what is the best staying to use? We are looking at the transparent and semi-transparent
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim osborne · 05/29/2017
    I have cedar decking and pressure treated railings. All surfaces have been fully sanded, do you recommend any pre stain treatments to these surfaces?
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    Armstrong · 05/22/2017
    Steve Frasca:
    How does stripper work. After application with pump sprayer what is required to remove old stain, i.e., Cabot Australian Timber Oil? Is there scrubbing or sanding required or do you just wash off? Thanks. Steve

    Apply the Stripper and pressure wash off. Rinse and apply the brightener. Rinse this after 10 minutes.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve Frasca · 05/22/2017
    How does stripper work. After application with pump sprayer what is required to remove old stain, i.e., Cabot Australian Timber Oil? Is there scrubbing or sanding required or do you just wash off? Thanks. Steve