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 3-4 months or more if using a transparent or semi-transparent color. If using a semi-solid color, you should wait 12 months.
  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
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 09/01/2017
    Justin Atkinson:
    I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Is there a dealer that I can buy AC from in my area? Also I just built my new deck out of redwood and cedar. How long should I wait until applying my first coat of sealer/stain?

    There are not any dealers there but we do ship there from this website. Takes about 3-4 days.

    Wait 2-4 months to weather and prep first.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Justin Atkinson · 09/01/2017
    I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Is there a dealer that I can buy AC from in my area? Also I just built my new deck out of redwood and cedar. How long should I wait until applying my first coat of sealer/stain?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 08/31/2017
    Ronda:
    Hello,
    We have just had roof built over our patio they used cedar posts and trim and the ceiling is tongue and groove pine. Do you recommend waiting to have the wood stained on vertical and ceilings? What is the best way to take care of the wood? We are in Austin Texas and just had a lot of rain due to hurricane harvey and I am wanting to make sure that the wood is taken care of properly so that it will last a long time.

    Yes, wait and lightly prep before staining as the article states. Redo as needed every 3-4 years for the verticals. Ceiling could go as long at 5-8 years.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ronda · 08/31/2017
    Hello,
    We have just had roof built over our patio they used cedar posts and trim and the ceiling is tongue and groove pine. Do you recommend waiting to have the wood stained on vertical and ceilings? What is the best way to take care of the wood? We are in Austin Texas and just had a lot of rain due to hurricane harvey and I am wanting to make sure that the wood is taken care of properly so that it will last a long time.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 08/29/2017
    steve d:
    How about 30 yr wood?
    which of your products would work/last best and be easiest to apply.
    in my judgement the more oil in a semi transparent the better.
    also, what are your thought about applying linseed oil?

    Use the AC in a semi-solid for this older wood. Make sure to prep by removing any old coatings first.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    steve d · 08/29/2017
    How about 30 yr wood?
    which of your products would work/last best and be easiest to apply.
    in my judgement the more oil in a semi transparent the better.
    also, what are your thought about applying linseed oil?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 08/23/2017
    Robert Dydo:
    Hi there, I am reading the prep for the new deck, however, elsewhere cedar is being said to be stained as soon as possible.
    I used the sample on some cuts I have and the surface is very greasy, this tells me that would is not dry, any suggestions for cedar?
    thanks

    Cedar is not any different and needs to be weathered and prepped just as this article states.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Robert Dydo · 08/22/2017
    Hi there, I am reading the prep for the new deck, however, elsewhere cedar is being said to be stained as soon as possible.
    I used the sample on some cuts I have and the surface is very greasy, this tells me that would is not dry, any suggestions for cedar?
    thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 08/15/2017
    Richard K.:
    Can oil stain be applied to the underside of pressure-treated (southern white pine) decking without issues? I wanted to provide some protection to the underside of the boards, including the existing, aged joists, prior to installation, as the decking has a southern exposure, and is subjected to relatively damp, 4-season weather in Ohio. Thank you.

    Yes, but you will need to stain after install, weather, and prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Richard K. · 08/14/2017
    Can oil stain be applied to the underside of pressure-treated (southern white pine) decking without issues? I wanted to provide some protection to the underside of the boards, including the existing, aged joists, prior to installation, as the decking has a southern exposure, and is subjected to relatively damp, 4-season weather in Ohio. Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 08/10/2017
    Louise Vasiliades:
    I live on Long Island in New York and had a new deck installed with pressure-treated lumber in March of this year. I would like to use your semi-transparent stain but I was advised to have the deck professionally sanded first if you could please confirm this is necessary? Thank you.

    You do not need to sand but use the prepping kit for the prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Louise Vasiliades · 08/10/2017
    I live on Long Island in New York and had a new deck installed with pressure-treated lumber in March of this year. I would like to use your semi-transparent stain but I was advised to have the deck professionally sanded first if you could please confirm this is necessary? Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 07/20/2017
    talktome:
    I recently purchased Armstrong-Clark stain and Restore a Deck. The deck is 6 months old and ready for staining but, I am wanting to sand the deck before I stain. My question is would I use the Restore a Deck before sanding, wait for it to dry then sand the deck and then brush/compressed air to remove sanding particles and stain or sand the deck and then use the Restore a Deck wait for the deck to dry and then stain? I don't know how the water after sanding the deck will affect the overall outcome. We use the deck a-lot and I don't want to look at a finish disaster if I use the wrong process. Thanks for your help

    The best approach would be:
    1. Use the Step 1 and pressure wash the deck.
    2. Let dry and lightly sand.
    3. Apply Brightener and rinse well when done.
    4. Wait for 48hours to dry and stain.

    Water does not affect the outcome after any sanding.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    talktome · 07/20/2017
    I recently purchased Armstrong-Clark stain and Restore a Deck. The deck is 6 months old and ready for staining but, I am wanting to sand the deck before I stain. My question is would I use the Restore a Deck before sanding, wait for it to dry then sand the deck and then brush/compressed air to remove sanding particles and stain or sand the deck and then use the Restore a Deck wait for the deck to dry and then stain? I don't know how the water after sanding the deck will effect the overall outcome. We use the deck a-lot and I don't want to look at a finish disaster if I use the wrong process. Thanks for your help
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 07/10/2017
    Maria St. John:
    Which product should I use for cedar porch only railings and thick posts? Is it the same you use for decks?
    I wish to keep the natural cedar color, but to protect the wood. I understand the less color the protection is lower.
    To order a sample is a great idea.
    Could you give me some advice?
    How much maintenance will be require? I live in TN, it is humid and the porch gets sun in the morning. Thank you so much!

    All vertical wood? You can use a transparent color on these. Clean and reapply every 2-3 years.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Maria St. John · 07/10/2017
    Which product should I use for cedar porch only railings and thick posts? Is it the same you use for decks?
    I wish to keep the natural cedar color, but to protect the wood. I understand the less color the protection is lower.
    To order a sample is a great idea.
    Could you give me some advice?
    How much maintenance will be require? I live in TN, it is humid and the porch gets sun in the morning. Thank you so much!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 07/09/2017
    wvolvo:
    I have a new cedar deck. I've read all the posts and only have one question: what color stain (semi-transparent I presume) on cedar will look like your cover website photo (Armstrong-Clark-Semi-Cedar-Stain.jpg) with the mountains in the background.

    That is Semi-Transparent Cedar on the deck with the mountains. Colors will vary though based on the age of the wood. We offer sample bottles for testing on your wood in the main menu.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alan Pordes · 07/08/2017
    I have a new cedar deck. I've read all the posts and only have one question: what color stain (semi-transparent I presume) on cedar will look like your cover website photo (Armstrong-Clark-Semi-Cedar-Stain.jpg) with the mountains in the background.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 06/19/2017
    Maya:
    What stain should we use to get the most natural look for redwood but with the best UV protection?

    Best to test sample colors here:
    https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/samples
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Maya · 06/19/2017
    What stain should we use to get the most natural look for redwood but with the best UV protection?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 06/19/2017
    Maya:
    We had a new redwood deck built in April - it is about 2 months old. I
    The deck is exposed to sun most of the day and we have very wet winters (North California -Napa area). It rained a few times and the deck has now many black water spots underneath the roof line.
    1. How to remove the black water stains?
    2. How long should we wait before staining?
    3. What is the most natural look stain for redwood?

    1. Clean and brighten the wood for the prep.
    2. As the article states, wait 3 months.
    3. Natural Tone.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Maya · 06/19/2017
    We had a new redwood deck built in April - it is about 2 months old. I
    The deck is exposed to sun most of the day and we have very wet winters (North California -Napa area). It rained a few times and the deck has now many black water spots underneath the roof line.
    1. How to remove the black water stains?
    2. How long should we wait before staining?
    3. What is the most natural look stain for redwood?