Armstrong Clark is a penetrating oil based stain that will soak deep into the wood grain offering protection from UV graying and water. The advantages to a penetrating deck stain is that they will not peel but rather fade over the years. The key though is proper prep before applying your AC especially if your wood is new.

New "smooth" wood should not be stained right away with Armstrong Clark. A few things need to happen first:

  • The wood should dry out in the climate
  • Exposed layers of wood cells should oxidize slightly
  • Mill glaze needs to be removed
  • Prep after waiting will remove both oxidation and mill glaze

The best advice is to not stain your new smooth wood too soon after install but follow these steps:

  1. Install wood and let sit outside for 2-4 months or more.
  2. Once the wood has been exposed, use the Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit for prep.
  3. Let the wood dry for 2 or more days after prep.
  4. Apply 1 coat of the Armstrong Clark Stain. Do not over apply.

To maintain your new coat of AC you will most likely need to a light coat in 12-24 months to just the floors or horizontals surfaces. In the future, you will need to reapply AC every 2-3 years for most scenarios or as needed based on your particular traffic and weather.

Important Note: Rough Sawn cut wood can be stained right after install as long as the wood is clean and dry.

If you have a question on prepping your need wood or deck, feel free to ask below.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Matty · 05/19/2018
    I am staining pressure treated wood. I have many delicate trees and flowers around the deck. Aside from using chemical brighteners can I sue anything else to clean the deck? Will baking soda work? Or or just a good scrub Andy wash. Please tell me how I can do it without using any chemical brightener or 'enviro' brighterner. Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/19/2018
      The Restore A Deck Cleaning Kits are Eco-Safe and would be your best option. Baking soda would be no good.
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    shawn · 05/08/2018
    Not sure if this changes anything, but I just had my cedar lumber milled from old telephone poles 50-60 years old, so it’s goid and dry!! Do all the same prep tips apply? It’s rough-cut and went one path through the router. But still not smooth! It’s completely built, but I just had it cut about 3 weeks ago. And different suggestions? Or just follow the basic directions? Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 05/08/2018
      If not smooth you should be okay to stain now.
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    Lezlie Brannan · 04/30/2018
    What kind of brush do you recommend for application?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/30/2018
      Try a deck stain pad for best results.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Manny · 04/30/2018
        The pad is the best but dont put it too thickly that it drips off and have a brush there to push it into tight corners. Also put plastic on the ground i totally stained my concrete driveway too.....
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Robin · 04/25/2018
    Can I stir the Armstrong stain with a paint stick to mix it before use or do I need something else?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/25/2018
      Paint stick will work but we like paint drill mixers. Attaches to your drill.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sharon · 04/19/2018
    Day time temperatures in my location over the next week range from mid 60's to low 70's. Night time temperatures range from mid to high 40's. Is this suitable for cleaning and staining my deck?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    mat · 04/07/2018
    another question - i built my deck around a tree with pressure treated wood. The deck wood looks pretty good - can i skip the cleaning and brightening aside from a pressure wash or cleaning using a enviromentally friendly dish soap? I dont want all the chemicals to damage the tree (i planted 5 years ago). What would happen if i stained after just using a pressure wash? Will it still penetrate and hold? Last year as a test i stained some tables i made out of pressure treated wood without anything and it seems like the stain did pretty good and penetrated deeply.
    please advise
    thanks
    Mat
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/07/2018
      You have to prep correctly with the cleaners and they will not harm the tree. Eco-safe. The prep products help the stain to soak in deeper, will make your job easier, and you will use less pressure.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    matty · 04/06/2018
    i built a deck made of pressure treated wood last july 2017. When should i stain it with the armstrong stain? Can i stain it now? Its been nearly 9 months. Im up in canada. For prep can i just pressure wash it rather than use checmical cleaners? Please advise
    thank
    Maty
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 04/07/2018
      Yes, you can stain it now. Use a deck cleaner while pressure washing so you do not damage the wood. Apply the brightener after.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Thomas · 03/12/2018
    What happens if I stain “semi transparent” in 40 degree weather?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/13/2018
      Since it is below the suggested temperature range, you will run the risk of the stain not drying and curing correctly.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Thomas · 03/13/2018
        If the temp is 50 plus during application , will it be ok if the temp dips in the 30s at night?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 03/13/2018
          Cannot drop below freezing overnight. At least a few hours of drying in the 50s.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Helen · 03/06/2018
    I stripped and brightened a cedar deck in 2015. I want to re-stain. Your site says I can restain without stripping. Do I have to clean and brighten before re-applying?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kim · 03/05/2018
    Can this oil stain be applied over old latex stain? We're planning to sand and power wash the decks. The flat surfaces are peeling and flaking, the posts and face boards still have good color and coverage.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/05/2018
      No. The old latex will need to be removed 100%. Once removed, you can use the Armstrong Clark.
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    Roger Boldizsar · 01/08/2018
    We will be installing a new PT Pine to a flowing dock in Alabama. What stain would you suggest to apply to keep the wood deck from becoming too hot to walk in the summer?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 01/08/2018
      Make sure wait and prep as the directions state. Use a lighter color for less potential of heat retention. Example colors would be Natural, Cedar Tone, Semi-Transparent Cedar.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mike · 11/03/2017
    How long does your semi-transparent deck stain last/remain effective if in an unopened can? You have no dealers in Canada so I was thinking about ordering twice as much as I need to do the recommended light top-up in 12 months. thank you
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 11/04/2017
      Unopened cans will last a few years as long as they are stored in a temperature controlled room. Always stir well before using.
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    James TX · 11/02/2017
    I live in Houston, TX and have a new canoe dock above water rebuilt after Harvey. The wood is UC4A, Azole CA-C Copper 15 treated made by Eastex. It was completed in first week of Sept 2017.

    Would appreciate for help with these questions:
    1) should I wait for 4 month until Jan 2018 to apply the stain or mid Nov 2017 (2 months) is OK too?
    2) Considering the heat, humidity and harsh sun light in Houston, should I consider semi-solid or semi-trans will do just well?
    3) The quoted size is 125 sqft. plus 2 short simple benches, will 1 gallon be enough or will order 2 gallons.
    4) How long will take to receive in Houston after placing order?

    Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 11/02/2017
      1. Spring. Make sure to clean and brighten for the prep. 2. Either would work well. 3. For one coat, 1 gallon should work. 3. 3-4 business days.
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    Rick Fletcher · 11/02/2017
    What will happen if I apply to slightly green wood? I am building a pergola structure and would much rather pre-stain the lumber. Plus I don’t really have storage available for all the lumber.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 11/02/2017
      It will potential not absorb and cure correctly. You should not pre-stain without the weathering or prep. Best to install, let weather, prep, and the stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Harry Z · 10/25/2017
    I am building a redwood deck. Started in April and went slowly. Finishing now in October. Climate is sunny and very dry. I noticed after a couple days the redwood boards I layed would change color slightly after sitting in the sun for even a couple days. So since I knew this was going to be built over a few months, I covered the deck with a tarp so the wood would stay consistent (the unused boards would stay inside the garage). There are some water marks everywhere, but assuming those can be cleaned? Now ready to stain, but wondering if I should wait until Spring. We have one last week of 60-70 degree weather, but lows are around mid 30s. I thought I really need to stain before Spring to avoid the redwood turning greyish and dull. So - best to rush and stain this week or cover with tarp and wait for spring? Note - snow will be sitting on the deck at some points during winter. Thanks for any insight!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/25/2017
      Yes, you should wait until Spring. You want the wood to weather and turn slightly gray is okay. The prep will remove this. Do not cover the wood with a tarp. Leave fully exposed.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Harry Z · 10/25/2017
        Thank you. Will it require pressure washing to restore the wood come spring? The wood is B grade redwood, so it has some sapwood too. Does that cause any complications when it comes to leaving it exposed through winter?
        Thanks again, very helpful.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 10/26/2017
          Use the Restore A Deck Kit and pressure washing for the prep in the Spring. The wood will be fine through one Winter.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Brad Clark · 10/16/2017
    Additionally, I am installing six 10-inch diameter columns on the porch, and if I don't pre-treat the flooring during installation, there will be no opportunity to treat the wood under the columns. Won't this be a problem having untreated flooring under the columns, with the opportunity for rot, etc., to occur in these areas?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/16/2017
      No. Wood stains like the AC are for exposed wood and would have no benefit for the unexposed wood. You want the wood to be able to breathe as well and not 100% sealed on all sides.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Brad Clark · 10/16/2017
    I am replacing my Southern Indiana front porch (west facing) with new Douglas Fir tongue and groove flooring in November. Based on your responses to previous responses I'm assuming I need to wait until spring to apply any treatment (it won't be warm enough any time sooner). Is this correct? Additionally, I was planning on applying your penetrating semi-transparent stain to the underside of all the porch floor as well for added protection. However, once the floor is installed I will not have access to it. So is it better to apply a coat to the new wood before installation, or go without any application at all? Thx.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/16/2017
      No need to stain the underside prior to install. Wait until Spring, prep, and then stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gail · 10/12/2017
    We would like to use stain on our front porch floor. House was built in 1900 & think floor is close to original. We did have to replaced a few boards & did so with kiln dried fir. Planning on having sanded to remove existing paint & stain next week. Do we need to wait until spring to stain? Local hardware store suggested to pour water on new boards to see if soaks in. Pic is example of one of the several spots I tested.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/12/2017
      Yes, you will need to wait until Spring to prep and stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Michael H · 10/12/2017
    I have a two newly installed IPE T&G porches under cover plus exposed IPE stair treads. The IPE was installed about 1 month ago. Waiting 2-4 months will put us into winter here in New York. I see responses below that is better to wait until Spring than to apply during the winter. Is this true to IPE as well? Will the IPE not weather and turn grey over the many months (8 or more) until the deck can be sealed in the Spring? Or will the Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener remove the greying of IPE before a Spring sealing? Thank you very much for your time and inpiut
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/12/2017
      Yes, you should wait until Spring. It is okay if it grays, the prep kit will restore it.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark · 10/12/2017
    I have new KDAT Southern Pine. Is it better to stain the fresh boards prior to installation, or install the boards then stain? Also, do I need to use cleaner/brightener on the new KDAT boards prior to staining?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/12/2017
      For this wood type, install first, let sit for 30 days and prep first with the Restore A Deck Kit. Only one coat of the Armstrong is to be applied.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ray Hepworth · 10/10/2017
    Hello.

    We finished our cedar deck floor-boards and cedar skirting in mid August. We live in Toronto, Canada and the temperature is starting to drop. Would it be best to apply stain now or wait until the Spring. If the answer is to wait should I apply anything for the winter or will it be okay for one winter season.

    I see a similar question recently posted but wanted to ask based on our different location. Thanks in advance.

    Ray
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 10/10/2017
      Wait would be best. No need to do anything to the wood now.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tina Carlson · 10/05/2017
    We recently installed a new cedar deck, finished approximately August, 2017. We live in Kansas and can have harsh winters, although not always. Should we stain our deck now or wait until spring?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Sean · 09/27/2017
    I have a new cedar deck that was installed 5 months ago. I will clean and brighten and allow to dry for two days. Then I'll also only apply one coat. How long should I leave the oil on before wiping? Secondly if the wait time before wiping is multiple hours, is it ok to walk on the oiled deck prior to wiping or will i leave footprints? Any tips for how to overcome this perceived issue would be appreciated.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 09/27/2017
      You do not back wipe the AC. Just apply the one coat and let it soak in and dry fully.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Sean · 09/27/2017
        Thank you. I'm concerned there will be tacky areas if I don't back wipe. Should I not be concerned about tacky-ness if I don't back wipe?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          Armstrong · 10/03/2017
          You cannot back wipe the AC. If you do, it will not cure correctly.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 09/20/2017
    TonyDe:
    As a Cincinnati Ohio resident, we built a new deck and looking for best process to clean the deck and then need recommendation on transparent stain which can be stained over again in a couple of years again.

    Please read the article above. It explains the wait and prep needed. As the for the stain, use any color of the Armstrong that you like.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    TonyDe · 09/19/2017
    As a Cincinnati Ohio resident, we built a new deck and looking for best process to clean the deck and then need recommendation on transparent stain which can be stained over again in a couple of years again.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    TonyDe · 09/19/2017
    I live in Cincinnati Ohio and have built a new deck - about 1000 sq. ft.
    Need to stain for the first time.
    Need recommendation
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 09/17/2017
    Thane Kading:
    I live in Iowa with harsh winters. I am replacing my deck with tigerwood. Do I let it set over the winter and then prep and stain in the spring?

    Yes, that would be best.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Thane Kading · 09/17/2017
    I live in Iowa with harsh winters. I am replacing my deck with tigerwood. Do I let it set over the winter and then prep and stain in the spring?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 09/05/2017
    Jane:
    We live in Oregon and have new deck/porch railings plus a large pergola. They finished the work in mid-August. If we let the wood sit exposed for 2-4 months, it will be October or November when we can stain, which means lower temperatures and probably rain. Will that be a problem? Should we stain before temperatures drop and rain begins again?

    No. Best to wait until Spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jane · 09/05/2017
    We live in Oregon and have new deck/porch railings plus a large pergola. They finished the work in mid-August. If we let the wood sit exposed for 2-4 months, it will be October or November when we can stain, which means lower temperatures and probably rain. Will that be a problem? Should we stain before temperatures drop and rain begins again?