How long will your can of Armstrong Clark stain last?

You might find that when you’ve finished that big staining project, that you’re left with a bunch of Armstrong Clark stain left over. It would be a shame to throw it away, wouldn’t it? If you intend to store it, then there are a few things you should know first. Armstrong Clark deck stains are designed to be usable for a long time so long as they are stored correctly.

Unopened containers of Armstrong stains - just like regular paint - have a shelf-life of up to 3-4 years as long as they are stored in a temperature controlled room. So if you didn’t have enough time to finish your project this year then there’s no reason to worry - you can use the stain at a later date.

A more common problem is that you have already opened the can of stain and it is now only half-used. What can you do in this case? Armstrong Clark stains can last up to 12+ months if stored correctly with the lid tightly sealed. If the substance has contact with the air, the solvents will evaporate and you won’t be able to use your stain again. When properly stored, you will not need to buy another tin, saving you money in the long-run.

Things to note when storing Armstrong Clare stains

  • The ideal environment for storing the AC stain is a cool, dry room with a steady temperature. Try not to expose the cans to sunlight
  • Make sure the lid is 100% sealed. No air gaps
  • Do not store where it can freeze

Armstrong Clark wood and deck stains can help you save money by providing quality products. The tips in this article are suggestions, if you follow them, you will increase the shelf-life of your oil-based stains greatly.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gary Ludorf · 07/30/2019
    I stored a previously opened 5 gal pail of semi-solid AC stain in my garage in Massachusetts for 3 years. I had 3-4 gallons left in the pail. I added more than a quart of paint thinner before re-sealing the pail. Our winters easily get down to the 20 degree range, sometimes single digits. I stripped and brightened the deck. I re-opened the can, added a little more thinner, mixed thoroughly and reused the stain with excellent results. I did not notice any color deterioration. The stain spread easily.
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    AlexM89 · 06/21/2019
    Is it normal that brand new cans look like they have been resealed? I just got my shipment of 8 gallons about 20 minutes ago via UPS to Canada and it looks like 4 of the 8 cans have been opened/resealed as the top isn't flat (see pic). I'm concerned that they have been tampered with, and whether or not I should use them.
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      Armstrong · 06/21/2019
      They have not been resealed or tampered with by any means. That is just a dent during shipping.
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    Chris Gentile · 05/21/2019
    Hi, I stained my new PTP deck after 12 months of weathering with Sierra Redwood semi. Looks absolutely gorgeous, exactly what I was looking for. This is now year 2. My question is: do I need to put a maintainance coat on the whole deck, or just the horizontal surfaces?
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    Dawn Zubrisky · 05/17/2019
    How can I tell if my stain is still good. I stored it in a plastic pail in the garage. The weather was cold in the winter ... how can I test to see if it is still useable?
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      Armstrong · 05/17/2019
      Open it up and check for skinning or clumping of the stain. If none, mix well and make sure it is 100% fluid. If so, you should be okay to use it.
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    Jim · 03/25/2019
    I bought a 5-gallon tin of Mahagony to stain my ipé deck. It had been treated one year ago with Penofin (horrible stuff). I first pressure washed the wood, although I know this isn’t advisable. The job is finished and I used only a gallon of stain at most. I found that it makes no sense to flood the wood because ipé is so hard that not much stain penetrates and you end up going through dozens of rags wiping the excess off. Does it make sense to apply a second coat now that the first coat has cured? Or should I wait a year and stain it again? I am hesitant to power wash it again because it damages the wood by fuzzing up the grain.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 03/25/2019
      Wait a year. AC cannot be back wiped as well. Must be applied and let to fully dry.
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    Gene · 11/05/2018
    Two Questions:

    1. I ordered 7 gallons of Semi-transparent Cedar last year to stain my new deck (after waiting 6 months to let the wood cure), but only used 5 gallons. It's time to put on a second coat. Should I plan on using 5 gallons again or assume that the wood won't soak up as much and therefore plan on using only 4 gallons?

    2. Can I mix last year's 2 gallons with the new stain I eventually will order?


    Gene, Fort Lauderdale FL
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 11/05/2018
      1. the coverage is slightly better when you have a base coat.
      2. Yes as long as it has not gone bad by freezing, etc. It should be fine if stored correctly.
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    Lisa · 07/15/2018
    I ordered a 5 gallon can and based upon having completed half the job, I will have more than 3 gallons left. Are you saying that I need to pour the remaining 3 gallons into another container so that the container is filled up to the top? No air gap means no air between the surface of the stain and the top of the can?

    BTW, I was concerned about my choice of the Mahogany stain for my 15 year old Ipe deck - it has been impossible to find a stain that matches the 'wet look' of clean wood. My worries dissolved this morning when it rained and the untreated deck color was the same as the treated section. Just amazing!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      Armstrong · 07/15/2018
      You can have air gaps but the lid will need to be 100% closed so there is not any airflow going in and out of the container. Glad it turned out great!
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    aldrin · 07/11/2018
    hi can you store the stain also in a plastic container or bottle?
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    mark adkins · 07/08/2018
    how long to dry
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    Celeste olson · 06/22/2018
    My deck is 16' x 20', I'm staining only the floor boards, no rails or steps. I believe the wood is maple. Can you tell me if one gallon of semi transparent stain may get the job done? I read that an opened can will only store for a year and I don't intend to be redoing this job again for at least 2 yrs. (Awful expierience removing Behr deckover that failed me twice) I'm pretty much outta dough and at my limit of labor to put into it for a little while anyway. I plan on getting the brightener and stain as i still have plenty of Behr cleaner .I'd really hate to have to have any stain go to waste, and was wondering what your thoughts are? Thanks so much for your advice.
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      Armstrong · 06/22/2018
      For two coats, you will need 2-3 gallons.
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    Elizabeth · 05/15/2018
    What stain is on the deck in your photo?