Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain

Deck stains come in different transparency levels. The more transparent or the less opaque a stain is, the more the natural wood grain shows through. This category is referred to as the semi-transparent deck stains.

The more opaque less transparent deck stains are commonly called the semi-solid deck stains. So basically the transparency scale in order starting with the least opaque would be clear sealer, semi-transparent stain, semi-solid stain, and solid stains.

All stains are designed to be water repellent but not all will protect against graying UV rays. Pigment in the stain is what provides UV protection. With that said, a clear sealer would provide zero UV protection while a solid stain would provide the most. Ultraviolet rays are what cause a wood deck to turn gray. Because of this, many deck owners stay away from clear sealers.

The solid deck stains completely mask the beauty of the wood and are much harder to maintain. Therefore, the semi-transparent and semi-solid deck stains are the popular choices. They are easier to maintain, provide adequate water and UV protection, and do not hide the wood but rather enhance its appearance. For those looking for an enhanced look with exceptional UV protection, the semi-solid stains are the ticket.

The best semi-solid deck stain is going to be an oil based penetrating formula. A reputable deck stain like Armstrong Clark is a popular choice. They offer several semi-solid deck stain colors such as Mountain Cedar, Sequoia, Woodland, and Oxford Brown.

This stain is a unique blend of both nondrying and drying oils. These oils separate to perform specific tasks. The nondrying side of the formula penetrates the pores to replace the wood’s lessening natural oils. The drying oils provide a surface barrier to trap in the conditioning oils and keep out moisture. This process revitalizes the wood while providing protection. Using the best semi-solid deck stain available will ensure you get much use from your deck while keeping it looking great.

Questions? Ask Below!

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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Patty Tate:
New T & G Southern Yellow Pine on Covered Porch in central W,V Had hard rain right after install, some cupping has occured - How long to wait before staining? 1 or 2 coats? Which would be best semi solid or semi transparent?

See this article about new wood:
www.armstrongclarkstain.com/.. ./

Thanks
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
New T & G Southern Yellow Pine on Covered Porch in central W,V Had hard rain right after install, some cupping has occured - How long to wait before staining? 1 or 2 coats? Which would be best semi solid or semi transparent?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Gellian:
Hello
Do you recommend staining the underside of the deck/stairs or leave it exposed?

Also I have a 3 yr old deck and 3 month old deck addition. Do you recommend that I stain the old deck now and do a restain of the old deck when I'm ready to stain the new addition at the 1 yr mark? Would the old deck look darker if I restain again?

Leave unstained for the undersides. Do it all at the same time is best.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Hello
Do you recommend staining the underside of the deck/stairs or leave it exposed?

Also I have a 3 yr old deck and 3 month old deck addition. Do you recommend that I stain the old deck now and do a restain of the old deck when I'm ready to stain the new addition at the 1 yr mark? Would the old deck look darker if I restain again?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Mike Scearce:
Do you have a stain that you would recommend for a partially covered boat dock that is exposed to both strong sun and some shade? Thanks.

Use the semi-solid colors for this.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Do you have a stain that you would recommend for a partially covered boat dock that is exposed to both strong sun and some shade? Thanks.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Joe Goldie:
Will the semi solid stain peel?
Is the semi solid stain easy to re coat, does it need to be stripped before re coating?

It is a penetrating stain as long as you prep and apply correctly. No need to strip when reapplying. Just clean.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Will the semi solid stain peel?
Is the semi solid stain easy to re coat, does it need to be stripped before re coating?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Mary Jo Haggerty:
I ordered a sample of your semi-solid stain in Oxford Brown. The properties of the stain seem great BUT it's too red on my deck. Can the stain be darkened either by the company or myself? (I used Cordovan Brown Cabot's until Cabot sold out and the new formula is horrible.)
Thank you.

Sorry but is not possible for us to add tint or for you to add a generic tint to it.
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home owner
I ordered a sample of your semi-solid stain in Oxford Brown. The properties of the stain seem great BUT it's too red on my deck. Can the stain be darkened either by the company or myself? (I used Cordovan Brown Cabot's until Cabot sold out and the new formula is horrible.)
Thank you.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting THOMAS DANLUCK:
can semi solid sequia be used on IPE SIDING

Yes. Only one light coat should be applied.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
can semi solid sequia be used on IPE SIDING
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting J:
Just applied the Oxford Brown to my outdoor uncovered deck about 3 hours ago, pop up thunderstorm expected soon, should I tarp the deck or is 3 hour enough time for it to cure.. humid today as well. Thanks for any advice.

Leave it uncovered. Hopefully it had enough time to soak into the wood before the rain came.
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Oxford Brown
Just applied the Oxford Brown to my outdoor uncovered deck about 3 hours ago, pop up thunderstorm expected soon, should I tarp the deck or is 3 hour enough time for it to cure.. humid today as well. Thanks for any advice.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Robert Skinner:
Hello,
We have rebuilt 2 porches in tamarack. Would like to know which stain would most keep or enhance the natural color and grain of the wood.
Thank you.

Hello,

See here your new wood:

www.armstrongclarkstain.com/.. ./

All the AC colors will protect, but higher pigment colors will give longer UV protection. We would strongly suggest trying some samples to see what you would like:

www.armstrongclarkstain.com/.. ./
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Hello,
We have rebuilt 2 porches in tamarack. Would like to know which stain would most keep or enhance the natural color and grain of the wood.
Thank you.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting lindabc2:
Can someone tell me what stain color and type was used on the deck featured in the second photo on your website, the deck with a tree growing through it?

That is Rustic Brown on clear cedar wood.
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Stain color and type?
Can someone tell me what stain color and type was used on the deck featured in the second photo on your website, the deck with a tree growing through it?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Leslie Pool:
Do you have a grey tone in semi solid?

Only in a semi-transparen t.
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Ms
Do you have a grey tone in semi solid?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting scott bousfield:
I have the cedar semi transparent stain.
I would like to know when it is time to re-apply, what needs to be done to the deck?
Thanks

Prep with the Restore A Deck Cleaner Kit that we sell when time to reapply.
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re-applying
I have the cedar semi transparent stain.
I would like to know when it is time to re-apply, what needs to be done to the deck?
Thanks
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Norman Goodacre:
I live in a condominium community that is dictated to by a home-owners association. At their request I have had my deck replaced and now need to stain it; the problem is that the Association also dictates the color, which comes only in Benjamin Moore Arborcoat 'Hearthstone'. Unfortunately Benjamin Moore deckstains get a very low rating in the reviews. Could I use Armstrong semi-solid deck stain - to get the wood prepared well - and then apply BM's 'Hearthstone' over it to keep the association gestapo happy?

No you cannot do that.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
I live in a condominium community that is dictated to by a home-owners association. At their request I have had my deck replaced and now need to stain it; the problem is that the Association also dictates the color, which comes only in Benjamin Moore Arborcoat 'Hearthstone'. Unfortunately Benjamin Moore deckstains get a very low rating in the reviews. Could I use Armstrong semi-solid deck stain - to get the wood prepared well - and then apply BM's 'Hearthstone' over it to keep the association gestapo happy?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Terry Filliman:
I would like to apply an oil based solid or semi-solid stain to a clean older Trex composite deck. Don't want to use a water based solid surface stain. Will your semisolid stain penetrate composite deck? Pros and cons of using on composite?

Sorry, but AC is not designed for composite decking.
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Semi-Solid Stain on composite deck
I would like to apply an oil based solid or semi-solid stain to a clean older Trex composite deck. Don't want to use a water based solid surface stain. Will your semisolid stain penetrate composite deck? Pros and cons of using on composite?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Rita Molloy:
We have a large Cedar deck that we had applied Sikkens numerous times it is peeling and we don't want to use any more sickens.
My husband is sanding it all down to bare wood and we were advised to apply a penetrating stain.

After sanding does it need any other treatment or are we ready for the stain

Could you recommend which stain would be best?
Yes prep with a Restore A Deck Kit for the final prep. Try the AC in a semi-transparen t or a semi-solid color.
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owner
We have a large Cedar deck that we had applied Sikkens numerous times it is peeling and we don't want to use any more sickens.
My husband is sanding it all down to bare wood and we were advised to apply a penetrating stain.

After sanding does it need any other treatment or are we ready for the stain

Could you recommend which stain would be best?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting jon:
going over an older deck that had a red semi-solid. Must the deck be completly stripped or could I clean up as best I can removing loose , scrubbing, then re-applying

You do need to strip off as much as possible.
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semi solid
going over an older deck that had a red semi-solid. Must the deck be completly stripped or could I clean up as best I can removing loose , scrubbing, then re-applying
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting SusanWener:
Applied test area yesterday morning of semi-solid stain to porch. Mixed Oxford Brown and Sequoia 1:1. Like the color and coverage but when I went to check it this morning, I brushed my hand over it and was covered in brownish-red "dust", in two tones!

Colors not mixed thoroughly? What about the dusty residue? Over-application? They will be staining the entire porch Monday morning so I'd like to know what to tell them.

Thanks

Probably over applied and did not penetrate and cure fully. You can mix colors. Make sure they you mix thoroughly and only apply one coat of the stain. Do not back wipe the stain either. Let it fully cure and dry into the wood grain.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Applied test area yesterday morning of semi-solid stain to porch. Mixed Oxford Brown and Sequoia 1:1. Like the color and coverage but when I went to check it this morning, I brushed my hand over it and was covered in brownish-red "dust", in two tones!

Colors not mixed thoroughly? What about the dusty residue? Over-applicatio n? They will be staining the entire porch Monday morning so I'd like to know what to tell them.

Thanks
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Terri:
Is your semi-solid stain deck also good for front and garage doors?

It may have issues on the from door due to the weather seals. It would be fine on an unfinished garage door.
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For Doors?
Is your semi-solid stain deck also good for front and garage doors?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Joe DAngelillio:
I have a new mahogany porch floor and top rail that I want to stain a medium - dark brown color. On your color chart, the samples I want to order are all semi-solid. What is the down side of using semi-solid stain on mahogany?

It may not penetrate as well as it should into the wood grain.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
I have a new mahogany porch floor and top rail that I want to stain a medium - dark brown color. On your color chart, the samples I want to order are all semi-solid. What is the down side of using semi-solid stain on mahogany?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Terry D:
Just replaced our wood pressure treated deck with a composite deck. We used the mahogany shade made by Clubhouse. I want to stain the floor joists and posts, how long do I have to wait to stain them. Also, I am looking at your mahogany stain and wanted to know if this is a solid or semi-solid stain. Hoping the colors will match fairly well.

The Mahogany is a semi-transparen t. We have samples for testing on our site. Clean and stain the new wood in 2-3 months.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Just replaced our wood pressure treated deck with a composite deck. We used the mahogany shade made by Clubhouse. I want to stain the floor joists and posts, how long do I have to wait to stain them. Also, I am looking at your mahogany stain and wanted to know if this is a solid or semi-solid stain. Hoping the colors will match fairly well.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Sharon:
My deck is pressure treated pine, 18 yrs old in Little Rock, AR. We have used Behr semi-transparent deck stain every 2-3 years with pressure washing/deck cleaner before application. Last application was 3 yrs ago & the stain failed--lots of bare wood showing and wood now looks old and cracked. We are having it pressure cleaned by a professional & it looks like the old stain is coming off well. Can we use one of your products at this stage to condition the wood and look appealing?
Thanks

As long as you remove the Behr, you can use the AC stain.

Thanks!
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
My deck is pressure treated pine, 18 yrs old in Little Rock, AR. We have used Behr semi-transparen t deck stain every 2-3 years with pressure washing/deck cleaner before application. Last application was 3 yrs ago & the stain failed--lots of bare wood showing and wood now looks old and cracked. We are having it pressure cleaned by a professional & it looks like the old stain is coming off well. Can we use one of your products at this stage to condition the wood and look appealing?
Thanks
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Tracey:
which semi solid stain color would give me the best dark rich color without a red tint. My house siding is red so I don't want a red tint in the stain. My deck material is pressure treated pine. My deck is 4 years old and hasn't been stained ever.

Oxford Brown.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
which semi solid stain color would give me the best dark rich color without a red tint. My house siding is red so I don't want a red tint in the stain. My deck material is pressure treated pine. My deck is 4 years old and hasn't been stained ever.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting David Behar:
Hi!

I live near Seattle and have a fairly new tight-knot cedar deck. We cleaned and applied Sherwin Williams Deckscapes Premium Waterbone Formula. This is listed as a semi-transparent stain, but is actually fairly solid in appearance. After one year it looks pretty bad, the color is showing fading and there are few small spots where the stain has flaked off. I read very good reviews about your stain and am wondering what you would recommend for re-staining my deck. I'd prefer re-coating it to trying to get it down to bare wood.

You have to remove the SW and that will require sanding it all off before using the AC.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Hi!

I live near Seattle and have a fairly new tight-knot cedar deck. We cleaned and applied Sherwin Williams Deckscapes Premium Waterbone Formula. This is listed as a semi-transparen t stain, but is actually fairly solid in appearance. After one year it looks pretty bad, the color is showing fading and there are few small spots where the stain has flaked off. I read very good reviews about your stain and am wondering what you would recommend for re-staining my deck. I'd prefer re-coating it to trying to get it down to bare wood.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Adam:
Do you have a white semi solid stain to use on new PT deck railing or do I have to paint it instead

We do not.
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Semi solid stain
Do you have a white semi solid stain to use on new PT deck railing or do I have to paint it instead
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting gene solyntjes:
Hello,
I've seen no deck I like since retiring here in the Rockies at 6,500 feet in northern New Mexico (326 days of full sun a year). I am working on a 1,200 sq. ft. deck/pergola/patio of pine. Apparently your semi solid stain would be the best choice? How much would I need initially and how often would I have to restain here?

We would need a total sq. footage of all wood to give a proper estimate on the amount. Might want to start with 10 gallons of the semi-solid. Floors would need to be redone very 2-3 years with the semi-solids and the verticals will last another 1-2 years longer.
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Mr.
Hello,
I've seen no deck I like since retiring here in the Rockies at 6,500 feet in northern New Mexico (326 days of full sun a year). I am working on a 1,200 sq. ft. deck/pergola/pa tio of pine. Apparently your semi solid stain would be the best choice? How much would I need initially and how often would I have to restain here?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
I have just built a deck with pressure treated pine. I am looking for a natural look on the deck? Not looking for stain. What would you suggest?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Jim T:
We have a composite wood deck, that a contractor spilled tub reglazing paint on. Although he cleaned it twice with his own cleaning solutions, the white haze and some remaining paint residue still is pretty visible on a number of our planks.

Our composite wood deck is unusual in that it does NOT have a plastic exterior coating covering the material; it is more a solid, flat wood with no visible grain, but has tiny pieces of plastic embedded within it.

My questions are:

1) can we use Armstrong Clark semi-solid oil stains on composite wood decks successfully?

2) What deck cleaners and/or strippers are compatible with your products?

3) Where can I find a local dealer for your products? We live in Los Angeles

Thank you so much for your help!

I am sorry but Armstrong is not designed for composite decking.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
We have a composite wood deck, that a contractor spilled tub reglazing paint on. Although he cleaned it twice with his own cleaning solutions, the white haze and some remaining paint residue still is pretty visible on a number of our planks.

Our composite wood deck is unusual in that it does NOT have a plastic exterior coating covering the material; it is more a solid, flat wood with no visible grain, but has tiny pieces of plastic embedded within it.

My questions are:

1) can we use Armstrong Clark semi-solid oil stains on composite wood decks successfully?

2) What deck cleaners and/or strippers are compatible with your products?

3) Where can I find a local dealer for your products? We live in Los Angeles

Thank you so much for your help!
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Dick McIntyre:
Have a 20x12 shed newly built.Sheathed w/3/4" TREATED plywood....batten strips. Can I apply your semi-solid stain with a sprayer? Looking for "wood-bark" tone coverage,and dense UV protection.Coastal South Carolina....Do you have a COLOR chart? Many Thanks, Dick

Yes you can apply the semi-solids with a sprayer. Probably Oxford Brown would be your best option. We have samples that you can test.
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broker
Have a 20x12 shed newly built.Sheathed w/3/4" TREATED plywood....batt en strips. Can I apply your semi-solid stain with a sprayer? Looking for "wood-bark" tone coverage,and dense UV protection.Coas tal South Carolina....Do you have a COLOR chart? Many Thanks, Dick
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Larry Rose:
I have a large 25 year old deck with multiple coats of solid stain in poor condition. Do I have to remove all of the old stain? This would be a huge task. Can Armstrong stain be used on top of the existing stain?
Thanks.

No you cannot use AC on top of a solid stain of any brand.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
I have a large 25 year old deck with multiple coats of solid stain in poor condition. Do I have to remove all of the old stain? This would be a huge task. Can Armstrong stain be used on top of the existing stain?
Thanks.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Charles Jacques:
Hello, building a brand new western red cedar deck and I am finding it is very soft. I understand the AC stain has non drying but also drying oils.

1. Will the surface drying layer provide protection against dings and scratches?

2.Must the drying layer be removed before re-applying the product?

No it is not possible for a deck stain to prevent dings and scratches. It can be cleaned and reapplied as needed without removing.
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Protecting soft cedar wood
Hello, building a brand new western red cedar deck and I am finding it is very soft. I understand the AC stain has non drying but also drying oils.

1. Will the surface drying layer provide protection against dings and scratches?

2.Must the drying layer be removed before re-applying the product?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting George Smilow:
I recently mostly stripped 20 years of numerous coats of oil based dark color Cabot semi solid stain off my cedar deck.

There are many areas where the dark residue remains plus the rails are opaque.

Do you have a product that will cover both the deck and rails? I read alot of positive comments about your products and would like to use if possible.

Thank you for your help

The AC is not a covering stain. You definitely cannot use it on a solid stain. You could probably blend it with the deck floor.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
I recently mostly stripped 20 years of numerous coats of oil based dark color Cabot semi solid stain off my cedar deck.

There are many areas where the dark residue remains plus the rails are opaque.

Do you have a product that will cover both the deck and rails? I read alot of positive comments about your products and would like to use if possible.

Thank you for your help
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Mikedpzz:
What would be the best Armstrong/ Clark stain for a cedar deck?

Any of the AC colors will work for cedar wood.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Kristy:
Is this semi transparent or semi solid?

Mahogany is a semi-trans.
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mahogany stain
Is this semi transparent or semi solid?
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Best stain for cedar
What would be the best Armstrong/ Clark stain for a cedar deck?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Mike DP:
What type & color of your stain do you recommend for cedar decking approximately 5 yrs old?

Thanks,
Mike in upstate NY

Semi-trans or Semi-solid colors.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Mike Chornopesky:
I see you have a phone number to call from Canada. But in the shipping section you say you only ship to the contiguous 48 states. Is there a way to get your products in Canada?

We ship form our website.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
I see you have a phone number to call from Canada. But in the shipping section you say you only ship to the contiguous 48 states. Is there a way to get your products in Canada?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
What type & color of your stain do you recommend for cedar decking approximately 5 yrs old?

Thanks,
Mike in upstate NY
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Dan Decker:
We have powerwashed and scrubbed with deck wash,and want to stain our previously red colored deck a deep brown in the Armstrong semi solid. Is this possible? Also see previous unanswered question. Thanks

You need to remove all of the old stain first. You should not apply AC on top of a different brand.
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mr
We have powerwashed and scrubbed with deck wash,and want to stain our previously red colored deck a deep brown in the Armstrong semi solid. Is this possible? Also see previous unanswered question. Thanks
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Mr
Deck is uneven redwood stained, have powerwashed, scrubbed with special deck wash, most of the stain is gone, none of the stain is gone from rails, can we use darkest stain color to cover this and move away from the redwood?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting peter lederman:
have a large neglected pressure treated wood deck....needs penetration and some covering (not transparent) which of your products would you recommend...and what colors are available in that product and can i get samples

Samples are on this link:

www.armstrongclarkstain.com/.. ./

Use one of the semi-solid colors.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
have a large neglected pressure treated wood deck....needs penetration and some covering (not transparent) which of your products would you recommend...and what colors are available in that product and can i get samples
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting tim scholz:
does semi solid stain come in cedar tone

Mountain Cedar in the semi-solid.
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
does semi solid stain come in cedar tone
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting majorguns:
Do the semi-solid stains have more of a tendency to peel over time compared to the semi-transparents?

Can you re-stain over a semi-solid with a semi-transparent when the time comes?

No they do not film so no more tendency to peel. Cannot put a semi-trans on top of a semi solid.
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AC Semi-solid vs Semi-transparen t stains
Do the semi-solid stains have more of a tendency to peel over time compared to the semi-transparen ts?

Can you re-stain over a semi-solid with a semi-transparen t when the time comes?
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sealer?
After appling Armstrong clark semi-solid stain to a deck does one need to apply a sealer?
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Quoting Dale Davidson:
Where can I purchase Armstrong Deck Stain

From our website. Thanks!
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RE: Best Semi-Solid Deck Stain
Where can I purchase Armstrong Deck Stain
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