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.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 04/25/2017
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mary Jo Haggerty · 04/25/2017
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 09/24/2016
    THOMAS DANLUCK:
    can semi solid sequia be used on IPE SIDING

    Yes. Only one light coat should be applied.
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    THOMAS DANLUCK · 09/23/2016
    can semi solid sequia be used on IPE SIDING
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    Administrator · 08/28/2016
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    J · 08/27/2016
    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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    Administrator · 08/18/2016
    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:

    http://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/new-decking-and-armstrong-clark-stain

    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:

    http://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/samples
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Robert Skinner · 08/18/2016
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 08/07/2016
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    lindabc · 08/06/2016
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/16/2016
    Leslie Pool:
    Do you have a grey tone in semi solid?

    Only in a semi-transparent.
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    Leslie Pool · 06/16/2016
    Do you have a grey tone in semi solid?
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    Administrator · 06/13/2016
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    scott bousfield · 06/12/2016
    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
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 06/09/2016
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Norman Goodacre · 06/09/2016
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 06/09/2016
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Terry Filliman · 06/08/2016
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 04/28/2016
    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-transparent or a semi-solid color.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rita Molloy · 04/27/2016
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 04/19/2016
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    jon · 04/19/2016
    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
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 10/25/2015
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Susan Wener · 10/24/2015
    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
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 10/12/2015
    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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    Terri · 10/12/2015
    Is your semi-solid stain deck also good for front and garage doors?
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    Administrator · 07/10/2015
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Joe DAngelillio · 07/09/2015
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/02/2015
    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-transparent. We have samples for testing on our site. Clean and stain the new wood in 2-3 months.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Terry D · 07/02/2015
    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.