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
    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 ?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 05/07/2017
    svan:
    We have a new pressure-treated (pine?) deck installed in Dec 2016. It has grayed and passes the water test (i.e.. pour 1 cup of water and it absorbs / does not bead up). The deck has eastern exposure and is right next to Chesapeake Bay - so sun, moisture, occasionally snow but mostly rain & humidity. There are also a lot of oak trees so leaves in the fall and 'stringers' in the spring. Questions 1) What is the best product to use Question 2) how many gallons are needed, The deck is 240 sq ft with no railings or spindles. Question 3) suggestion for color? The color of house is a light gray/green and patio furniture is a light gray/taupe. However, the living room with full glass doors is a honey oak so a suggestion was made to stain deck in similar color for an extended indoor/outdoor look.

    1. Use a semi-transparent color.
    2. About 2 gallons. Just one coat.
    3. Driftwood Gray.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    svan · 05/07/2017
    We have a new pressure-treated (pine?) deck installed in Dec 2016. It has grayed and passes the water test (i.e.. pour 1 cup of water and it absorbs / does not bead up). The deck has eastern exposure and is right next to Chesapeake Bay - so sun, moisture, occasionally snow but mostly rain & humidity. There are also a lot of oak trees so leaves in the fall and 'stringers' in the spring. Questions 1) What is the best product to use Question 2) how many gallons are needed, The deck is 240 sq ft with no railings or spindles. Question 3) suggestion for color? The color of house is a light gray/green and patio furniture is a light gray/taupe. However, the living room with full glass doors is a honey oak so a suggestion was made to stain deck in similar color for an extended indoor/outdoor look.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 05/05/2017
    BruceNairn:
    We just replaced our pool deck boards which were 15 year old PT with western red cedar boards on April 22nd, 2017. We just purchased the RAD kit and AC semi-transparent cedar stain. How long should we wait to prep and stain/seal the new red cedar deck boards? Also it has rained every day since then is there any issue with the new boards being exposed and not sealed?

    Wait 3 months and prep. it is okay if it rains on the wood in the meantime.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    BruceNairn · 05/05/2017
    We just replaced our pool deck boards which were 15 year old PT with western red cedar boards on April 22nd, 2017. We just purchased the RAD kit and AC semi-transparent cedar stain. How long should we wait to prep and stain/seal the new red cedar deck boards? Also it has rained every day since then is there any issue with the new boards being exposed and not sealed?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 05/02/2017
    markkelly:
    Hi I recently built a deck in Connecticut, 11/24/16, and it has a NW exposure and would like to treat the deck to keep the natural wood color we have now. It is a light pressure treated lumber. What do you advise

    Prep with the Restore A Deck Kit. Stain with any color of the AC that you like. We offer samples for testing.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    markkelly · 05/02/2017
    Hi I recently built a deck in Connecticut, 11/24/16, and it has a NW exposure and would like to treat the deck to keep the natural wood color we have now. It is a light pressure treated lumber. What do you advise
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 04/24/2017
    stampinvic:
    Hi,
    I have a new construction pressure treated wood deck (built in December 2016). Should I use soap and water to clean it, then power wash or should I use the Restore a Deck product? In your surface preparation for new wood, it says that a mixture of soap and water with mild scrubbing followed by a light power wash is sufficient. What type of soap do you recommend? Please provide your expert opinion. It is a large deck over 700 sq feet and I want the best results possible. I may also need help to figure out how much stain I should buy.
    Thank you.

    Use the Restore A Deck Kit. One kit should be enough. As for the stain, just one coat. One of the 5 Gallons pails should cover the 700 Sw. feet.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Vicki Durecki · 04/24/2017
    Hi,
    I have a new construction pressure treated wood deck (built in December 2016). Should I use soap and water to clean it, then power wash or should I use the Restore a Deck product? In your surface preparation for new wood, it says that a mixture of soap and water with mild scrubbing followed by a light power wash is sufficient. What type of soap do you recommend? Please provide your expert opinion. It is a large deck over 700 sq feet and I want the best results possible. I may also need help to figure out how much stain I should buy.
    Thank you.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 04/23/2017
    Randy Boyles:
    we installed new deck treated pine last July and are ready to stain, having read your sight we will need to clean and brighten first and then stain. our deck size is 448 sq ft we would like a clear stain finish. what would you recommend we purchase for this job?

    The Restore A Deck Kit and the natrual tint. About 3-4 gallons.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Randy Boyles · 04/23/2017
    we installed new deck treated pine last July and are ready to stain, having read your sight we will need to clean and brighten first and then stain. our deck size is 448 sq ft we would like a clear stain finish. what would you recommend we purchase for this job?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 04/16/2017
    john marrelli:
    I built a cedar fence in September and left it untreated over the winter (Southern Ontario Climate. Do I need to wait to stain it at this point? Do I need to use the Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit for prep prior to staining?

    You are good to stain after you prep with the RAD Cleaner and Brightener Kit.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    john marrelli · 04/15/2017
    I built a cedar fence in September and left it untreated over the winter (Southern Ontario Climate. Do I need to wait to stain it at this point? Do I need to use the Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit for prep prior to staining?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 04/12/2017
    Lars Viskochil:
    I am installing a new Mahogany deck. The wood was purchased 6 months ago and has been outside covered up. I would like to stain all sides of the wood before install. If I install first I will only be able to stain the top surface. What is your recommended process?

    No need to stain all sides, no advantage, and actually can be a disadvantage. Install, wait and prep is the correct way.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Lars Viskochil · 04/12/2017
    I am installing a new Mahogany deck. The wood was purchased 6 months ago and has been outside covered up. I would like to stain all sides of the wood before install. If I install first I will only be able to stain the top surface. What is your recommended process?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 04/03/2017
    Amy:
    We replaced our decking in August of 2016 and are now ready to stain it. I prefer the semi solid colors. Has my deck weathered enough to use a semi solid color now or do I have to wait for a full year. If I have to wait, what do you recommend I do in the meantime. Shouldn't I treat it with something now. My deck is pressure treated pine that bakes in the full sun all day. I was hoping to protect it before summer hits.

    Semi-solids do have a lot more pigment. It may be needed to let the wood weather longer. Best to test first. Try a sample on the wood and make sure it soaks into the wood grain 100% and dries without any issue. Once it can do this, the wood is ready to accept the stain.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Amy · 04/03/2017
    We replaced our decking in August of 2016 and are now ready to stain it. I prefer the semi solid colors. Has my deck weathered enough to use a semi solid color now or do I have to wait for a full year. If I have to wait, what do you recommend I do in the meantime. Shouldn't I treat it with something now. My deck is pressure treated pine that bakes in the full sun all day. I was hoping to protect it before summer hits.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 03/28/2017
    Kathleen Gremban:
    Our 5 month old covered Trex deck has cedar wrapped posts, cedar beams and a tongue&groove cedar ceiling underneath the roof. I am planning on using your RAD kit and a clear stain for the posts and beams. Do you think it would be OK not to stain the cedar ceiling since it is protected from the weather? Seems like a difficult job. Thanks

    The ceiling will be okay if not stained.