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