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
    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.
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        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??
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          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.
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    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.
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    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?
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    Paul · 05/05/2020
    I've watched YouTube videos on applying oil stain. They recommend wiping excess stain off with a rag after 5 minutes on the wood so a sticky film doesn't form which can attract dirt and build-up. Should that be done with your product?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/05/2020
      No, not with AC. You can do after 1-2 hours but not 5 minutes.
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    JJ · 04/30/2020
    I'm working with a 15 year old cedar fence. 1100 square feet and Pressure washed. One coat of semi trans Cedar looks good on a test board. Should I plan on two, and if so how many gallons total?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/30/2020
      Two coats wet on wet. About 10 gallons for 2 coats. If doing both sides make sure to double your sq. footage.
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    Steve · 04/24/2020
    3 hours after applying stain it began to rain. Now the wood looks lighter then when it was first applied. Should I re-coat it?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/24/2020
      No need.
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        Steven Pottman · 04/24/2020
        What about the color disparities. The horizontal boards have lost some pigment. I used semi trans chestnut.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 04/24/2020
          Wait until the rain dries off the wood and send a picture or two.
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    Ryszard · 04/20/2020
    640 total sq footage.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/20/2020
      About 6-7 gallons for the two coats.
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    Ryszard · 04/20/2020
    How many gallons of Semi-Transparent Cedar stain I need to cover 320 sf pine fence on both sides?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/20/2020
      For a fence figure Lenght x Height x 2 for total sq footage. Let us know what that comes to.
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    Debra Osse · 04/05/2020
    Of your semi-solid stains, could you tell me which ones have no red tint at all in their color scheme? Thank you!
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    Mike K · 03/31/2020
    Had new front stairs put in . IPE. Would like to keep it as natural as possible. Which stain would you suggest?
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    Michael Paulson · 03/28/2020
    I had my deck sealed by Seal KC, they use a sealant stated to last 25 years to prevent wood rot. Will semi solid work and what do I need to do to make it work. Mike
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Mike · 03/28/2020
      Wood continues to shrink as it ages creating new checks or expanding existing checks. Sealants make it harder fir eater to get in but they also make it harder for water to get out. Water and the various bio bugs that cause rot AND UV will still get at the wood
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/28/2020
      For the AC stain to work correctly the wood most be porous. If the sealer they applied repels water and nothing can soak in then a deck stain like the AC will not work.
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    Michael Paulson · 03/27/2020
    Can I use garden sprayers to apply to my deck? can this be applied on wood that is not completely dry? Thanks Mike
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/27/2020
      No, the AC cannot be applied with a pump sprayer and the wood must be completely dry before applying.
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    Elaine Crum · 03/21/2020
    Several years ago we stained our Treated Lumber deck with the Sequoia and have re-stained once. The color
    is a little red for us and would like to redo with the Oxford Brown. Any suggestions? Also after all this time
    we still have some red on bottom of shoes and clothing if someone sits on deck! Could staining a different
    color help? Thanks for your input!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Doug · 03/21/2020
      I mix Armstrong stains within the same stain family to get the exact color I want. It has worked very well, no problems with it.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/21/2020
      You would have to strip it off and start with a bare wood deck to help with this color change and the color rub off. Use this kit: https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/restore-a-deck-stripper

      FYI, Oxford has a slight red to it. You may want to look at the Espresso semi-solid. It is a darker brown.
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    David Navroth · 11/08/2019
    Can I use Oxford Brown (semi-solid color) on IPE or do I need to choose from Amber, Mahogany or Black Walnut?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 11/09/2019
      No, you cannot use a semi-solid for IPE wood.
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    Armstrong · 10/14/2019
    The only reason it would be that dark as if you did not brighten correctly or you have internal discoloration in your wood. Basically the wood itself is causing it to be dark in color, not the stain samples. Stains olny enhance the wood grain. Try to apply brightener again heavily and then leaving it on to dry without rinsing.
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    Kim Kuda · 09/26/2019
    I used Olympic Honey Gold on my new front stairs ! I want something a little darker ! What should I do ?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 09/26/2019
      Strip it off with the Restore A Deck Stripper and Brightener Kit.
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    Anna · 08/18/2019
    Does semi-transparent stain (Cedar) hold up significantly better to sun and weather conditions than transparent (Cedar Tone)? We live in a climate that is hot and dry in summer, some snow in winter, with a lot of wind year round.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/18/2019
      Semi-transparent colors will have better UV protection than a transparent color.
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    Bob A · 08/06/2019
    Hi, I have a 28 year old PT deck of approximately 500 square feet. The deck is in NY and faces northeast. Half is covered; have is not. The uncovered boards are weathered. The covered boards are in surprisingly good shape. During winter, ice and snow accumulate on the uncovered portion and last though the winter. (the deck will be stripped and brightened before staining.

    1. Based on the age of the deck and the condition of the uncovered portion which stain would be preferred semi-solid or semi-transparent?

    2. I did a test on the uncovered portion and found that the boards soak up stain. Based on the age and condition of the deck and the difference between the covered and uncovered portions, how much stain should I expect to need.

    3. Any other suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/06/2019
      1. Semi-solid will gove longer UV protection.
      2. About 3-4 gallons for the one coat.
      3. Make sure to remove all of the previous stain. It looks thick in areas so you may need to sand as well to remove.
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    Ed · 07/28/2019
    How can I get a semi transparent color sample and cost?
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    Nancy O · 06/22/2019
    My deck is 18 years old and was treated in 2013 with Armstrong’s semi-solid oil based in Woodland Brown (which is actually (unfortunately) fairly red). When the deck was cleaned and retreated in 2015, the folks who did the work did a terrible job. This week the deck was cleaned using a pressure washer. The stain on the deck surface mostly came off and, as you’d expect, the stain on much of the horizontal surfaces didn’t come off leaving a rather varied and splotchy looking surface. What is the best way to finish treating the entire deck and rails? I assume changing colors is not an option?? Will the color look this varied after retreating? Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 06/23/2019
      At this point, it would be best to remove all so it is even and you can switch colors if you would like. use this kit while pressure washing: https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/restore-a-deck-stripper
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Nancy O · 06/23/2019
        If I stay with the same color (I don’t want to use a stripper due to all the plant life under and around my deck) can I apply it to the deck as is? Can you apply more than one coat on the deck surface?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 06/23/2019
          It may dry slightly uneven based on the current prep but, yes, you can do a coat. Only one coat.
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    Laura Morgan · 06/16/2019
    My deck is 10 years old. The last owner never cared for it. The wood is very very dry. I tested some of your product and the wood drank it in. I’m wondering now if it doesn’t need more oil? I don’t want to add a second coat, as that would make the color too dark. But the wood still looks so dry. Should I add mineral oil or something over the stain? How can I care for this neglected wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 06/16/2019
      Hello, no, that is not possible. AC already contains as much oil as needed. You cannot apply more oil or a sealer over it.
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    Sandra Denney · 06/13/2019
    I would like to know if your stain will work on a pine ceiling in an outdoor barbecue area. The pine is new wood. You indicate not to sand less than 80 grit. Is this the same on pine? Do I use the RAD cleaner first? I plan to order samples of transparent natural tone and cedar tone, semi grey. Do you have any other suggestions? Is a urethane product needed to complete the project? Also, can I stain this new wood right away? Thank you.
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    evl · 06/05/2019
    I am living in Canada. Is there any chance to save money on shipping of two saples? It costs $16 but I have to pay $26 to get one. What colour would match best to this? (pease see pic)
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 06/05/2019
      Sorry but no, we cannot ship the samples for less. Maybe Sequoia for the color. You will need to remove the current stain fully.
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    Ed · 05/26/2019
    What color mix creates Amber?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/27/2019
      Amber is a color. You cannot create it by mixing other colors.