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
    Jim Lenardon · 08/16/2017
    I have a 1700sq ft redwood deck that had a latex semi solid stain of another brand.
    We have stripped the previous stain off and are interested in your semi solid oil base stain.
    Snow sits at times on the deck during the winter and caused the previous stain to peel off the horizontal surfaces.
    Is there any other prep I should do, and do you think your stain will withstand the snow.
    I expect to have to re stain after a few years but not every year like have in the past.
    Any other suggestions?
    Thanks
    .
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 08/08/2017
    joe b. hudson:
    Have washed and brightened 1,000 sq ft treated pine deck that was severely weathered and grey. Cleaned up well but nervous that stain will soak in and need 2nd coat but don't want to order more stain if not necessary. Also deck size requires multi-day application, so if I did need second coat would it need to be applied in sections that could be completed in 3- 4 hours. Should I test a small portion for the need for a second coat? If second coat needed, any suggestions on how to get 2 coats on wet on wet successfully over 1000 sq ft.

    Are you doing the semi-solid colors? If so, one coat should be enough but it would be best to test a small spot first.

    If doing two coats wet on wet, apply to the entire deck and then repeat within 30-60 minutes. Not sure why you need a multi day application. A good floor stain pad, and you can stain the entire floor in an hour or two.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    joe b. hudson · 08/07/2017
    Have washed and brightened 1,000 sq ft treated pine deck that was severely weathered and grey. Cleaned up well but nervous that stain will soak in and need 2nd coat but don't want to order more stain if not necessary. Also deck size requires multi-day application, so if I did need second coat would it need to be applied in sections that could be completed in 3- 4 hours. Should I test a small portion for the need for a second coat? If second coat needed, any suggestions on how to get 2 coats on wet on wet successfully over 1000 sq ft.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 07/22/2017
    christa:
    Hello,
    Can you tell me if your semi solid stain is avail at any Michigan retailer?

    The Sealer Store
    2388 Franklin Rd
    Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
    248-858-8900
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    christa · 07/21/2017
    Hello,
    Can you tell me if your semi solid stain is avail at any Michigan retailer?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 07/16/2017
    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:
    https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/new-decking-and-armstrong-clark-stain

    Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Patty Tate · 07/15/2017
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 06/19/2017
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gellian · 06/19/2017
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/04/2017
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike Scearce · 06/04/2017
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 04/25/2017
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Joe Goldie · 04/25/2017
    Will the semi solid stain peel?
    Is the semi solid stain easy to re coat, does it need to be stripped before re coating?
  • 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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    THOMAS DANLUCK · 09/23/2016
    can semi solid sequia be used on IPE SIDING
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Leslie Pool · 06/16/2016
    Do you have a grey tone in semi solid?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    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.