Armstrong Clark 2020 Contest Results can be seen here: 2020 Armstrong Clark Stain Contest

Armstrong Clark 2019 Contest Results can be seen here: 2019 Armstrong Clark Stain Contest


The 2021 Spring/Summer Restoration Contest is closed! 

Thanks to all the entries this year. Excellent job to all and we appreciate you entering our staining contest for 2021! 

We will contact the winners via their orders.

First Place

Al (Page 1)

First Place = $500 + 5 Gallon Pail of AC Stain

Second Place

Charlie A (Page 1)

Second Place = $350 + 3 Gallons of AC Stain

Third Place

Simply Clean (Page 1)

Third Place = $200 + 2 Gallons of Ac Stain

Sorry for all that did not win the prizes. We were extremely impressed with all the feedback and entries this year!

Contestant winners will receive

  • First Place = $500 + 5 Gallon Pail of Armstrong Clark Stain of your choice!
  • Second Place = $350  + 3 Gallons of Armstrong Clark Stain of your choice!
  • Third Place:= $200  + 2 Gallons of Armstrong Clark Stain of your choice!

How To Enter Contest

  1. Enter by Sept. 30th, 2021.
  2. In the comment section below, post a short description of your deck/wood staining project, the products used to prep, and the Armstrong Clark Stain and Color used. Examples of wood projects that can be entered: Decks, Fences, Wood Side Homes, Log Cabins, etc.
  3. Add 2 before prepping pictures of the wood that was restored (no more/less). You can still enter if you do not have the before pictures. Decks, wood fences, wood homes, etc are allowed.
  4. 2 after staining pictures must be included (no more/less).
  5. If having trouble uploading the pictures, please make your picture(s) size smaller (below 1 MB).

Any questions or issues posting, please ask in the comment area.

We look forward to all Armstrong Clark Stain entries!

*Disclaimer: All products must be purchased from The contest is not open to products purchased from other online dealers or from physical retail stores.

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    Lori O’Connor · 08/13/2022
    Beautiful Amish built garage- built with larch wood to face the Buffalo winters. We needed a quality stain and Armstrong Clark rustic brown was the winner!
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    Legend · 07/16/2022
    It took a long time to get the product and had delivery issues with UPS, which was BIG inconvenience. Also, didn't get email correspondence about tracking, had to call in and request that it be sent to me. However, product was good and seems to be lasting.
    Used Armstrong Clark Hardwood/Ipe Stain 1 Gallon
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    Yoram · 10/19/2021
    I finally finished building a redwood deck (480 sqft ft). I live in the foothills of the Sierras in CA, 2200 ft elevation with very hot summer (110F) and some snow in winter. My redwood top boards were installed in January 2020. I just finished yesterday prepping with Restore-a-Deck cleaner and brightener. Now I’m in rain season. I won’t have 48 hrs to let it dry before and after staining. Weather forecast keep changing. What is more risky? To wait another 6 months, which means 15-16 months without stain, or to stain now in between rainy days? I’m leaning toward waiting, but it looks so clean and ready now…and I’m worried about damage to the wood.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/19/2021
      You will be fine to wait. Prep again and then stain on Spring. 
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    Robert B. Kerrigan · 09/30/2021
    We had a problem.Mahogany deck all dried out,  Weather beaten and hasn't been touched in 10 years.Search the marketplace.  Find a solution.  A real one.  Checked all water based and oil based stains.The research took well over a month.  We settled on A&C.  The only company that didn't sway the truth.This is a tough problem, but we have a solution.  A liquid solution. A&C mahogany stain.We cleaned with bleach, liquid dish soap and water.  As advised.  We sanded with oscillating sander and80 grit.  We applied and rinsed with suggested brightener.  We finally applied the mahogany stain.Photo #1...the start...dull and lifelessPhoto #2...The finish...A new lifePhoto #3...The result...Problem solvedSince the solution was applied, weather does not penetrate the wood.  This rainwater sits on the surface.A&C does what it says, and says what it more splinters in tiny feet.My whole family is oh, so happy.We had a problem, and you fixed it.
    Thank You A&C,Robert KerriganMarshfield, Ma.
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    Hugh R Williams · 09/30/2021
    We were unhappy with how the previously applied expensive Penofin oil had darkened our beautiful Kayu Batu deck. We used "Armstrong Clark Restore-A-Deck" stripper and brightener with a power washer to remove the old finish. It work well. We then applied "Armstrong Clark Semi-Transparent" mahogany stain. The results were great. We are very happy.
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    Hugh R Williams · 09/30/2021
    We were unhappy with how the previously applied expensive Penofin oil had darkened our beautiful Kayu Batu deck.  We used "Armstrong Clark Restore-A-Deck" stripper and brightener with a power washer to remove the old finish.  It work well.  We then applied "Armstrong Clark Semi-Transparent" mahogany stain.  The results were great.  We are very happy.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      genstuff · 10/03/2021
      I was a Penofin guy for years. My first run with Armstrong after reading great reviews. Hopefully get longer lasting results 
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    genstuff · 09/29/2021
    I used the Armstrong Semi-Trans Sierra Redwood.  This is a 20 year old deck, old style Trex on the deck, aluminum spindles, with Red Cedar rails and posts.  Previous to this I was using an oil, looked good for a short time, but seemed to turn black. 
    I used a bleach based cleaner, and just a garden hose.  Pressure washer eats cedar. Then 150 grit on a palm sander and then applied stain.  It looks great and hope the black from the surrounding trees washes off when it returns.  I live in the woods, so it cannot be avoided.
    I don't have any before pics, so my 4 will be 2 for each deck.  One on the house, one on the pool. I did find a pic of a post I used for a before and after on the cleaner.  This post is the before. 
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    Monika Welch · 09/28/2021
    Hi, we used Armstrong Clark stain products for our deck and fence in Virginia and were super pleased with the results. We moved to Florida recently and are blessed to have a barn with horses and donkeys. The barn was several years old and had never been stained. We probably should have prepped the wood with Restore-a-Deck Cleaner and Brightener. Unfortunately, my 45 year old husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the midst of this project. So we just had a friend help us gently wash off the mildew with a pressure washer and detergent. We ordered a couple stain samples and decided on the Armstrong Clark semi-solid Oxford Brown with beautiful results! Now we need to get to the fences! Fortunately we have 5 kids to help us out!
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    CharlieA · 09/28/2021
    Our pressure treated pine deck was built here in Virginia in 1989. By last year it looked so bad we were concerned it might need replaced. Although I’m now 73, I’ve done some wood work and decided to restore it myself. I sorted through many stain products until I was convinced the Armstrong Clark stains would be best and ordered some samples which were beautiful and applied easily. I took my time sanding the deck with 50 grit and then 60 grit discs to remove the previous coatings, leveled uneven board edges with a hand power planer and belt sander, and added deck screws to tighten several railings and boards.

    I also asked for Armstrong Clark recommendations through the customer forum and followed their suggestions to let the deck weather for a month or two to allow the wood pores to open and then followed with Restore-a-Deck Cleaner and Brightener. I then applied one coat of Armstrong Clark stain which I blended with 6 parts of semi-solid Sequoia and one part Oxford Brown. The stain applied easily, readily soaked into the boards and produced a beautiful dark red brown finish – it is easily the best deck stain I’ve used. I’m just so happy with the result -- our deck has not looked this good in decades.  
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      Peter · 09/28/2021
      Wow! The color mix is really beautiful. Great transformation!
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    SIMPLY CLEAN · 09/21/2021
    Started this 40+ year old log Cabin about a month ago and finally had a break in weather to get it stained. We initially washed all surfaces using SH and EBC, brightened it with a wood brightener and then applied Armstrong and Clark Espresso Stain in 2 coats. Client will be painting window trims with a neutral tone color. These are the before and after photo's. 
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    Judy earthman · 09/09/2021
    We had previously stained our deck with a transparent stain, but it didn't weather well.  Full sun in summer here can register at 120 degrees at the deck in summer;  snow in winter.  This year, after cleaning and brightening with the Restore-a-Deck Kit,  we went with a semi-transparent in cedar. As we live in a National Forest, highly prone to fires, we used an ember-resistant additive, DekGard.  The deck looks better than ever.
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      Adam · 08/09/2022
      Hi Judy - I'm trying to find where to buy DekGard.  Do you have any pointers on where you got what you used?

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    Carina Marchello · 09/09/2021
    We have a large wrap around deck that hadn’t been stained. We let it weather for more years than we should’ve. We cleaned in with Restore and it looked like brand new wood. Our project took ten gallons of Ebony semi solid stain. That covered the deck and the fence and we love the result!
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    Tony R · 09/09/2021
    I built a new deck using pressure treated pine and wanted a very high quality stain to beautify and protect it.  After much research I decided to use Armstrong Clark.  The deck is approximately 1,000 sq ft and I used about 6 gallons of stain.  I prepped the deck with RAD cleaner and brightener and then stained with AC Semi-Transparent Chestnut.  Application was easy and used a combination of a stain pad, a large stain brush on a pole (to get in between the boards) and a smaller stain brush to do the edging.  I was able to stain the whole deck in a single day.  The result was just beautiful.  I have received so many compliments on how good the deck looks from friends and family.  Thanks, Armstrong Clark!
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    KevinC · 09/08/2021
    Ipe deck with cedar railing. Before (post-stripping, brightening, and sanding) and after. Used RAD stripper and brightener. Stain is hardwood Amber color. 
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    Greg Tharp · 09/03/2021
    Additional photos of deck restoration project and board and batten barn.The finished deck and the barn prior to staining
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    Greg Tharp · 09/03/2021
    We have completed two projects using Armstrong Clark stains this season. The first was restoration of our 25’x25’ deck. We used the Restore A Deck products using the 3 step process.After the brightner and several days of drying time we applied AC Natural Transparent. The project went smoothly and turned out extremely well! Please see the attached photos.The second project was staining our brand new 32’x32’ rough cut board and batten barn. After pressure washing, we applied AC Natural Oak Semi Transparent. The project turned well beyond our wildest dreams. The ease of application, and the finished appearance is stunning!
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    Katrina P · 09/02/2021
    Armstrong-Clark Hardwood Stain in Amber looks wonderful on our deck! The color turned out perfect and really brought out the natural color variation on our 15+ year old multi-level 1000+ square foot Ipe deck and railings. It was previously finished a few years ago with an inferior product and most of the old stain had finally worn off. I was sold on Armstrong Clark's reapplication process and took the plunge. Prep work was done with a one step cleaning and brightening product (Wolman Deckbrite) with a power wash rinse. I usually use Restore-A-Deck to clean and brighten yearly, which I will definitely use the next time the deck needs cleaning. Boards with excessive furring/damage or old stain were sanded with 80 grit sand paper. I was impressed with the ease of application, and how well it soaked into our old Ipe decking.  Months after application, it still looks great and repelling water as it should. I finally found a product that I will go back to again and again!
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    Irina Badea · 08/30/2021
    The Armstrong Clark stain really impressed us in a recent project, so we decided to refinish the interior part of our fence. It’s about 300 linear feet of 7 ft high fence made of pine. I was excited to talk to Mr. Clark directly. He suggested to get a 5 gallon bucket and told us that Armstrong Clark stain color charts had been picked and narrowed by customer input. After we removed a dark, dirty weathered layer with a pressure washer, I stained sections of our fence every few days when it was possible (i.e. time constrains, high/low temperatures, humidity, etc.). Our many established flower beds, trees and hedges prevented spraying, plus the lapped board construction required hand brush application which took many days, so the single-coat application was a life-saver! I tell you, it wasn’t a simple job. Our stain selection was Black Walnut - a great color: the plants against this color look greener and more lush and radiant. You still can see the wood grain under this new stain layer. It also repels water. It’s very satisfying to see your hard work generated beautiful results. You see “More is NOT better!!” printed on top of AC cans - how true!!
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    Irina Badea · 08/30/2021
    Our Armstrong Clark (AC) project was to restore the beautiful wood of our 30 ft L x 15 ft D x 12 ft H pergola. We reviewed many companies’ stain color samples and AC caught our eye for their deep rich array of color stains. We loved the idea of mixing colors to achieve a desirable hue to match pergola’s areas that weren’t affected by the weather elements. The poles and rafters had to be hand sanded to preserve the surface integrity. After mixing Natural Oak and Sierra Redwood semi-transparent stains, the application took a few days. The old and new colors matched almost perfectly. We loved it. See it yourself. Isn’t it a grand looking structure? We don’t have a “before” photo. We stained this pergola a few months before we received Armstrong Clark 2021 contest email.
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    Dianne Weiger · 08/28/2021
    Started with pine columns.  Painted columns to match aluminum soffits.  Didn't like the outcome so bought cedar for wrap around.  Tested different oil stains and we chose the Armstrong/Clark transparent natural sealer.  The results were exactly what we were looking for.  A quality oil stain that is easy to apply and affordable.  We will be purchasing more from Armstrong/Clark for the sauna building in progress next to the house. 
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    Jeff · 08/19/2021
    15 year old Mahogany wood decks.   Power washed then used Restore-a-Deck Stripper followed by Brightener.  used Amber stain afterwards.  Before and after pics.
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    Cynthia · 08/16/2021
    Full disclosure - this is a second entry for my fence.  I already entered one for the deck.  I am only doing 2 because I couldn't do the projects justice with only 4 pictures.  This is a pressure-treated 5 year old fence.  Used Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener and the Mahogany Semi Transparent stain.  Applied with deck brush.  I highly recommend the Restore A Deck if you want to see the beautiful color of the stain.
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    Cynthia · 08/16/2021
    This is a 5 year old deck that was stained several years ago by a company but I wasn't impressed with them and they were expensive.  So I decided to do this myself.  I used the Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener and the Mahogany Semi-Transparent Stain.  Applied with deck brush.  Love love love the color!!
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    Jack · 08/09/2021
    We loved our cedar deck until it changed to grey and got mold and mildew. It was eight years old and never stained or painted. We thought we would need to replace it in a few years. Instead I cleaned it with a soap and bleach mixture and applied Armstrong Clark Cedar semi-transparent wood stain for decks and fences. It was easy to apply and we love the new look. The deck is better than new. No need to replace it.
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    Tyler · 08/06/2021
    Large Backyard fence project. Cedar boards, pressure treated posts and rails. Fence just under 1 yr old. After much research, decided on the new Armstrong Clark semi-solid color Espresso. Not many pics of Espresso out there to go off of so bought the sample first. Then ten more gallons.

    For Prep, just used a pressure washer. Applied stain with old airless sprayer and a brush. This product was great to use, and my wife and I were extremely happy with the color. Only regret I have was not buying enough!

    Took one of the pics in the shade and one in the sun for comparison. Hoping this post gets Espresso on the map!
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    Jen · 08/04/2021
    Stained 2 15 year old decks plus lattice around the base of a beach house. Prepped by cleaning with a mixture of bleach, water and dawn detergent. Decks and trim are mahogany, not sure what type of wood the lattice is. Used Armstrong Clark Mahogany semi stain. 
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    Nick · 08/02/2021
    Customer was very unsatisfied with previous stains contractor used . There prep work was not on par as well.  We sanded back all wood and applied 2 coats Mahogany semi from Armstrong Clark.  The doors are beautiful.  
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    Al · 07/20/2021
    Project: Timber frame barn with southern yellow pine siding. After many hours of research and using other products on our decks etc. in the past we decided on Amber semi transparent Armstrong Stain. Not only is the product amazing, the company support is excellent as well. The Amber stain was exactly as advertised. The company said to expect a bit of an orange tint at first that we were trying to avoid, but it did quickly take on the brown semi transparent appearance we hoped for. This is a quality product for sure and withstands the hot Tennessee weather.  We are unable to preview the photos that uploaded to confirm they are correct. Please confirm. Thanks
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    Lee · 07/20/2021
    Two year old cedar deck.  Original stain failed - probable cause: moisture content in the wood was too high.  Stripped, power sanded and brightened then after aging for two months, lightly sanded, cleaned and brightened with Restore-A-Deck cleaner and brightener.  Armstong-Clark Cedar Semi-transparent on cedar deck boards.  Western Washington.
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    Chris · 07/17/2021
    Well, it is done!
    3 year old Cedar Deck in VT. Prepped with RAD clean and brighten and stained with AC semi transparent natural oak.