Armstrong stain offers a wide variety of color choices in an oil based semi-transparent penetrating formula. It should be noted that with any brand of wood stain, colors cannot be guaranteed. Colors and tones can vary depending on the wood type, the age of the wood, the condition of the wood, wood prep, and stain application.

Armstrong stain colors currently include Natural Tone, Cedar Tone, Redwood Tone, Cedar Semi, Sierra Redwood, Rustic Brown, Mountain Cedar, Sequoia, Woodland Brown, Oxford Brown, Mahogany, Amber, and Driftwood Gray.

Armstrong Clark Stain Color Help

As a general rule, the lighter the color, the more transparency it will have. This means that more of the wood’s natural grains will show through, which can have an influence on the final appearance. Darker colors will reflect more of the actual stain color but will still allow some of the wood grain to show through because it is a semi-transparent finish.

It is also worth mentioning that the darker the color the more resistant it is to UV fading. Darker colors have more pigment, which is what resists harmful UV rays. Lighter colors, will still provide adequate sun protection but not as much as the darker stain tones.

To be exactly sure how a certain Armstrong color will look on your wood surface, you can order a color sample. Apply the Armstrong color sample in an inconspicuous spot. Allow the stain to dry for several days to see the finished result. Order as many Armstrong color help samples as you would like. It is a good way to find the right color for your wood surface. There is nothing worse than staining a whole wood structure only to decide you do not care for the color.

With so many factors determining how a particular Armstrong color will look in its final appearance, it is wise to use the color help samples to find the tone you like. You should only need the Armstrong color help initially. Once the deck is stained you can keep it maintained with the same color unless you decide to change colors at some point.

Armstrong Clark Stain Colors Horizontal small

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    James · 03/14/2021
    Can I go from semi transparent to semi solid without stripping
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/14/2021
      Best would be to strip and brighten to ensure the new coating soaks into the wood fully.
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    Sandra · 03/10/2021
    Is it possible to get a color chart mailed to me? I would like to hold it up to my vinyl siding to see what looks
    best.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/10/2021
      We do not send out color charts as they are not any different from what you see on the computer. Final colors will always vary as well based on wood type, age of the wood, application, and prep. This is why we offer a sample program as well.
      https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/samples
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    doug R · 12/02/2020
    Im building a new deck 12 x 14 with pressure treated pine. The deck is 8 ft above ground, I would like the bottom and top to both be stained. I have dried the wood for 2 months on the driveway thinking I could stain both sides then install but seems like you are recommending waiting a year before staining. Any advice on how to stain both sides if I build the deck then stain in place next summer.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 12/03/2020
      See here about new wood: https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/new-decking-and-armstrong-clark-stain

      You cannot prestain so you will have to wait and prep after you install the wood. There is no reason to stain the underside outside of appearance. If you still want to stain it, just clean and stain from below with ladders.
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    C Maio · 11/16/2020
    It did not post correctly, sorry. The local store did not advise to wait and we took in a sample of the wood from the benches. So where can I go from here to correct the issue?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 11/16/2020
      Sorry but as we said, it will not dry correctly unless you weather and prep the wood. It states on the container to let new wood weather and be prepped.
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        C Maio · 11/17/2020
        Actually Western Red Cedar is NOT supposed to be aged or weathered according to the lumber industry. Most woods, yes, but not WRC. It is to be treated right away.

        So how do I stop the pigment from continuing to rub off? Will another wiping with paint thinner work or will I have to coat with something else? You mention prepping the wood, how do I prep it from here forward? I am trying to fix it and would appreciate advice from that perspective.

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          Armstrong · 11/17/2020
          They are 100% wrong as they also do not know how individual stain brands work to cure and dry. All stain brands including Armstrong Clark will suggest a waiting period and prep before staining on cedar and other wood types.

          The only way to fix the ruboff is to strip off the AC stain, let the wood weather correctly, prep, and then apply one coat.

          AC cannot be top coated with something else.
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    C Maio · 11/16/2020
    I purchased Western Red Cedar benches for a local park and stained "liberally" with the cedar tone stain as instructed by our local store. The color was still coming off to the touch 2 weeks later so we wiped them down with paint thinner to remove excess. Now, almost a week later from the wiping, the color still rubs off when wiped gently with a paper towel. I cannot install them like this! It is my Eagle Scout project and we would like to install before the weather turns (New England). Any advice on getting the color to set?
    The bench manufacturer did not send any advice on timing for aging the wood, they could have been purchased finished so I don't think it was on the wood, but it was new, unaged wood.
    Thanks.

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    Joan · 10/11/2020
    I just applied your Mahogany IPE oil stain on my 25 year old mahogany deck (never stained, only water sealed which I power washed off and prepped). The color is very orange/red. I probably should have mixed the IPE dark walnut with mahogany before staining. Any harm in applying a second coat now with the darker color to achieve a deeper red brown color? I don’t mind the extra work, just don’t want to harm the wood.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/11/2020
      The wood will not be able to take another coat. You can always prep and redo next year to change the color.
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    Mike · 10/10/2020
    I stained my deck in 2 phases. The second phase was finished the following day- late morning.

    There was no rain during the time between and the unstained portion of the deck remained clean and dry before being completed.

    i used the semi solid woodland cedar. For some reason the portion that was done the second day looks more like a semi transparent. The stain used was all from the same 5 gallon container and stirred thoroughly both times. What could explain the difference?

    I even put a second coat on the more transparent section but it didn’t make a huge difference.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Vicki · 09/21/2020
    I am so happy I found your website. I have an Exotic Brazilian Wood Deck. It was a beautiful rich luxurious color when we installed it, and remained so for many years. I would like to restore it to its original appearance. I like both your semi-transparent Chestnut and your Sierra Redwood shown on your website. I do like a light sheen or wet look. What do you recommend to restore it’s original luxurious color with a little sheen? Thank you, Vicki
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 09/21/2020
      You will need one of the three hardwood colors fro your wood type: Amber, Mahogany, or Black Walnut. The other colors will not work for hardwoods. AC stains all come in a non-shine (no gloss) formula. Adding any coating to a deck that has a sheen/gloss will result in peeling.
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    Cindy · 09/11/2020
    What do I do about a color stain that is too dark after one coat? Can I send my unopened stain back for another color?
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    linda · 09/10/2020
    My deck is about twenty years old and about 2400 square feet. I have been sanding it and the cedar turns a gray shade after a while. I want to see the grain. Will the deck return to the cedar color with a semi transparent cedar stain or am I better off using the driftwood color?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Debbie · 09/03/2020
    Do you have to use the 3 hardwood options only for a hardwood? Like Massaranduba? Or do your semi transparent stains work for hardwoods?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 09/03/2020
      Yes, only the hardwood colors for your wood type.
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    Adeke · 09/03/2020
    Hi,
    New mahogany decking -
    Do you have a product that is basically like a clear coat?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Chloe · 08/28/2020
    I have a new cedar fence -- 170 sq. feet. It's rough sided and I want to stain & protect one side. How long should I wait before staining? Is there any prep I need to do before applying AC? i assume one gallon will do for 170 sq. feet for one coat, but on a new fence, does one typically use one coat or do I need two coats? Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/29/2020
      If rough sawn wood you can stain now. About 1-2 gallons for the two coats applied wet on wet.
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    mark · 08/26/2020
    I am installing a tigerwood deck, but would like to mute the color to a silver grey, such as your drift wood stain. Would this work on such a boisterous color? Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/26/2020
      Sorry but no, that will not work for an exotic hardwood.
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        Mark Roberts · 08/26/2020
        Thanks. Could I go the other way and deepen the color with Mahogany? Maybe end up with a nice Cabernet?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 08/26/2020
          You can only use one of the 3 hardwood colors for this. Mahogany would work.
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    Larry Pitts · 08/19/2020
    I'm considering using Natural Oak stain on cedar siding. I find I like the color better when thinned with mineral spirits. Comments?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/20/2020
      Not a good idea as it will reduce the ability to protect your deck.
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    Eric · 08/19/2020
    We have a cedar deck with full sun half the day and shade half the day. Pretty hot and humid in summer too with a pretty harsh winter. Any recommendations for stain type? We would like a darker color. Also what sealant would you recommend?
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    Karl · 08/17/2020
    can you custom blend semi solid colors? Im looking for something in between the woodland brown and the amber, I tried the semi trans cedar and like it, i just need more of a solid color to cover existing old stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/17/2020
      We do not custom blend colors but you can mix two colors together on your own. Also, you cannot apply the AC over a different brand of stain. You will have to remove that first.
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    Terry S · 08/09/2020
    Can you provide any examples or even photos of blending stain colors together?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/09/2020
      Sorry but no, we do not have examples of blended colors. You can get samples from out site and test on your end.
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    Gil Sanchez · 08/03/2020
    I have a redwood deck which I want to stain, which of your stains would you recommend?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/04/2020
      Any color that you like would work well for your wood. Most use the semi-transparent colors.
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    Marci · 08/02/2020
    Previous owner used Thomsons water seal over stain that was fading/peeling. Color is now very patchy but still seems to be sealed (water beads on deck when wet). A contractor suggested I could apply Armstrong Clark over the water seal without stripping? Can you confirm and if so, how should I prep it? I just want to add color so it's got a more uniform look.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Mike Stebbins · 08/02/2020
      Thomspon's is mostly wax. Stain will not penetrate thru it. You'll have to strip the Thompson's off chemically. Sanding just mixes the wax into the sanded surface giving really spotty results with any new stain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/02/2020
      No you cannot do this. You to must be stripped and then brightened.
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    Debbie · 07/25/2020
    Is there any way to get Massaranduba wood the color of your Rustic Brown? The previous owner did not treat the wood at all, and it has greyed a LOT. I've been using a belt sander to bring the wood back to it's natural color, which is a deep red, but I want it more brown vs red. Any suggestions?
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    Lee Schilling · 07/17/2020
    If I use AC in black walnut on IPE deck, what would be prep (other than cleaning) before reapplying next year? would it need to be stripped?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 07/17/2020
      Deck cleaner and pressure washing for prep.
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    Dorothy · 05/20/2020
    Do You ship 5 gallon of rustic brown to Ontario Canada? And is shipping free too?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/20/2020
      Shipping is not free to Canada. For the cost, add to cart and enter your shipping info for the total cost to ship there.
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    Debra Osse · 05/18/2020
    Do you have any suggestions as far as a brand of wood putty / filler that can be used prior to staining? I used some putty that claimed to be able to be painted or stained, but the stain took very poorly to it and it looks awful. Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/18/2020
      No, a wood filler will not work on a deck or exterior wood and will never stain to blend.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Debra Osse · 05/18/2020
        Oh no....do you have any suggestions short of replacing the entire board? If I put some stain on it quite heavy, it seems to cover it, but I suppose if I left it on really thick in that one area it would dry glossy??
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 05/19/2020
          No, that will not work. You would have to leave it as is or replace the board.
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    Paul Ryan · 05/17/2020
    Do you have anymore pictures of driftwood? Only saw 3 images in the gallery.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Carol Moates · 05/16/2020
    What is the best stain for an old deck.. 26 years old?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/16/2020
      Look at one of the semi-solid colors.
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    JW · 05/12/2020
    It rained so the pix looks a bit splotchier than it really is. No chipping just fading.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Cindy · 05/12/2020
    Will the sample colors be the same as shown on a pressure treated deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/12/2020
      Colors always vary based on wood type and the age of the wood.
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    JW · 05/12/2020
    purchased a house with a redwood upper and lower deck. Last stained in 2017 with SuperDeck canyon brown oil - holding up okay but fading in certain areas on upper deck. Upper deck is in direct California afternoon sun most of the day. Lower deck is in the shade with minimal fading.

    Do I need to use cleaner or stripper? And what’s the best color match, I was thinking semi-transparent rustic brown. I tested natural oak and rustic brown on the existing deck faded parts and they looked pretty similar. Please lmk what you recommend. Highly appreciated. Thx
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/12/2020
      Strip and brighten for the prep. As for color, that would be up to you. Rustic Brown is darker.
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    Dorothy · 05/08/2020
    Can you use over pressure treated spruce?