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 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 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.

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
    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?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/18/2017
    Nick:
    I will be installing a new Ipe deck. Can I prefinish prior to installation? The top surface was sanded at the mill. what prep do you recommend?

    No. The wood needs to weather and prep. Please read the article. Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Nick · 06/17/2017
    I will be installing a new Ipe deck. Can I prefinish prior to installation? The top surface was sanded at the mill. what prep do you recommend?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 06/15/2017
    scott gelhar:
    How do you take the mill glaze off cedar wood. Before staining?

    With the Restore A Deck Kit:
    https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/restore-a-deck-kit
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    scott gelhar · 06/15/2017
    How do you take the mill glaze off cedar wood. Before staining?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/12/2017
    Thomas Hayes:
    can you apply to sanded decks? I had Prolux on the decks (terrible) for about a year now and I just sanded the decks and I want to know if I can apply to freshly sanded decks? Thanks Tom

    Yes but final prep you should clean and brighten the wood. This will help the Armstrong to soak deeper into the wood grain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Thomas Hayes · 06/12/2017
    can you apply to sanded decks? I had Prolux on the decks (terrible) for about a year now and I just sanded the decks and I want to know if I can apply to freshly sanded decks? Thanks Tom
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/06/2017
    Catherine Wiley:
    My pressure-treated pine deck was installed in 2015. Has now weathered slightly and is ready for some kind of treatment. Wood has some slight mildew in shady areas. Can I use a light bleach/dish soap solution to prepare wood for staining, or must I use Restore A Deck and Brightner kit first?
    Climate = cold Wisconsin winters and sunny summers. Can you recommend which AC stain I should use? And color suggestion? I don't really want "color", just something light colored with UV protection.
    Thank you.
    Catherine Wiley

    Best to prep with the RAD Kit for this. Try the Natural tint. There are no regulations that will force the AC to change to water based. Oil based stains are allowed in all states as long as they are VOC compliant.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Catherine Wiley · 06/06/2017
    Forgot to ask; AC is currently oil-based stain. What happens down the road, if you are forced to changed to water-based only stain? Would I have to strip the oil-based stain off before applying a water-based AC product?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Catherine Wiley · 06/06/2017
    My pressure-treated pine deck was installed in 2015. Has now weathered slightly and is ready for some kind of treatment. Wood has some slight mildew in shady areas. Can I use a light bleach/dish soap solution to prepare wood for staining, or must I use Restore A Deck and Brightner kit first?
    Climate = cold Wisconsin winters and sunny summers. Can you recommend which AC stain I should use? And color suggestion? I don't really want "color", just something light colored with UV protection.
    Thank you.
    Catherine Wiley
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/06/2017
    Victoria:
    We will be putting in a new deck this summer with pressure treated pine. We live in Minnesota, hot (85-100+ degrees) humid summers and cold(-20 degrees) harsh winters. What would you recommend for a semi-transparent stain/sealer? And when to do it? I don't feel it could survive the winter untreated. Deck is in the sun most of the day.

    Thank you

    See here about new wood: https://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/new-decking-and-armstrong-clark-stain

    any of our semi-trans colors will work.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Victoria · 06/06/2017
    We will be putting in a new deck this summer with pressure treated pine. We live in Minnesota, hot (85-100+ degrees) humid summers and cold(-20 degrees) harsh winters. What would you recommend for a semi-transparent stain/sealer? And when to do it? I don't feel it could survive the winter untreated. Deck is in the sun most of the day.

    Thank you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 06/06/2017
    Jeff K:
    We just replaced our pergola with a pressure treated wood one (I believe Fir). I planned on waiting to stain but we are installing a hot tub under it and some grape vines need to be put back on the pergola as well. It would be great if I could stain soon but I understand I need to let the wood weather. Is there any option for me or just simply wait and later work around the tub? Thanks,

    Best to wait.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jeff K · 06/06/2017
    We just replaced our pergola with a pressure treated wood one (I believe Fir). I planned on waiting to stain but we are installing a hot tub under it and some grape vines need to be put back on the pergola as well. It would be great if I could stain soon but I understand I need to let the wood weather. Is there any option for me or just simply wait and later work around the tub? Thanks,
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 05/30/2017
    jonlacey:
    We just replaced all the top boards on our deck with new cedar boards. The deck is raised 6 1/2 foot off the ground so gets a lot of air movement under it. How long do I have to wait to clean, prep, and stain the deck. I just purchased the semi-transparent chestnut colored stain, thank you

    2-4 months as the article suggests.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    jonlacey · 05/30/2017
    We just replaced all the top boards on our deck with new cedar boards. The deck is raised 6 1/2 foot off the ground so gets a lot of air movement under it. How long do I have to wait to clean, prep, and stain the deck. I just purchased the semi-transparent chestnut colored stain, thank you
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 05/17/2017
    Deck Novice:
    I plan on installing new KDAT decking. Can I begin the prep process right away once installed?

    For KDAT wood, wait about 2-4 weeks after install and then prep with the Restore A Deck Kit.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Deck Novice · 05/16/2017
    I plan on installing new KDAT decking. Can I begin the prep process right away once installed?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 05/13/2017
    Alex G:
    Want to buy the armstrong deck stain. I`m in Montreal. Is there a retailer in northern Vermont, New Hampshire or NY state where I can pick-it up ?

    Hello, there is not but we can ship to Canada directly or any address in the US.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alex G · 05/13/2017
    Want to buy the armstrong deck stain. I`m in Montreal. Is there a retailer in northern Vermont, New Hampshire or NY state where I can pick-it up ?