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
    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
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    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.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 06/05/2016
    Billmisc10@gmail.com:
    We are restoring a 30+ year old deck, pressure treated wood. We're flipping the deck boards because the underside is in better shape. The top side of deck, stairs, and railings received Thompson Water Seal 5 years ago but the deck has never received stain. Many boards were replaced last fall. Which of your products should I use for preparation?

    Use the our stain in the semi-trans or semi-solid colors.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Bill Armstorng · 06/05/2016
    We are restoring a 30+ year old deck, pressure treated wood. We're flipping the deck boards because the underside is in better shape. The top side of deck, stairs, and railings received Thompson Water Seal 5 years ago but the deck has never received stain. Many boards were replaced last fall. Which of your products should I use for preparation?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 05/06/2016
    John Kazmar:
    I need to apply a semitransparent stain over a cedar fence that was installed in December 2015, do I really need to clean it, it looks good? It is approx 2600 sqft, how much will I need, for proper coverage?

    Is the wood rough cut or smooth like a deck board? If smooth, then yes you need to clean and brighten for the prep to remove the mill glaze. As for how much stain, you will need about 15-20 gallons.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Kazmar · 05/06/2016
    I need to apply a semitransparent stain over a cedar fence that was installed in December 2015, do I really need to clean it, it looks good? It is approx 2600 sqft, how much will I need, for proper coverage?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 05/02/2016
    Anthony M:
    I installed a new redwood deck (heartwood) in late March and am preparing to stain. Location northern CA with direct sun all day (no arbor or shade on the wood). asking around with paint shops and contractors, general guidance has been to stain after the new wood has been in place for 4 weeks. reading on your site, you recommend 2-4 months. Having never installed a new deck before, I am concerned that constant sun will inflict damage if I wait too long. already, as the wood has settled and dried, some cracks have appeared and red hue has largely faded. Would you adjust the wait period recommendation based on my specific scenario? thanks

    No you still need to wait and prep accordingly.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Anthony M · 05/02/2016
    I installed a new redwood deck (heartwood) in late March and am preparing to stain. Location northern CA with direct sun all day (no arbor or shade on the wood). asking around with paint shops and contractors, general guidance has been to stain after the new wood has been in place for 4 weeks. reading on your site, you recommend 2-4 months. Having never installed a new deck before, I am concerned that constant sun will inflict damage if I wait too long. already, as the wood has settled and dried, some cracks have appeared and red hue has largely faded. Would you adjust the wait period recommendation based on my specific scenario? thanks
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 02/18/2016
    Ray T:
    I will be installing Coulson engineered vertical grain cedar siding on my house in Southern California. Mostly full sun. Its basically a dry product sawed into 4 mm cedar veneer and glued to plywood. It soaks up water readily. Can I use an AC semi-transparent stain as soon as finish the install?

    Yes as long as their is no "mill glaze" on the wood. Just one coat.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ray T · 02/17/2016
    I will be installing Coulson engineered vertical grain cedar siding on my house in Southern California. Mostly full sun. Its basically a dry product sawed into 4 mm cedar veneer and glued to plywood. It soaks up water readily. Can I use an AC semi-transparent stain as soon as finish the install?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 12/29/2015
    Dennis McSweeney:
    I have a new "rough" redwood fence. Why do I need to wait? What is the downside of applying the stain now? I live in CA, if that matters.

    If the wood is dry and rough cut then you can skip the wait. Only prep if dirty or wood has oxidized and turned gray.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Dennis McSweeney · 12/24/2015
    I have a new "rough" redwood fence. Why do I need to wait? What is the downside of applying the stain now? I live in CA, if that matters.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 10/04/2015
    pamelawwallace@gmail.com:
    I just completed installation of a western red cedar deck. The wood was purchased from a local dealer - under cover, but outdoors. It was stacked with shims in my yard for a month while framing etc. was completed. Now complete, my question is whether to pre-treat and stain now, wait a few weeks with uncertain temps (live in upstate NY), or wait until spring

    See this article:

    http://www.armstrongclarkstain.com/new-decking-and-armstrong-clark-stain

    You should wait until Spring.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    pamela wallace · 10/02/2015
    I just completed installation of a western red cedar deck. The wood was purchased from a local dealer - under cover, but outdoors. It was stacked with shims in my yard for a month while framing etc. was completed. Now complete, my question is whether to pre-treat and stain now, wait a few weeks with uncertain temps (live in upstate NY), or wait until spring
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Administrator · 09/29/2015
    Amanda:
    I have a new western red cedar deck. Covered. Not kiln dried, but the sawmill had the wood for approx. 3 years before our installation. Installed for 2 weeks only. The wood is still a little rough after killing and my husband wants to sand the entire deck. We're in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and winter is fast approaching. Can we sand? Can we apply stain now? Or should we wait for spring?

    Might be too hard to do now with the weather and it may not take. Prep with a cleaner and wood brightener and sand lightly only if needed.