There are two main differences between wood stains, those that penetrate the wood and those that form a protective film on top of the wood. The film forming wood stains have a reputation of not holding up as well as penetrating stains. They are prone to peeling and flaking and are traditionally more difficult to maintain. Penetrating wood stains protect by diving below the surface and into the wood pores so there is no film atop the surface. Penetrating wood stains repel water and reflect UV rays before the can do damage. In addition, they are not prone to peeling, they simply fade and wear off before needing to be recoated and are much easier to maintain in this sense.
One of the best penetrating stains on the market is Armstrong Clark wood stain. To understand why Armstrong Clark penetrates wood so well you have to look at the formula. Most deep penetrating stains such as Armstrong Clark are oil based semi-transparent formulas. This is customarily the best type of formula for excellent penetration unlike acrylic or water-based formulas that do not penetrate as well but there are some exceptions.
In addition to being a semi-transparent oil based stain, Armstrong Clark is a specially designed formula that achieves excellent penetration with vegetable oils and transparent oxide pigments. It is a blend of both nondrying and drying oils. The nondrying oils are specifically designed to dive into the wood to replace the wood’s lost natural oils. This helps with wood conditioning and adds flexibility to the wood. The drying side of the formula remains on top of the wood surface to trap in the nondrying oils while creating a dry to the touch barrier of protection. This technology makes Armstrong Clark one of the best-penetrating wood stains.
Replacing the lost natural oils of the wood conditions and rejuvenates the fibers to help reduce wood cracking, splitting and warping that can occur when older wood dries out and becomes brittle. Armstrong Clark stain also contains special water repellents, solvents, and mildewcides that are naturally mold and mildew resistant.