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

Ask a Question or Post a Picture...
You are guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 08/09/2022
    Hello, I used Deckwise Ipe Oil on a front porch Ipe deck and although I liked the initial color I'm not entirely impressed with the longevity due to a relatively quick transition to faded grey.  For a different project, I've just sanded a rear PT pine deck to remove an old and peeling semi-solid coating and partially coated one board with some remaining Deckwise Ipe Oil.  I like the Deckwise transparent stain color / oil richness on the PT pine although would prefer to use your product.  What would you recommend for an Armstrong color that is similar to the Ipe Oil and what level of transparency would you recommend??  (Looking at your color card, the Natural Oak or Amber look the closest to the Ipe Oil on my PT decking. The card does not say how transparent the Amber is.)  If helpful, we're not high elevation, about five miles from ocean in Maine, and the deck receives sun for half the day.  Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 08/10/2022
      Use a semi-transparent color. Natural Oak would be closer to the brown color of the IPE Oil. Amber is more golden. 
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Steve · 08/10/2022
        Great, thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    CONNIE · 07/28/2022
    Trying to match a deck color with the Sequoia posts. Any suggestions?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 07/29/2022
      Try Sequoia semi-solid or Sierra Redwood semi-transparent. Make sure to prep first.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Eric · 05/11/2022
    If I decide to apply 2 coats on a newer pressure treated pine deck (~1.5 years old) that has never had a stain before, how long should I wait between coats?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/12/2022
      Second coats are applied wet on wet. 20-60 minutes after the first coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mary Duperre · 05/05/2022
    Can you use the mahogany stain on a newer pressure-treated wood deck? If so would it be like a semi-solid or a semi-transparent?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/06/2022
      See this about new wood: https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/new-decking-and-armstrong-clark-stain

      The Mahogany is a semi-transparent stain. 
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Mary · 05/06/2022
        I ask because the mahogany stain is for hardwoods. Will it work the same on pressure treated? Will the pressure treated wood be darker, soak in more so to be more like a solid stain?  Also my deck is five years old but has no stain on it. Do I treat it as a new deck? 
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Mary · 05/06/2022
          Thank you! 
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 05/06/2022
          No, the wood type does not dictate the transparency. It will be semi-transparent. Not new at this point.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sara · 04/14/2022
    Hi, I am planning to stain two unfinished pine adirondack chairs with AC semi-transparent stain. Before i had picked out the stain, I sanded one of the chairs with a medium and then fine sandpaper. I now know I shouldn't sand them and need to let them weather, etc, before staining. The one chair that I sanded, should I sand it with rough sandpaper in an attempt to reverse what I did? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/15/2022
      You cannot reverse the sanding.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Wally · 03/13/2022
    pressure treated wood
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jerry · 01/28/2022
    What is a good stain semi-solid color for redwood siding?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    David Gibbons · 11/02/2021
    Hi,
    I'm working on a pergola project. To make it work structural, I needed to use Alaskan Yellow Cedar glue lambs for the posts and main beams. Everything else is Western Red Cedar. All are Re-Sawn. The woods are different colors and the AYC  is harder and does not absorb  the stain as  well. I am thinking about using the Rustic Brown  on the softer WRC and a 50/50 mix of the Rustic Brown and Oxford Brown on the AYC. Is there any issue mixing the two products?
    Also, the AYC is dry and re-sawn. The WRC is not dry and is also re-sawn. Is there any need for any prep on either wood?
    Thank You,
    Dave  408.640.2615
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Peter · 10/27/2021
    I have a large outdoor shed built with T-111 Fir Siding. It has been stained with Benjamin Moore water based semi transparent stain 10 years ago. Really needs restaining...How should I prepare the siding for staining with AC semi Transparent Sierra Redwood stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/28/2021
      You will have to remove the BM stain fully first. For help with this, post some pictures in the comments.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    El · 07/26/2021
    We are planning to use the transparent or semi-transparent stain on this 60 year old cedar porch which was originally painted but subsequently stripped, sanded, and treated with Olympic Maximum Transparent coating for several years.  The edges, which are exposed to the elements due to wind, sun, etc. are worn and the boards are separating.  The middle is in fairly good shape but also probably retains more old coating.  
    Do you recommend your Restore A Deck Stripper, sanding, or both?  The boards have been sanded many times and will likely withstand only light sanding with a hand sander.
    Thank you!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rex Barton · 07/15/2021
    Do you offer a solid color stain for older decks?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 07/15/2021
      We do not but we do have semi-solid colors and those work great for older decks.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    DaveH · 06/29/2021
    For a previously unstained PT deck (2 years old) do you still recommend restore-a-deck?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Reianon · 05/12/2021
    Can I use mineral spirits to remove excess stain after 24 hours? Used semi solid stain on pressure treated pine 
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/13/2021
      Yes, make sure to saturate all oil rags in water and lay flat to dry outside.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Clark · 04/30/2021
    We are installing new redwood vertical shiplap siding on a cabin in a couple of weeks.  Rough, kiln dried.  I'd like to use a stain and darken the redwood, but not lose all of the grain.  Would you recommend one of the semi-transparent stains like rustic brown or chestnut to use on new redwood?  Also, do you recommend pre-treating the backsides and ends before installation with the same stain selected for the front/exposed side, or do you recommend something else?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/01/2021
      Yes, any semi-transparent color that you like will work for this. No need to pre-treat the backsides, just the exposed wood after install.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Vince · 04/28/2021
    Do the hardwood stains offer as much UV protection as the semi-solid stains?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/28/2021
      No, more pigment equals better UV protection.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Emilio · 04/26/2021
    I'm going to order 4 samples to try on our new Western red cedar deck. I'm thinking semi-transparent or Hardwood/IPE colors but need to know which not to order if I want to avoid any with an orange and/or red tint. Also, not the Driftwood. 
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Carolyn Pendry · 04/26/2021
    My redwood deck was stained about 3 years ago with Redwood Tone, my store had none in stock.  It has some areas that were scraped off to raw wood, lighter than the stained areas. I bought Sequoia, but it is a bit too red. I wouldnt mind it to be more transparent if that would not show too much contrast between the old stained wood and the wood where the stain has been rubbed off. I would like a more brown or golden color. Do I need to strip or can I just pressure wash deck?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Denise Zitzmann · 04/11/2021
    I have semi solid stain on my cedar deck.  It is another brand other than AC.  How do I determine if I need to use the additives to the stripper?  I want to order everything all together, Stain, stripper and brightner and if any additives (gel or Booster).  I will be using a semi solid stain again.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/11/2021
      Post some pictures of the deck and what brand is the current stain?
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Denise Zitzmann · 04/12/2021
        Here are a few current photos of my deck
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 04/12/2021
          Use both additives.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            Denise Zitzmann · 04/12/2021
            I forgot to tell you stain is either Sikkens or SuperDeck.  And so I am using the booster and the gel on my deck, is that correct? 
            • We will reply to your comment shortly
              Armstrong · 04/12/2021
              Yes, both with the stripper.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Denise Zitzmann · 04/09/2021
    If I am using a semi-transparent this summer and need to stain it in 2-3 years with the semi-transparent stain, do I have to strip it before reapplying.  Or just clean and brighten.  And is it the same when reapplying the  Semi-solid stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/10/2021
      Clean and brighten for all AC stains.
  • 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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        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.

        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.

  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.