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.

Ask a Question or Post a Picture...
You are guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kathleen Gremban · 03/28/2017
    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
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 03/15/2017
    Tom Ditzel:
    I just purchased a home with a newly built covered treated deck. I live in NY so my deck is currently covered with snow. Will it be okay to stain my deck as soon as the warm weather hits or should I let it weather longer?

    It needs 3 months of weathering without being covered with snow the entire 3 months. The wood should also have a moisture content of 15% or less after the weathering and prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tom Ditzel · 03/15/2017
    I just purchased a home with a newly built covered treated deck. I live in NY so my deck is currently covered with snow. Will it be okay to stain my deck as soon as the warm weather hits or should I let it weather longer?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 12/26/2016
    wispwater:
    I've applied your woodland brown (1 coat) with natural on top (1 coat) following instructions exactly on new deck installed over a year ago. I'd really like to have a bit of satin sheen. Is there any way to achieve that? Could I add some Waterlox Tung oil on top alone or mixed with your finish?

    Armstrong cannot be top coated with a filming finish. Doing this would create many issues down the road such as peeling of the top coating, trapped moisture leading to rot, and severe mold issues if in a wet climate.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    wispwater · 12/23/2016
    I've applied your woodland brown (1 coat) with natural on top (1 coat) following instructions exactly on new deck installed over a year ago. I'd really like to have a bit of satin sheen. Is there any way to achieve that? Could I add some Waterlox Tung oil on top alone or mixed with your finish?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 10/24/2016
    Kelly Navarre:
    We have an old 16 x 10 treated wood deck that I am going to use your stripper and ]semi solid stain on. Then I want to put a new railing of cedar and an older cedar fence that I want to match with your semi translucent stain. How should I proceed with your prep products and how long do I need to wait to stain the railing? Part of the fence is old and grey and part of it is about 8 months old. Any suggestions would really help. FYI the fence has never been treated with anything.

    See this about new wood:

    http://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/new-decking-and-armstrong-clark-stain
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kelly Navarre · 10/23/2016
    We have an old 16 x 10 treated wood deck that I am going to use your stripper and ]semi solid stain on. Then I want to put a new railing of cedar and an older cedar fence that I want to match with your semi translucent stain. How should I proceed with your prep products and how long do I need to wait to stain the railing? Part of the fence is old and grey and part of it is about 8 months old. Any suggestions would really help. FYI the fence has never been treated with anything.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 10/21/2016
    Darrell W:
    Hello. I recently built a redwood deck at my property in the Sierra's, at approximately 4100' elevation. It does snow several feet during the winter, and I'm worried about damage occuring from the moisture. The deck was built completed about the end of August. Have I waited long enough to apply stain, or will it be ok to do in spring even after being rained and snowed upon?

    Since it needs at least 3 months of weathering, it would be best to wait until Spring to prep and stain. Rain and snow will not harm the wood.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Darrell W · 10/20/2016
    Hello. I recently built a redwood deck at my property in the Sierra's, at approximately 4100' elevation. It does snow several feet during the winter, and I'm worried about damage occuring from the moisture. The deck was built completed about the end of August. Have I waited long enough to apply stain, or will it be ok to do in spring even after being rained and snowed upon?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 10/02/2016
    SteveDemo:
    I built a new cedar deck in mid-August of this year. Is 2 months long enough to let it dry out or should I just wait until the spring before staining it?

    It would be best to wait until Spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve Demulling · 10/02/2016
    I built a new cedar deck in mid-August of this year. Is 2 months long enough to let it dry out or should I just wait until the spring before staining it?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 09/04/2016
    Larry Chmiel:
    When I see finished decks on the Internet the decking does not show any splitting or checking of the wood. I am building my deck now and won't finish until late fall of this year. I live in Chicago.
    I will be using kiln dried pressure treated wood.
    How do I prevent the wood from splitting?
    Should I just build the frame now and add the decking/stain next spring or add the decking now and let it weather over the winter.
    I will be using your semi-transparent stain.
    Thank You

    All deck wood will eventual split. This is normal and staining does not stop this. You will be fine to let it weather over the Winter.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 09/04/2016
    LARRY Robert KLEVANS:
    I have a mahogany deck at my seashore home that has never been treated with brightener, stain or anything. Occasionally, I power-wash. It is 12 years old. Would like to restore, if possible. What steps should be taken to revitalize and prevent further deterioration.

    Thanks,
    Larry

    Prep with our deck cleaner and wood brightener. Stain with the Amber or Mahogany colors after it dries for a few days.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    LARRY Robert KLEVANS · 09/03/2016
    I have a mahogany deck at my seashore home that has never been treated with brightener, stain or anything. Occasionally, I power-wash. It is 12 years old. Would like to restore, if possible. What steps should be taken to revitalize and prevent further deterioration.

    Thanks,
    Larry
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Larry Chmiel · 09/03/2016
    When I see finished decks on the Internet the decking does not show any splitting or checking of the wood. I am building my deck now and won't finish until late fall of this year. I live in Chicago.
    I will be using kiln dried pressure treated wood.
    How do I prevent the wood from splitting?
    Should I just build the frame now and add the decking/stain next spring or add the decking now and let it weather over the winter.
    I will be using your semi-transparent stain.
    Thank You
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Armstrong · 09/01/2016
    RichardEugene:
    A deck site which highly recommends your products stated that brand new decks should not be stained right away, with the the exception of red cedar. Do you agree?

    With AC stains, you still have to wait 2-3 months and prep first.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    RichardEugene · 09/01/2016
    A deck site which highly recommends your products stated that brand new decks should not be stained right away, with the the exception of red cedar. Do you agree?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 08/17/2016
    Bob Grasso:
    Putting down ipe to replace old cedar. Bought Ipe Oil from the wood supplier. The product looks fab on the wood, at least thus far...one month. But boy does that oil stink! And the odor is not gone yet! I've read that your stain in mahogany would be good for my ipe. How is it on the nose?

    AC is oil based, but a curing oil so the smell dissipates within a few days.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bob Grasso · 08/17/2016
    Putting down ipe to replace old cedar. Bought Ipe Oil from the wood supplier. The product looks fab on the wood, at least thus far...one month. But boy does that oil stink! And the odor is not gone yet! I've read that your stain in mahogany would be good for my ipe. How is it on the nose?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 08/04/2016
    MURRAY POST:
    i just built a chaise lounge chair out of cedar. what product do you recommend i use to protect my project? i planed rough cedar, all parts were sanded to 220 before assembly with titebond III and s.s. screws

    It is sanded too smooth to stain now. Let it sit outside for a couple of months and then clean and brighten for prep. Once prepped use the AC in a transparent or semi-transparent color.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    MURRAY POST · 08/03/2016
    MURRAY POST:
    i just built a chaise lounge chair out of cedar. what product do you recommend i use to protect my project? i planed rough cedar, all parts were sanded to 220 before assembly with titebond III and s.s. screws

    i live in south fl
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    MURRAY POST · 08/03/2016
    i just built a chaise lounge chair out of cedar. what product do you recommend i use to protect my project? i planed rough cedar, all parts were sanded to 220 before assembly with titebond III and s.s. screws
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/27/2016
    DC:
    I live in a Chicago suburb. I had a new cedar deck built between mid-June and mid-July. It took a few weeks as the carpenter could only work on Saturdays. I would like to use your semi-transparent stain. My stainer will be available in October. Based on what I've read, that should be an adequate waiting period. Do you agree, or should I wait till next Spring?

    Cleaning and applying one coat this Fall should be good.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    DC · 07/27/2016
    I live in a Chicago suburb. I had a new cedar deck built between mid-June and mid-July. It took a few weeks as the carpenter could only work on Saturdays. I would like to use your semi-transparent stain. My stainer will be available in October. Based on what I've read, that should be an adequate waiting period. Do you agree, or should I wait till next Spring?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/22/2016
    Rick Fals:
    Installing pressure treated pine, kiln dried deck this coming week, in Charlotte NC... Do I need to wait 2 to 4 months before staining with your product?
    Thanks

    For kiln dried wood, we would suggest 2-4 weeks and the prep. Just the one coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Rick Fals · 07/22/2016
    Installing pressure treated pine, kiln dried deck this coming week, in Charlotte NC... Do I need to wait 2 to 4 months before staining with your product?
    Thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/05/2016
    T. M.:
    I just installed a 4 board fence. The running boards are pressure treated poplar and the posts are pressure treated pine. The poplar is rough cut. Should I wait minimum 2-3 months before I apply Armstrong Clark semi-transparent stain? Also, do I need to prep using the cleaner and brightener or will light pressure washing suffice?
    Thanks for the informative web site.

    If rough cut wood and dry, you can stain now without prep.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 07/05/2016
    Will Daley:
    Currently having a cedar deck built on the side of our house. It should be finished mid July. If we wait 3 months to cure it will be fall and too cold (we live in Montreal, Quebec). Should we wait till next spring or simply prep and stain after one month? Also, what colour would you recommend? We like the deck in its natural state and simply want to protect and nourish the wood, not change the colour. Many thanks.

    You should wait until next Spring. It is important to have tint in your stain. The color is what provides UV protection from graying. Natural is lightly tinted and will provide some UV protection, but not as much as a richer color like the semi-transparent.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    T. M. · 07/04/2016
    I just installed a 4 board fence. The running boards are pressure treated poplar and the posts are pressure treated pine. The poplar is rough cut. Should I wait minimum 2-3 months before I apply Armstrong Clark semi-transparent stain? Also, do I need to prep using the cleaner and brightener or will light pressure washing suffice?
    Thanks for the informative web site.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Will Daley · 07/02/2016
    Currently having a cedar deck built on the side of our house. It should be finished mid July. If we wait 3 months to cure it will be fall and too cold (we live in Montreal, Quebec). Should we wait till next spring or simply prep and stain after one month? Also, what colour would you recommend? We like the deck in its natural state and simply want to protect and nourish the wood, not change the colour. Many thanks.