Sherwin Williams DeckScapes Stain Review

SW DeckScapes Review

SW DeckScapes Review

Sherwin Williams DeckScapes Advanced Waterborne Transparent Stain offers 3 way UV protection for wood by absorbing, blocking and stabilizing the wood fibers. DeskScapes enhances the natural wood grain while preventing mold and mildew.

Note: We used SW’s DeckScapes in their water-based toner formula for our test and review.

Sherwin Williams DeckScapes Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 5

- Sherwin Williams DeckScapes is a water based acrylic formula that created a film on top of the wood after drying. The overall appearance of the redwood color was poor and the stain dried unevenly even though it was applied properly.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 6

- After 2 years the Sherwin Williams DeckScapes lost about 60% of it’s original color.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 4

- The Sherwin Williams DeckScapes did not hold up well on our full sun test deck. After the second winter about 60% of the stain had peeled from the floor. This did not happen in just the high traffic areas but throughout the entire deck.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

- We used 4 gallons of stain for our 400 foot test deck. 2 Coats of the Sherwin Williams DeckScapes was applied. Cost to stain was around $.35 a foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 9

- The DeckScapes tested very well on preventing mold and mildew. No mold was growing in or on top of the stain. Very small amounts of mold was visible in the wood where the stain had peeled.

Ease of Application: 3

- This stain is not easy to apply. We found that the Deckscapes dried incredibly fast. This made it very difficult to apply the stain as we worried about overlaps. We used a brush and roller with application and found that the stain did not apply anywhere near the manufacturers coverage rates. We found that the Sherwin Williams DeckScapes closer to 150 feet per gallon.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8

- Sherwin Williams DeckScapes does not darken in color but fades and peels.

Ease of Reapplication: 4

- Reapplication of the DeckScapes would not be easy. Since the stain had peeled badly you would need to use a heavy stain stripper followed by sanding to remove the stain from the rest of the deck. A light cleaning and re-coat would not work.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 5.75

- We were very disappointed in the Sherwin Williams DeckScapes. Having used SW paints in the past with excellent results, we expected better for their exterior decking stain. The Deckscapes does not apply very well, has a poor appearance when finished and peels.

Buyer Beware!

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Sherwin Williams
Cost: $32.99 per Gallon, $160.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Natural, Redwood, Cedar
Application Temperature: 40-90 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats
Coverage Per Gallon: 125-150 sq. ft in field tests
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 24-48 Hours
Cleanup: Soap and Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Sherwin Williams

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: May 2008
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 400 Square Feet
UV Exposure: Full Sun, Western Exposure
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used:
Redwood


*All products tested and results are from our hands on experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ widely due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

75 Responses to “Sherwin Williams DeckScapes Stain Review”

  1. Sharon Schaefer says:

    Do not buy this stain. I used this on my deck in April of 2010. Last April you couldn't even tell I stained it. I was very disappointed not only in the cost but the time I put in. I took me 3 days to stain my deck, front porch, landing and steps and deck furniture. It would have been worth it had it lasted even 2 years but it barely lasted one.
    I'm searching reviews to find a different stain to try this year. Please, take it from me, do not waste your money on this stain!

    • Thanks for the post on your personal experience with SW Deckscapes.

    • bill says:

      Sharon: Did your store refund any money for your problem?

      • Bill-

        Thanks for sharing your experience. We used the water based version for our testing. I see that you used the Sherwin Williams oil based version but still had issues. Could you please elaborate as to how you prepped the wood? New cedar wood is not very absorbent and many stains have difficulty penetrating properly.

        Thanks!

  2. Bill says:

    Do not purchase this product "Exterior Deck Stain (Cedar)" premium oil based formula. I put this on my new cedar deck in June of 2011 and immediately it started to wash off with any rain/moisture we had in area. Today after less than 12 months, it looks terrible and will need to be restained. To top it off, my local store in Farmington, MO shows no effort in helping in any way. I have taken all my business elsewhere.

  3. joyce says:

    Thank you for these posts. I am having the very same problem with my
    S-W stain this year and it also hasn't even been a year yet.
    So now that I have to restain my deck I will probably
    try a different brand.

    • Joyce,

      Thanks for your post and sorry to hear of you issues with the SW Deckscapes. I would remove the SW with a stain stripper and start over with a deep penetrating stain.

      • Suanne says:

        I used Deckscape on my new deck. What a mess. The whole deck surface had mold growing under the stain. I hired someone to remove this product and now they had gouged the wood with a power washer. This has turned into a mightmare!!! Don't use this product. It is awful!!

  4. Mary Jones says:

    Why are you showing a price per gallon for this product at 32.99 when in the store regular price is 45.49?

  5. fitzie says:

    I am going through the same 2 months after useing deck scaoes it was washing off my deck now looks bad and I do not really want to use their product again who can help me on a better product

  6. Gloria Fuller says:

    We had the SW Deckscapes premium oil-based formuler deck stain put on our dek about 9 months ago . We are in the process of having it redone. SW agreed to comp the painter the stain.

  7. KAMMIE62 says:

    I have used the deck scapes water base product on a 1300 sq ft covered porch, in New Mexico….dry 13% humidity most days. Anywhere the rain hits, the stain peels. The biggest problem I have is it becomes dull and almost seems to be oxidized within weeks of application. When i asked our local S/W dealer what to do…. i was immediately questioned about MY application process, as if it was my fault. I have spot treated areas with every cleaner known to man to cut thru the film with little success. In order for the porch to stay fresh, crisp and clean looking I restain every year. Not a fun job. I have found the best application is a paint pad on a long broom handle. Yes the stain seems to be more of a covering or encapsulating product than a true stain that soaks in. Now that I have found this great web site i will never use S/W again. I assumed it was the best and continued to use it as they have such a good name. NO MORE!! THANK YOU!!

  8. Uli says:

    We had a poor experience (in my estimation,) with this product. It peeled and chipped away, dries very quickly during application and also seemed to just rest on the surface of the wood – creating a plasticized effect. At any rate, our local SW dealer really did respond to our complaints in a generous manner. A store employee came out and reviewed the space, they interviewed us politely and supportively about ur application efforts, And ultimately they did replace the product (same tint color,) at no cost to us. I'm sure that was largely due to my husband being a professionally consumate (though respectful and polite,) nag. No one is better at not letting go of a complaint until it's resolved, (just my opinion.) I could see the salespeople inwardly cringing every time we walked back into their showroom.
    Thing is, of course, all that happened (to my way of thinking,) is that my husband was recommitted to using a product that failed his expectations in the first place. GAH! Make me crazy why don't you?

  9. DesignerChic says:

    Yikes, Was told to check this product out by my painter, but have to admit it concerns me that there has not been one positive comment on this product. I have over 1200 sq. ft. that needs to be done, I get full sun all day and year long and do not want to have to do this every year! Not to mention the cost of labor and product to do this and have it not hold up..What products have people had good results with?

    • Designer Chic, I would look at TWP Stains or Armstrong Clark.

      • gofletchgo says:

        Hi DeckStainHelp…what if those are not available in your area? Is online ordering the only option?

        We have a 15×15 covered deck with stairs that are exposed and the previous owners used SW Solid Stain (Redwood). It has lasted 3-4 years and is now peeling, but mostly only in the uncovered areas.

        We are planning on stripping it all off (since we'll have to no matter what), but my other question is, will we be forced to use another solid stain in it's place since they used a solid and there's no telling how much will/won't come off, etc.?

        Thanks in advance!

  10. Curt says:

    There is no review of Deckscapes oil toner stain. I want to know how good a product that is.

    • Curt, we have not posted our review yet as it has not been 2 years. We will this Fall. Thus far it has performed better then the water based Deckscapes. I would call it an average stain.

    • John says:

      I used the oil based cedar toner stain on new cedar wood and oil based redwood toner stain on #1 pine two years ago. I have many trees around my house. After two years, the deck that i spent over $20,000 on looks terrible. Some spots have stain while many parts have washed off, leaving that area gray with no protection. Save your money and buy a solid stain that is better quality and will last loner.

  11. Karen says:

    I see this review and many of the comments are for the SW Deckscapes Toner. SW advertises their Semi-Transparent stains as having much better durability and UV protection. Have you reviewed or used the SW Deckscapes Waterborne Semi-Transparent? (I have an agreement with my painter to use this product, but I just found your site and I'm wondering if I should hassle him with trying to switch to a TWP product. I live in KY, PTP 2 y/o deck in 1/2 intense sun, 1/2 shade. It's never been treated.) THANK YOU!

    • Karen, personally I think their semi-transparent is worse. Yes it will get better UV protection but it will peel even faster as it has less (thicker stain) penetration. I would not use it. I would use TWP 100 Series. it should be available in KY.

  12. John Crisler says:

    October 26, 2012
    Warning-Sherman Williams DeckScapes® Exterior Acrylic Solid Color Deck Stain Started Pealing after 2 Years.

    I purchased the DeckScapes® Exterior Acrylic Solid Color Deck Stain in the color Cheyenne Red. In May 2010, the deck was stripped, cleaned, power washed and completely dried and prepped before applying this product with a brush. I wanted to brush-on the stain to ensure the best application. The deck stain started pealing after 2 years.

    The painter who was recommended by Sherman Williams contacted the Sales Representative, and he came to see our deck and how the deck stain was pealing. The Sales Representative said the pealing was due to normal wear. However, the steps and other areas more frequently traveled did not have this defect.

    In summary, Sherman Williams did not stand by their product, and we received no help from them. I am very disappointed with this product, and with Sherman Williams and cannot recommend either of them. :(

    Regards,
    John Crisler
    McDonough, GA

    • John, all stains will eventually fail. Some last 1 year or less. Good stains will last 2-3 years at best. The issue is that companies like SW and Behr will promote theirs stains as lasting longer, 5 or 6 years. This is a bunch of BS. There is no stain out there will do this and they get out of their limited warranties by saying such things a \”normal wear and tear\” does not apply. It makes them look bad and really upsets the consumer. It would be much better to just be honest and give a realistic expectation of how long it should last.

  13. Karl says:

    I got some Deckscapes stain recently from Sherwin Williams, and it says "Premium Oil-Based Formula". I do not recall seeing any "waterborne" Deckscapes at the S-W store that I went to (not that I was looking for water-based). Do they make both types, or did they switch from water-based to oil-based fairly recently? Can anybody tell me how the OIL-based SW Deckscapes stain performs? (The stain I have just says "Redwood Toner" but I would say it is semi-transparent.) I am making redwood planters as gifts, and I want to use a stain that holds up well to moisture and UV fade. So far I have had no problems with it, but I have only several months experience with it, and have only used the stain on items that are indoors, outdoors but under cover, or outdoors but coated with spar urethane varnish. Thanks for any input.

    • Karl,

      We will be posting a review of the SW Oil based Deckscapes this winter. While it is better then their water-based stain, it is still not on par with other brands we have tested. Items used indoors will not have any issues. Outdoors but covered will last significantly longer as well. Never put a spar varnish on top of a deck or wood stain! It will peel causing major issues down the road!

  14. Andrew says:

    I really wish I would have researched the deckscapes oil based stain before buying and staining my deck. I applied the stain a little bit over 4 months ago and have numerous places that need touch up. The deck looks like it's 5 years old. I had a piece of cardboard from a box blow across the deck one night when it was raining. It was soggy and when I picked it up the next day, a patch of stain peeled off about the size of a big mac burger. The cardboard did not have oil or any other chemicals on it that might cause the stain to lift. The manager of the store came out and looked at the deck. I had to sign a release which I really didn't want to and received a free gallon of green stain. If the wood that is stained was old and ragged, I would just paint over the ugly stain and be done with it. Looks like I'll be stripping the stain off and applying a different stain. What's a few more dollars and hours wasted?

  15. [...] Note: This is a test in the Sherwin Williams Deckscapes Oil Based Formula. This formula tested better then their water based version. See Here for Water Based Review: SW Deckscapes Review [...]

  16. Tracy says:

    After 15 of saving $$, my husband and I just had an enclosed deck with 5 feet exposed built. Purchased SW Waterborn and Oil Based Deckscape Stain, both in Yankee Barn, (Brown). My husband used the waterborne in our enclosed portion, didn't like so he bought the oil based for the exposed portion. The oil based color is RED, no hint of brown. The manager told me that just the way it is. The two different types would naturally produce a different color. I understand a different finish, different tone, but one is brown and the other red. I don't think they are willing to help us resolve. Oil stain has been on for 3 days. Can it be stripped off or are we better off covering with a different color stain. All the products I have found state removal of weathered stain. If it should be stripped, which product should we use. Please help me.

    • Tracy, not easy to remove a newly applied stain. I would try the RAD stripper to remove as much as possible then sand if needed the rest off. Make sure to brighten when done. Good luck!

  17. Roy Alley says:

    You were very generous in a wear and tear rating of 4. My deck railings and floor have peeled in most, but not all of the surface. Would have been better if ALL had peeled off. Now, I have a big mess to correct. I wish your rating , since wear and tear is so important, would have worned us not to purchase this product. Sherwin Williams should be ashamed to put out a product this terrible.

  18. Troy says:

    I used the Deckscape oil based stain and got a terribly uneven finish. But more concerning was the fact that the deck is so slippery we can’t walk on it without wearing shoes with rubber soles. This was a new cedar deck and I did what the local Sherwin Williams retail informed me but boy am I disappointed. Can I strip off this stain and do something that will make the deck more useful? This is not only irritating but it is very dangerous. I won’t let my kids even walk on the deck because my son slipped and got hurt the first time he walked on it.

  19. JoAnn Brozowski says:

    Applied this stain exactly one year ago. As of now it is peeling on the top of the railing and over most of the floor area on a large deck. Spent 3 weeks prepping and then applying the stain. At summer's end it was fine. Now it is a mess. Peels up in strips in some areas, flakes off in others.

  20. Laurie Niemer says:

    We replaced our existing cedar deck last year in June 2012 for our backyard wedding. We used SW Deckscapes to stain it following all of the manufacturers suggestions and the builder's suggestions. This Spring we noticed the stain had peeled, not in just one spot, but random spots throughout the 800 sq ft deck. We are so disappointed and mad. We not only spent a lot of money, but time and labor that we thought would last at least 2 or 3 years like the SW salesperson told us. Now we have to strip it and redo it this summer. Not fun!

    Has anyone had any luck with reporting their problem to SW? It would be nice to hear they are helping out their customers.

  21. Steve W says:

    We had SW Deckscapes stain applied professionally approximately 11 months ago, and it is awful. The stain had peeled in countless places, and we are in the process of starting over. Given the cost of the stain plus the labor for application, this is an incredibly expensive problem. SW should absolutely stand by its product, and if it doesn't, I will explore other options. The pro who applied our stain went to the SW store to complain, and they gave him some excuse relative to EPA regulations. There was no disclosure when we purchased the product that it wouldn't last. Never again.

  22. Kelly says:

    I am a professional painter. I use the SW waterborne stain on my deck. It's true, every 2 or 3 years the deck needs to be recoated. This is normal. Normal wear and tear on a deck has nothing to do with your walking on it. The wear and tear comes from rain, sun, snow, ice etc. No waterborne stain will last more than 3 years. The reason being, the deck is a horizontal surface, it has cracks in it (whether you see them or not). Over the coarse of 2 to 3 years the weather will eventually comprise the stain layer due to pooling of water, ice. Once the moisture gets past the stain barrier it begins to break down the wood beneath and separation occurs causing peeling. This becomes more extreme the harder the wood. Softer woods obsorb more stain and will last a little longer. This is why, when applying your stain you must do it on a cool shady day. This slows the drying process and allows the stain to soak into the wood better. Staining on a hot sunny day will give you nothing but grief down the road. Hope this helps.

  23. steve schehr says:

    I wasn't just burned once by SW Deckscapes but burned twice. I first applied it in the summer of 2010 and by March of 2011 it began peeling. Of course Sherwin Williams said it was an application issue but would give me 4 free gallons. I waited over a year and then had a professional strip, clean and re-apply the deckscape stain. Surprise but in March of 2013 my deck began peeling a second time. Sherwin Williams once again is saying it's an application issue. I have been a loyal SW customer painting my whole house inside and out with their paint. I am so disgusted with the results of this product and their reluctance to admit this product stinks that I am boycotting Sherwin Williams completely.

  24. Nancy says:

    What about the SOLID color Deckscapes, which is water-borne? My handyman is recommending this to me and he says the wear is great and cleaning it is like cleaning a teflon pan–i.e. very easy with not a lot of pressure needed using the pressure washer. I see the negative comments here about Deckscapes, but people are talking about the stains and not the solid color product. Comments? If SW Deckscapes solid is not a good product, then what would be considered the ‘best’ solid color deck stain?

  25. Lisa says:

    Just had my deck stained in redwood oil based toner….it is orange!! Help, what can I do to get this changed?

    • Lisa, color is always dependent on the wood type, age, prepping, application, etc. You will most likely need to remove it and start over. Applying on top may change the color but it may also peel in a year.

  26. Luke says:

    I live in Seattle. 3yrs ago I had Cabot semi-transparent New Cedar professionally applied and it peeled in a number of places within 2yrs. I've got a professional painter lined up to restain here shortly and he's recommending SW Waterborne. I will be calling him today and telling him about these reviews and asking why he's not experienced the same results as all of those here and on other sites saying the product is terrible. I am looking for a recommendation on a semi-transparent stain for northwest decks. Thanks!

    • Luke, look for the TWP or the Armstrong Clark for your area. They penetrate deeper and will have less peeling as long as all of the Cabot has been removed. In our experience painters are not deck people. They buy everything from one store and do not venture out for better quality. Not to say he cannot do the work, just does not have experience as a contractor who specializes in wood restoration.

  27. Everett says:

    We are building a brand new deck in the upper peninsula of Michigan and will be using treated cedar. What stain do you recommend. We would like a semi-transparent stain and our builder is recommending Sherman Williams Deckscapes stain, but after reading the reviews we aren't sure what to use. Our builder said he would put 2 coats of deckscape stain on the treated cedar and that should last 7 – 10 years. What do you think?

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      Everett, That made me laugh. Nothing lasts more then 2-3 years and even less on brand new wood. SW will last maybe 1-2 years.e

  28. Pov says:

    We bought a gallon of the oil-based Deckscape for a small BBQ deck out back and were so happy with the results that we used the rest of the gallon on the front porch. On pressure-treated wood, it performed great, but on the fir deck in front, after 2 WEEKS, the stain has not properly cured. It is shiny, rubber-y and still tacky after 2 weeks of 70 degree weather and sunshine. Granted, the front porch does not get direct sun, but this is ridiculous. We had a very nice SW rep come out and explain that the application of the product was the problem— that I had put it on too thick. It should dry with a hard matte finish. (Thing is, I did the back porch myself exactly the same way, and it turned out fine) Guess we will just put the furniture back on the porch and start using it as is. Summer is too short. Going to throw silica sand over the porch and hope for the best.

  29. dennis says:

    used this for 2 years in a row. The water stops beading up after 2 months and the deck peels like a grape after a year. Very, very disaponited, but a bit better then thomspons water seal..

  30. Tammy Maassen says:

    Don't use this unless you want to stain your deck EVERY year. After a year it looked awful and be two not much was left on the flat surfaces. My parents and grandma all used this stain to paint their deck and everyone's deck flaked off and we all had to stain again. We used Behr the next time. Was a terrible waste of money.

  31. Clay says:

    After reading all these reviews I'm a bit on the fence about what to use on our new house's front porch. (still not moved in yet)

    On our current home we tried most of the major brands of deck treatments from Thompson's, Olympic, Cabots & Behr. None lasted much more than 2yrs even if we bought the best grade of their product. Then two years ago we redid our deck again and a gent came along and made an offer to pressure wash our house. When finished we discussed the fact that I was going to retreat my deck and he asked what we were using. He offered he'd gone to the new water based Deckscape from Sherwin Williams and was having good success with it. When I told him I was using 4 gallons each time I redid our old deck he was agast and told me that if I'd by just two gallons of Deckscape in an opaque he would not only cover our entire deck but the front porch and steps as well. I thought he was crazy and took him up on his offer.
    Well, he was good to his word, did it all and had a little left over. He said if you put it on too thick it would just peel off.

    Its been two years and the front porch looks almost as good as the day he put it on. But it is under an overhang. The back deck still looks ok but I think we'll go ahead and do it again while it still looks ok just to keep it so. It is unshielded and bakes in full sun all day throughout the summer and then gets covered in leaves and/or snow & ice in the winter so it is never going to last as long as the front porch.

    I've decided not much is going to hold up real long when its out in the elements but our experience so far is that the opaque water based Deckscapes has been the best. We also liked that it seemed to soak in and cure without the fumes the previous oil based products did and has lasted better as well.

    I'm going to research a bit more but think I may use it on the new house since the porch also is protected by an overhang here.

    • gofletchgo says:

      Clay, I'm kind of glad to see your review because we have a house that we bought three years ago and they had stained the deck the year before (so four years ago) with the Solid Stain Deckscapes Acrylic in Redwood. The only reason we know is because they left the can behind (I love it when people do that, it helps so much!).

      Anyhow, it did start peeling on the steps and handrails that are uncovered last year, maybe the year before (so at the 3yr mark) but on the deck and rails that are covered, it has done pretty well.

      So now here I am pouring over what kind of stain to get when I can't get TWP or Anderson's here in Kansas and I'm stressing about stain brands! It's ridiculous, but it's because we have two kids under five and I just don't have time to deal with this every year…every 2-3 I can handle. But having to strip it all off and start over is so tedious.

      Thanks to everyone for all of the comments because it really is helpful, and sometimes it muddies the waters more. :)

      • gofletchgo, TWP and AC are semi-transparents and cannot be applied over a solid stain. Your choices are to redo in a solid (it will peel again) or sand off the solid stain to get back to natural wood. Stain strippers will not remove a solid completely.

        • gofletchgo says:

          DSH: thanks for the info. That's kind of what I was wondering…if a stripper would really get it all off anyway.

          So…if we redo in a solid, the process would be to strip, brighten?, sand, reapply solid?
          OR…if we decide to go back to natural/semi then do we still strip, or just sand it off?

          We have it all over the railings, etc, with lots of angles and 1-2" surfaces that would have to be redone. And as much as I don't want to go back to a solid, I'm thinking that may be the easiest route.

          I also thought about the Cabot Australian Timber Oil if we went more natural because I can get that here, and it wasn't a horrible review here on your site…

          Other thoughts? And thanks for all of the input, this site really is great!

          • If you stay with a solid just strip off what you can and sand if needed. If you want to remove, strip what you can and sand the rest off.

            Cabot used to be a favorite of ours until they changed the formula a few times. We do not use it anymore.

  32. Tammy Duran says:

    Very BAD luck with Decscapes Water Based Satin cedar Bark stain for our deck! DO NOT buy this product! we built our deck waited a year for it to cure, an stained it in May 2013. I was told when I bought this that it was GREAT stuff by sales rep and that one coat was needed and no sealer etc. It was all in the gallon. Said it was one of the best products. My husband pressure washed the deck and cleaned before our staining began. 4 gallons later and one year later my deck looks absolutely AWFUL!!! Floor is pealing and just looks terrible. I called the store location to see if it came with guarantee and they said no. Super frustarting to me for the time and money involved in staining on a product I was told was the best. I have used Sherwin for ALL my painting /staining needs and have awlays raved about their service . Super disappointed on this one! Seems customer service has also taken a back seat a bit too,. sad because the paint side it great!

  33. John says:

    I have experienced the fun in waiting to get my deck replaced and stained after almost 2 years after it was initially stained with the deckscapes stain. I prepped the new pressure treated wood after it had dried out for almost 10 months from installing it myself. Within 3 weeks, I had what looked like muddy feet had walked across the whole deck appearing. Shortly after that the stain started peeling up.

    I followed all preparations before applying the stain as its a big deck and I wasn't about to do it over again. I got every excuse possible as to why the stain didn't work and all of it was aimed at me in an attempt to get out of covering the warranty. The manager was unprofessional and started coming across as the customer coming into his store are mostly idiots with no qualifications to do the work. I was eventually asked how much painting and staining experience I had as that was his way of determining if I was qualified. I have painted many houses along with stained furniture. Am I a pro, probably not but I'm not a beginner either. I'll be up front with anyone who asks.

    The manager kept pressuring me to accept a gallon of stain along with his low-grade stripper as settlement. I stopped accepting his phone calls and emails as it eventually became condescending in tone. I wrote Sherwin Williams corporate office in detail about my experience with the manager and stain in a certified letter. That finally got somewhere and stuck a nerve for someone to get this handled. At that point, it was approaching a year and the stain looked like paint you would see on a one hundred year old barn. No resemblance to the original look after being applied.

    The contractor and manager came out to my house to look at the job to see what it would cost to strip, sand and stain the deck. Once again the manager was trying to leverage the contractor into saying it was how I applied it as being the cause of the failure. The contractor said he has no obligation to take any side of either party and said his honest opinion is that the stain failed because of its make up and not by how it was applied.

    The contractor came back out to strip the deck to see how easy it would be to get the job done. After almost an hour of 4 applications of Sherwin Williams best stripper, it still had green stain in the pores of the wood that would be visible even after sanding. The contractor refused to do the rest of the work by just staining over the old stain that wouldn't come off. I suggested after calculating out the time to strip the deck with labor as being almost 3 times what it would cost to replace the wood with brand new wood.

    The other contractor came out and installed the new wood to the tune of $4k and the deck is scheduled to be stained soon. Let's hope. The only way I've been able to get results from anyone at Sherwin Williams is through certified letters along with pictures documenting the process before, during and after. Documentation is a must and if they offer a warranty, you won't get anything unless you document and prove their product failed.

    I don't like talking bad about people or companies but when you get pushed off like your an idiot and then have a manager claim the majority of his customers are idiots, that doesn't sit well with you when you are the reason why he gets paid. The best advice I can offer is to do your homework before making a purchase with reading reviews of whatever you plan to buy. A great source is Amazon for most but it doesn't cover all areas of life. If the store manager brushes you off and doesn't want to honor their warranty, send a certified letter to corporate for further action as they don't want problems escalating that far up. The other option is news media if need be but I haven't had to resort to that.

    *note to Sherwin Williams – I realize your lawyers have figured out there will be a certain amount of defective product claims by producing a cheaper version to make more profit but you don't realize how word of mouth will cost you in the long run. Something to think about as once an ex customer, always an ex customer creating more to follow that ex customer also.

  34. jasaevan says:

    I recently purchase a bunch of SW Exterior Acrylic Solid Color Deck Stain when it was 40% off. I didn't have it tinted so It can be returned. Reviews of it have me very nervous. We just purchased our house with a 10yr old fence and deck. I was stained a very dark brown solid acrylic latex in 2011 (I think). The deck's stain is about 40% peeled off (90% off on high traffic area). Comes off with a water hose on jet setting. I tried removing the rest with a pressure washer and it did a good job on the parts that were coming off, but not much on the parts that were still solid like on spindles. I am thinking about brand of stain but it seems they all stink. The wood fence is very dark gray but lightens back up after pressure wash.

    Several questions
    -Would JOMAX Stain and Finish Stripper from Lowes work to remove all the stains if followed by a pressure washing?
    -If I am going to a lighter shade of solid stain does the old stain have to be removed first or can it be placed over it,
    -Can I strip deck and fence and use brightener and not stain it, but clean it every few months during the year so I don't have to strip if off every couple of years and do it all over again or does it have to be stained?

    I want to avoid having to restrip every couple of years and restain. Want something that I can just wash and maybe touch up throughout the year. Prefer a wood tone look instead of a paint look but I don't know if based on its age and previous solid stain if a solid stain could be avoided.

    Sorry for the rapid fire questions. Just not sure what I want to do.

    • No the jomax will not remove the solid stain. No stripper does this very well. You can cover a darker color with a lighter color solid stain. The only way to get the wood looking natural is to sand it all or replace the boards. Typically once you go with a solid stain there is no going back to natural.

      • jasaevan says:

        so don't worry about using a stripper and just pressure wash to get most of the loose stain off. and just paint over the existing stain with a lighter solid stain and it wont show through? Would getting a better brand of stain really help in my situation or will I pretty much have to restain in 1-2 years. thanks

  35. maslaw67 says:

    I applied this stain on my deck two years ago and am terribly unhappy with the results. The deck surface was treated lumber and the posts and portions of the railing are rough cedar and top railing is smooth cedar. I was told the cedar could be stained immediately, which I did. The rough cedar posts are holding up well. The rough cedar railing is pealing about 25% and the top smooth cedar has lost the majority of the stain after two seasons. At the end of the first season the smooth cedar was already peeling terribly. A Sherwin Williams rep came out and told me I probably used too heavy of a coat and it was probably too hot when I stained. I disagree that I used too much stain. I stained the railing in the shade and in the evenings so I'm not sure I agree with the temp comment either.

    I waited about 10 months to stain the deck surface and of course it was sunny when I did a majority of the staining. After the first season I had probably 40% peeling and after the next season it was probably 75% peeling. My deck that was stunning after initially being stained now looks terrible. I have since stripped it and will be staining with a different product soon.

    I live in Kansas where we get harsh winters and very hot summers. Sherwin Williams did provide me with stripper and neutralizing products for free to accommodate my complaint. The amount of time I've wasted because of the poor performance of this product is substantial.

  36. tammy duran says:

    help!!!! i cannot get waterborne stain off my deck. Sherwin has provided with the two stripping products they offer and nothing is coming off but peeled stain…and we have a mess on our hands. Pressure washer takes it off but shreds it !!!! do i need to use another product?? I have about had it with Sherwin's stain and stain remover products……

  37. Nancy says:

    We decided to use SW Semi Transparent stain on our deck which is approximately 1000 sq. ft. two years ago. We pressure washed and prepared the deck. After one year the main deck and top of the railings started to peel. We went to our local store to complain and the manager told us this was normal and gave us one gallon of stain (which we did not use). I wrote to the company last year and explained the situation telling them that we used SW semi transparent because we wanted a quality product. This year our store manager came and did an assessment of the deck. He said he would provide more stain (no thanks) or a full refund. We opted for the refund. As we are older and I have stage 4 cancer we were hoping they would offer to strip or pressure wash the deck and railing tops and we would find a compatible color of a different product to redo. No such luck. We started stripping the deck today with Behr's deck stripper which is not very good either and pressure washing it. By the time it is finished I will probably be dead. I WILL NEVER USE ANOTHER SW PRODUCT OR VISIT THEIR ESTABLISHMENTS AGAIN. Very unsatisfied even with the refund.

  38. Mike Pettit says:

    Applied the waterborne semi-transparent stain. Very difficult to apply which yielded very poor results. Any suggestions on how to remove this stain?

  39. G Wensink says:

    Very disappointed – Last October I stained my deck – the wood was old as it had been built several years ago but the staff at Sherwin Williams told me it would be fine. It was a lot of back breaking work as I am a senior but I was happy with the way it looked until this spring. As soon as the snow melted, I noticed that it was peeling everywhere. Some areas are bare and others are peeling – mostly down the centre of each board. I was advised at the store to just brush the loose flakes off and apply a new (even more expensive) product over top. I was going to try that but it is like a rubbery coating and will not brush off – it just pulls back in strips so I think I will have to try a stripper – as was suggested by a competitive store. What a waste of time and money!

  40. Beth says:

    I'm a painting contractor with 35 years in the business – and I have used Sherwin Williams products for many of those years. I will stand by most of their products, and still do. However, three years ago I had 17 deck jobs lined up in early summer, and given Michigan's frequently rainy weather, having 2-3 dry days to wait for applying oil stains was a scheduling challenge so I used the waterbased DeckScapes for most of them.

    The following year, I had to completely strip and redo (at my cost because I will stand behind my work) several decks that had utterly failed. Luckily, my sales rep comped me quite a lot of Sherwin Williams deck stain remover which works quite well (leave it on for longer than recommended) but I was still not a happy camper. I went back to TWP, which my Sherwin Williams store now orders for me. :o) I have never had a call back or complaint about TWP.

    I have previously used the oil-based SW DeckScapes with no problems. It seems that the main issue is poor penetration/adhesion with the waterbased stain, especially when applied on a low-to-the-ground deck with no moisture barrier underneath.

  41. Clatyon says:

    We have used this product several times as we are a professional painting company & it works great if the surface is properly prepped.

    Typical reasons why paint is peeling etc
    -Your newly installed deck/fence is pressure treated and must be left to dry out/weather for 1 year.
    -You have recently had a new deck/fence installed & its not pressure treated so you go ahead & paint it but new lumber needs to weather for approxmately 3 months…we prefer to let it weather for 6 months.
    -Your deck/fence that has been weathering for years and you decide its time to seal it with stain but you didnt do the following, treat it with deckwash then pressure wash to remove all the dirt, dust & grease that has accumulated over the past few years.
    -You decided to use a high grit palm sander to open up the woodgrain on your new deck so you could stain now instead of waiting for it to weather but after sanding you didnt give it an extremely good rinse to remove the dust.
    -Wood was to damp.
    -You applied in direct sun, high heat…stain wont properly bond to the surface if it dries instantly…

    Ottawa

    If you have any questions or concerns about your project please let us know as we are more than happy to offer our advice.

  42. Dennis says:

    Some of the comments on here are really off base. I am a manager at a Sherwin Williams store. The rule of thumb with any semi-transparent stain is that it will last 2 years tops due to sunlight. Solid stains will last 5 years. If you want the grain to show through then you need to re-stain every 2 years. As far as chipping and peeling goes. Prep work is vital. Make sure you strip any existing stain, powerwash, and ensure the surface is clean, dry, and dull prior to staining.

    Dennis

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