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SuperDeck Stain Review3.07/5(32)

Superdeck Wood Deck Stain Review

Superdeck Wood Deck Stain Review

SUPERDECK® Semi-Transparent Stain is a 70% solid, pro grade, wood deck finish developed to give superior protection and enhanced color to exterior wood. Superdeck Semi-Transparent Stains uses iron oxide pigments to prevent UV damage.  Containing tung and linseed oils that provide superior protection with mildewcides that inhibit growth of mildew. Superdeck Semi-Transparent Stains contain Carnauba for a durable finish that is scuff resistance.

SUPERDECK® Semi-Transparent Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 6

- We used the Superdeck Stain in the redwood color on a newly built redwood porch in Northern California. The final appearance after drying was a sticky uneven finish on our porch. The stain did not penetrate very well into the wood even though the Superdeck cleaner and brightener was used to prep prior to application. Only one light coat was applied.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

- 80% of the initial color was left after 2 years of exposure in full sun. The Superdeck did score fairly well here.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

- The was no peeling of the Superdeck Semi-transparent stain but there was wearing in the high traffic areas. This porch is the entrance to the home and the Superdeck was completely worn from the stairs to the door.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

- Superdeck Semi-transparent stain costs $40 a gallon. The 800 foot porch needed 5 gallons to cover. This included the deck and the railings.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 6

- After 2 years of weathering, the Superdeck Semi-transparent stain had a significant amount of mildew spots growing in the finish. Containing linseed oil (known feeder for mold), the Superdeck seemed ineffective at preventing the mold even though it contains mildewcide.

Ease of Application: 7

- We applied the Superdeck Semi-transparent stain with a staining brush to the entire surface of the porch. The stain had issues with penetration into the wood and did not dry evenly. It took nearly 8 hours to apply the stain with two people.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 5

- Very dissapointed with the Superdeck Semi-transparent stain turning a dark blackish color after two years. It seems that dirt sticks to the stain. There was a tree above the porch that may have contributed to this issue.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 6.5

- Unfortunately the Superdeck Semi-transparent stain will need to be stripped and brightened prior to reapplication since the stain had turned a very dark color after the two years.

Overall Score SUPERDECK® Semi-Transparent Stain at 2 Year Period: 6.69

- We were not impressed with the Superdeck stain. Most disappointed with the application and overall appearance after 2 years. Wood stains should not turn a dark black color after 2 years of exposure. This is very unsightly and makes reapplication difficult.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Lumber Yards and Paint Stores
Cost: $39.99 per Gallon, $189.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent as tested
Available Colors: Cedar, Redwood, Weathered Gray – Tintable to 60+ Colors
Application Temperature: 40-95 F
Coats Required: 1 Coat
Coverage Per Gallon: 250-350 sq. ft. Actual coverage was 175 sq. feet as tested
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 8-24 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in All 50 States. 100 VOC for LA Area
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Duckback

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: June 2010
Deck Wood Type: Redwood Porch
Deck Square Footage: 800
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used:

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

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147 Responses to “SuperDeck Stain Review”

  1. mike c says:

    Have you done any testing on super deck transparent stains?

  2. John says:

    We want oil stain back. Just because it smells doesn't mean we can't apply it outside on a deck. Oil stain back PLEASE. I stain about 200 to 300 decks a year. I have my own way of containing waste stain, in recycle barrels. I have 1 barrel every 2 to 3 years that gets recycled. This new system is totally environmental money grab. Shame.
    And no good reviews on new deck stain products. Hmmm wonder why?

    • Oil stains are still around in all states. They have not been banned but many manufacturers have gone away from them.

      • Kendall says:

        You seem to be knowledgeable about exterior stains. I am a homeowner who is looking for a good exterior stain for my deck and outbuildings. Ten years ago, I used Olympic oil-based stain in Naturaltone Redwood. It was a nice reddish brown. I loved it but Olympic has changed it's formula (in California at least.) I have been reading a lot of negative reviews about most other products so I'm at a loss for what to buy. I have no problem driving to Arizona or Nevada if a good oil-based stain is available. I bought Sherwin Williams transparent Superdeck stain but I'll probably return it after reading these reviews. Would you please advise on the best product to buy? Thanks so much. My email is

  3. lotslopractice says:

    after 3 years the deck looks ok. Horizontal surfaces look pretty bad. Cleaned up well with deck cleaner and lots of elbow grease.vertical surfaces are good. I have cleaned deck and will repost horizontal surfaces only.i own several rental properties and have tried various brands of stain. So far Super deck is better than Behring or Cabots.

  4. Sonny M says:

    Just paid to have this put on deck May 1, and it still hasn't dried in areas and is sticky. Other areas are already weathered and wearing off. Is only way to fix it stripping and doing it again….with a different product this time?

  5. Michael Boice says:

    I've used this product for about 10 years professionally and have never experienced a sticky condition. Wood, once a living organism, is not a homogeneous man-made substrate. The variations in porosity and density in wood across all grades and species, except perhaps clear vertical or rift grain, require the applicator to pay close attention to the finishing process, in particular, the density variations found in wood.

    In my opinion, all stains should be re-applied once a year; wood breaths and as such renders itself vulnerable to the elements – sun, shade (moss, mildew mold) freeze and thaw cycles. Mold and mildew feed on all oil stains, its a common and frequent maintenance consideration, more so in shady conditions. Oil will not peel, however.

  6. Lori says:

    I am looking for a product to put on my driveway cement that we previously stained. Will this product work for this?

  7. Bill says:

    Very poor coverage. Spotty coverage. Would not recommend this product. Too expensive for the quality

  8. neva says:

    We experience the stain turning dark after a couple of year. I did seem as though dirt stuck to the stain.

  9. Craig Edmisten says:

    Used this product in April it's been 3 months and my customer is calling me back telling me his deck is turning black. Yes it's mold. Three months? I've never seen this in the 30 years I've been in the business. Now at best I will get stain replaced but all labor will be out of pocket. At this point I would recommend thinking twice before using this product.

  10. J.K. says:

    I live in Toronto, Canada and bought this product from Home Hardware in May and my deck HAS TURNED BLACK with mold!!!
    Home Hardware would not even refund me the price of the 2 gallons. NEVER buy this product. I have spend 6 hours scrubbing it with Thompsons Deck Stripper to finally get it mostly clean and start over.

  11. Jim the deck guy says:

    I have read many of the complaints and have come to the conclusion people confuse :::tannin bleed, environmentally fallout, iron stains or other causes of discoloration with MILDEW. Superdeck DOES NOT breed mildew. I would bet many people could not tell you the difference between common causes of discoloration that nay LOOK like mildew.
    I have been using the product line for 15 years or more and NEVER have seen it cause mildew. Improper surface prep is the the reason for many of the complaints I read in this thread. I have coated 4 million square feet of lumber and NEVER have had legit icall backs with the product. When people understand decks or exterior lumber require attention and maintaince and that coatings do not last forever call backs and disappointments can be eliminated.

  12. Laura says:

    Hello I need an opinion or review on the Solid color for Superdeck. Is this a good product to use or not. By reading most of the reviews I am starting to think not. My issue here is that the deck has had a few different products used on the deck. I plan on sanding it before I place the stain on it, my local lumber company is trying to get me to use this product, but I have NOT seen no positive post on this product.

  13. ciari says:

    sticky, cannot wash off stains, did not cover abrasions as it said it would … has the formulation on this product changed??? i read one article that said Sherwin Williams purchased it from another company and was pushing it. Do retailers get a "kick back" if this product is used? so many bad reviews and many say the company blames performance on application and thus does not honor warranty. we will never use Sherwin Williams product again.

  14. ciari says:

    i just checked new line – elastomeric was introduced in spring 2015 – so older reviews do not apply – horror stories since

  15. Brian says:

    I used this product on my pressure treated pine dock in Georgia earlier this spring. I stripped off the previous stains and brightened the wood per their instructions. I used a package cedar color in an oil semi transparent stain with iron oxide pigments. The product applied nicely and really penetrated into the wood which was good, because I never want to strip the dock again. That was a lot of work.

    The stain looked great for a couple of months. But now the dock is turning grey. I don't think it's mildew, and I know it's not the wood turning grey from uv damage. It actually seems like dirt is either embedding itself into the stain, or penetrating through the stain and discoloring the wood.

    I want to wash the dock before I stop using it for the season, which makes it easier to clean and re-stain next spring from my experience. My question to this forum is what cleaners would you all recommend? I don't want to strip off the stain. I just want to remove the dirt. I'm thinking of using an oxygenated cleaner. I would appreciate any advice.

    • SuperDeck has a tendency to darken in color in our experience. Problem is you cannot just clean off the dirt without removing the stain so yes you will need to strip and brighten. Switch to TWP when you do this as it will not have the darkening problem that SuperDeck sometimes has.

  16. Bob says:

    will not dry. applied thin coat and still sticky after 72 hours over well sanded but previously treated pressure treated wod. was good on porous section, would not dry on previous finish. Do not use except on new porous would , not for refininshing old decks for sure

  17. karen DIONNE says:


  18. linda says:

    Had a painter recommend and do. It pulled the sliders off the deck chairs and now we have to pitch or redo them, plus there is rust on the deck. It is tacky in all types of weather – not just hot and muggy.

  19. Charles Reagan says:

    My painters applied one coat of Super Deck transparent stain (color neutral). Now, six days later, it is still sticky. What can I do to get the stickiness off or how long will it take to completely dry?

    • You can have them wipe the deck down with rags and mineral spirits to see if that helps. Saturate any oil rags in water when done.

      • Rj says:

        It's been almost 4 weeks and deck is sticky along with rain damage tearing it up. Sherwin want to take a sample of the paint to see if it's bad paint. If it's good they blame it on my painters.

  20. D & K says:

    I pressure washed our deck which had 4 year old solid stain (oil I think) and we had a baby. Deck sat semi naked for 10 months. Just re pressure washed it, and applied first coat of the sherwin williams SuperDeck solid stain. It looks like it needs another 1-2 coats.

    Before I put 1-2 more coats of this on, have I made a big mistake by applying this SuperDeck product over 4 year old oil stain? The pressure washing from a year ago nearly stripped the old stain off. I’m concerned because I fired up the pressure washer to get some dried sawdust off the deck and it caused a small patch of the SuperDeck to peel right off the old oil stain.

    Does it matter? It seems like I should finish the job and apply the 2nd coat, because otherwise I have an awful lot of re-work to strip back down to the 12 year old wood.

    What are my best options?

    Many thanks -

    • I would leave it alone until next year and see what it looks like after the Winter. If peeling then you will need to remove all and start over. If not, then apply another light coat then.

  21. Ron McKeethen says:

    As a professional paint contractor I can see several mistakes and reason for your problems. The most significant one is you mentioning only applying one coat when it clearly states apply two coats. You shortened your durability by half when you did not apply the proper amount of millage on your deck. Hence you have worn pathways where foot traffic has occurred. The second is the tree being over the deck. Mold and mildew will only present itself in an wet environment which is why I believe you have that issue due to shading. If it was a new deck and you had absorption problems with your stain the deck boards were saturated from either rain or from the factory and needed to weather before stain application. I hope this clears up any discussion.

    • Hello and thanks for your response. Just to refute a few things. The instructions for the Super Deck Semi-transparent only say 1 coat, not two. This is clearly stated on their instructions. In addition mold and mildew do not only present themselves in wet environments. We have seen numerous times where you will get mold and mildew when in full sun. This can be related to the oil based stain itself \”feeding\” the growth of the mold and the added mildewcides not being effective enough to stop this.

  22. Dave Parker says:

    I have used most all the stains on the market today and will always pay a little more for superdeck. If you let the wood cure before applying you will see superdeck absorb deep into the wood and last longer than any of the others. I have had to sand off other brands because they peelup or don't give the protection superdeck does. If you want a good looking job, pay the extra and use Superdeck.

  23. Tom S. / Colorado says:

    Worst deck stain I have ever used. I applied on new redwood last year when I rebuilt my deck. Applied evenly on both sides with rag and generous covering and let dry completely before planks went onto deck in August last year. This August, after one year, the color has turned to powder and comes off just walking across it. The wood is completely dry and cracking. It appears as if there was no protection applied at all. Now in process of redoing the whole deck. What a waste of money and time. It is so bad it borders on being criminal fraud. How can an oil base product not have any protection on new wood? BUY SOMETHING ELSE FOR YOUR DECK.

    • debra says:

      I have a brand new deck. 2 years old. It is cracking, splitting, fading and coming apart
      I have a 2 year old swing that sat in the weather a entire year prior to sealing. Sealed it with minwax and it has never split or faded. Superdeck is a terrible product

  24. robert B. says:

    I've used Superdeck Transparent stain and sealer 1905- Heart Redwood on my gazzebo for the last 20 years or so. It's a great product ( at least this model # is) . Before I reapply it every couple of years I make sure to pressure wash the wood beforehand. That's why it turns dark after a few years, because it's just dirty, you need to pressure wash it and the color comes back to life.

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.