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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    Administrator · 06/10/2015
    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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    Sharon · 06/10/2015
    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
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    Administrator · 05/10/2015
    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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    Tracey · 05/09/2015
    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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    Administrator · 04/26/2015
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    David Behar · 04/26/2015
    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.
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    Administrator · 03/31/2015
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Adam · 03/31/2015
    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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    Administrator · 10/28/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    gene solyntjes · 10/27/2014
    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 will reply to your comment shortly
    Scott S. · 10/20/2014
    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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    Administrator · 10/16/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim T · 10/15/2014
    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!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 09/25/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dick McIntyre · 09/25/2014
    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
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    Administrator · 08/20/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Larry Rose · 08/19/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 08/05/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charles Jacques · 08/05/2014
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 08/01/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    George Smilow · 07/31/2014
    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
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/22/2014
    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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    Administrator · 07/22/2014
    Kristy:
    Is this semi transparent or semi solid?

    Mahogany is a semi-trans.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kristy · 07/22/2014
    Is this semi transparent or semi solid?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mikedpzz · 07/18/2014
    What would be the best Armstrong/ Clark stain for a cedar deck?
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    Administrator · 07/18/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/18/2014
    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike Chornopesky · 07/17/2014
    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 will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike DP · 07/13/2014
    What type & color of your stain do you recommend for cedar decking approximately 5 yrs old?

    Thanks,
    Mike in upstate NY
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/03/2014
    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.