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
    Kevin Bartley · 05/26/2015
    I have a 7 year old Ipe deck that we have used multiple applications of Penofin for hardwoods. Love the color but hate how quickly it fades. Current finish is 2 years old and deck has turned gray and has dark areas in the exposed area and 50% of color in the covered area.Please recommend product and process for cleaning and preparing surface for an application of the Armstrong Clark Mahogany Stain for Hardwoods Thanks
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    Administrator · 05/25/2015
    Sharlene:
    we had our deck stained with your product and it's still not dry. It looks dry, and if you touch it at first it feels dry but if you rub your finger you get a ton of stain on it. It's all over my shoes and I won't let anyone walk on it as it will track into my house !! When is it going to dry? Got stained 2 days ago...

    Rinse off the excess oil by flooding the deck with water then rinsing.
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    Sharlene · 05/24/2015
    we had our deck stained with your product and it's still not dry. It looks dry, and if you touch it at first it feels dry but if you rub your finger you get a ton of stain on it. It's all over my shoes and I won't let anyone walk on it as it will track into my house !! When is it going to dry? Got stained 2 days ago...
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    Administrator · 05/17/2015
    Jose negron:
    So I plan to use the restore a deck cleaner and brightener on my one year old deck. After cleaning the deck do I need to wait for it to dry before brightening or can I go right into the brightening process once I wash off all of the cleaner?

    Apply the brightener as soon as you are done with the cleaning. No need to let it dry.
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    Jose negron · 05/17/2015
    So I plan to use the restore a deck cleaner and brightener on my one year old deck. After cleaning the deck do I need to wait for it to dry before brightening or can I go right into the brightening process once I wash off all of the cleaner?
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    Administrator · 05/07/2015
    larry:
    Can I use this product for cedar shakes roof.

    Yes you can.
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    larry · 05/07/2015
    Can I use this product for cedar shakes roof.
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    Administrator · 09/19/2014
    anand.a.deshpande"][quote name="opwdecks"][quote name="anand.a.deshpande:
    Hi,
    Yesterday we applied a semi-solid stain to our house (exterior). The tone is too dark. I tried with sample earlier which were semi-transperant . We used (80% red-wood 20% cedar) together. Is there a way to tone the shade down?[/quote]
    Sorry but you cannot lighten or tone down a color. You can remove it and start over.[/quote]

    If I have to remove the stain which is very fresh will i have to use only power wash u recommend Stripper and then Wash

    Yes you will need to Stripper and pressure washing to remove. Use the brightener when done.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anand Deshpande · 09/19/2014
    opwdecks"][quote name="anand.a.deshpande:
    Hi,
    Yesterday we applied a semi-solid stain to our house (exterior). The tone is too dark. I tried with sample earlier which were semi-transperant . We used (80% red-wood 20% cedar) together. Is there a way to tone the shade down?[/quote]
    Sorry but you cannot lighten or tone down a color. You can remove it and start over.


    If I have to remove the stain which is very fresh will i have to use only power wash u recommend Stripper and then Wash
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 09/18/2014
    anand.a.deshpande:
    Hi,
    Yesterday we applied a semi-solid stain to our house (exterior). The tone is too dark. I tried with sample earlier which were semi-transperant . We used (80% red-wood 20% cedar) together. Is there a way to tone the shade down?

    Sorry but you cannot lighten or tone down a color. You can remove it and start over.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anand Deshpande · 09/18/2014
    Hi,
    Yesterday we applied a semi-solid stain to our house (exterior). The tone is too dark. I tried with sample earlier which were semi-transperant . We used (80% red-wood 20% cedar) together. Is there a way to tone the shade down?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 09/16/2014
    sheryl baldwin:
    We have sanded our deck taking the top layer off to smooth out the boards and get down to a healthier layer on the redwood prior to applying the semi-transparent. Do we still need to do any of the cleaner or brightener steps above?

    Yes you should.
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    sheryl baldwin · 09/15/2014
    We have sanded our deck taking the top layer off to smooth out the boards and get down to a healthier layer on the redwood prior to applying the semi-transparent. Do we still need to do any of the cleaner or brightener steps above?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 09/12/2014
    william krejci:
    I have a cedar deck that is approx. 6 months old. What should i do in prepping it for staining. Thanks!

    Use the Restore A Deck Kit for the prep of the new wood.
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    william krejci · 09/12/2014
    I have a cedar deck that is approx. 6 months old. What should i do in prepping it for staining. Thanks!
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    Administrator · 09/07/2014
    Gordon:
    How long can the can of semi transparent stain sit around before it needs to be reshaken/mixed?
    G

    You always need to stir before using.
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    Gordon · 09/05/2014
    How long can the can of semi transparent stain sit around before it needs to be reshaken/mixed?
    G
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    Administrator · 08/18/2014
    John Eisenbeil:
    On a 25 year old deck with apparent moderate re-staining, 2 deck boards required replacing due decayed knot areas. The remainder are solid though weathered and cracked a little in spots. Is there a way to prepare the 2 new boards for staining so as the colors match somewhat, realizing the newer wood will absorb stain much differently than the old? I expect additional coats would create shiny spots.

    You cannot get new wood to match old wood. They will be lighter in color not matter what.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Eisenbeil · 08/17/2014
    On a 25 year old deck with apparent moderate re-staining, 2 deck boards required replacing due decayed knot areas. The remainder are solid though weathered and cracked a little in spots. Is there a way to prepare the 2 new boards for staining so as the colors match somewhat, realizing the newer wood will absorb stain much differently than the old? I expect additional coats would create shiny spots.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 08/14/2014
    Andreas Kanon:
    What is your recommendation to prepare a new Redwood deck before staining it?

    Let season for a couple of months and prep first with the Restore A Deck Kit.
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    Andreas Kanon · 08/14/2014
    What is your recommendation to prepare a new Redwood deck before staining it?
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    Administrator · 08/09/2014
    Chris Miller:
    No, the wood is not rough sawn. It is brand new Western Red Cedar though. I wonder if I need to clean it and restore with Restore a Deck product or something else?

    Wait a month to dry then prep with the Restore A Deck Kit.
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    Chris Miller · 08/08/2014
    No, the wood is not rough sawn. It is brand new Western Red Cedar though. I wonder if I need to clean it and restore with Restore a Deck product or something else?
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    Administrator · 08/08/2014
    Chris Miller:
    Hi,

    I just bought 5 gallons of the semi transpartent Cedar staing from AC. I have a brand Western Red cedar fence installed a week ago. How long to I have to wait to stain it with AC?

    Is the wood rough sawn? If so you can stain right away.
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    Chris Miller · 08/07/2014
    Hi,

    I just bought 5 gallons of the semi transpartent Cedar staing from AC. I have a brand Western Red cedar fence installed a week ago. How long to I have to wait to stain it with AC?
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    Administrator · 08/02/2014
    philip racicot:
    I have a mahogany wood on my front porch that has been previously coated with a polyurethane/marine varnish coating what do I have to do to prepare this wood to use Armstrong Clark mahogany wood stain

    You must sand all the poly off first before proceeding with using a penetrating stain like AC.
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    philip racicot · 08/01/2014
    I have a mahogany wood on my front porch that has been previously coated with a polyurethane/marine varnish coating what do I have to do to prepare this wood to use Armstrong Clark mahogany wood stain
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    Administrator · 07/22/2014
    Kristy:
    After you use the brightener, and wood pores are open what is the maximum time you can wait to stain the deck? If I can't get to it in 1-2 days?

    A week or two should be fine.
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    Administrator · 07/22/2014
    Connie Lambert:
    When prepping a deck with worn out semi transparent stain that will need stripping do I use the deck wash then the stripper and brightener or strip and brighten and then wash or skip the wash altogether if I'm stripping and brightening? Confused

    You do not need the cleaner if you are stripping. Strip and brighten.
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    Kristy · 07/22/2014
    After you use the brightener, and wood pores are open what is the maximum time you can wait to stain the deck? If I can't get to it in 1-2 days?