This post was updated on January 30, 2023
Sherwin Williams SuperDeck Stain Review 2023
We at Deckstainhelp.com appreciate your loyalty. It is our commitment to remain your number one source for deck staining tips and the latest industry news on the internet in 2023. Sherwin Williams SuperDeck continues to follow the same wear trends and issues with turning black as years before. Leave us a comment if you’ve used Sherwin Williams SuperDeck and let us know how your projects held up.
Note: Sherwin Williams bought Super Deck in 2013. This review is for the original SuperDeck Oil-Based semi-transparent formula.
SUPERDECK® by Sherwin Williams is a professional grade exterior wood deck finish that was developed to provide superb weather protection and color enhancement. Superdeck semi-transparent deck stain utilizes iron oxide pigments to protect against harmful UV rays. Superdeck is a blend of tung and linseed oils to help inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.
A high-solid wood finish developed to give superior protection and beautiful color to exterior wood. Superdeck® Semi-Transparent Stain uses the highest quality ingredients to provide superior protection. This unique formula contains carnauba wax for an extremely durable finish and a beautiful lustrous sheen with mar and scuff resistance. Superdeck® Semi-Transparent Stain will not track and is resistant to foot traffic patterning. Superdeck® Semi-Transparent Stain is expertly formulated for any exterior surface including decks, fences, siding, and furniture. Available in a spectacular 63-color palette to capture the beauty you seek.
SUPERDECK® Semi-Transparent Stain Ratings (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 7
–Our test deck was a cedar deck. We chose to use the Superdeck cedar color. Unfortunately, after drying the finish was a tacky uneven finish that did not dissipate for several days. A single coat of stain was applied.
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8
–Superdeck deck stain did score well in this category. Nearly 80% of the original color was still intact in full sun exposure at the 2-year mark.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8
–Superdeck stain showed no signs of peeling although there were some signs of wear in the high traffic areas. Our new porch is also the entrance to the home so traffic is heavy. Superdeck was substantially worn off at the entrance.
Cost Per Square Foot: 7
–Superdeck can be purchased for around $40 per gallon on average. Our 500 square foot redwood porch burned up 4 gallons of stain including the deck floor and railings.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 7
–After weathering for 2 years, Superdeck deck stain revealed a noticeable quantity of mildew present in the finish. Superdeck contains mildewcides it does contain linseed oil, which is known to attract mildew. We concluded that Superdeck was ineffective at inhibiting fungal growth and were forced to score it low in this category.
Ease of Application: 6
–We used a stain brush to apply Superdeck semi-transparent stain to the entire redwood porch. Penetration issues were a problem causing an uneven finish. It took two people staining for 8 hours to complete the job.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 6
–We were disheartened with Superdeck having a darkened appearance at the 2-year mark. It was almost as if dirt was attracted to the finish. A nearby tree may have added to the problem.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 6
–Reapplication of Superdeck on our test deck will be more difficult than we had hoped. Due to the darkened appearance and mildew infiltration, the stain will have to be stripped off prior to a stain recoat.
Overall Score SUPERDECK® Semi-Transparent Stain at 2 Year Period: 6.875
–We were not overly excited with the results of SuperDeck Sherwin Williams stain. We were mostly let down with the application appearance as well as the appearance after 2 years. A high scoring wood stain will not darken after 2 years of weather exposure. Besides being extremely unsightly it makes for a more difficult recoat.
Sherwin Williams SuperDeck Stain Photos from Consumers
Where To Buy: Sherwin Williams, Lumber Yards and Paint Stores
Cost: $42.99 per Gallon, $199.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent oil-based
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. The 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
Manufacturer: Sherwin Willaims
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: Cedar Deck
Deck Square Footage: 500
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: Cedar
*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.
Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
I have used the db superdeck Heart Redwood and Cedar colors (prior to SW buying them) many times and loved the product. When I could no longer find it, i saw that Sherwin-Williams had “superdeck”, and it appeared that they had bought the company or at least the rights to the product name. Having just used it, I cannot speak to its lasting ability, BUT I can say that it is not the same product. Upon opening the can, it has a milky white appearance, whereas the original db Superdeck product was clear, oil based. The SW products appears to sit on the surface a bit more that the original. They call it “Modified-oil formula.”
My main objection is the application. It is very difficult to blend while applying, and shows overlaps. Although I was extremely careful to get full coverage, many bare spots showed up after it dried. It simply does not ‘flow’ . I had some of the original db superdeck product and I finished the rest of the deck with it. A world of difference. It went on much easier, and gave flawless coverage, and no overlaps.
I will be looking for a new oil-based transparent product.
TWP 1500 series or Armstrong Clark is what you want in teh future.
I followed the application instructions as provided by Sherwin Williams. Our cedar deck had aged for 10 months, was power washed 1 week prior to application, I applied one coat avoiding excess, and had no rain for > 24 hours after application. The initial appearance was great! There was no tackiness within a day and the natural appearance of the cedar came through. However, not even 4 months later, the > 2,000 sq ft deck, railing, posts are now grey to black. I spoke with the manager at SW and he stated Superdeck is a poor product and has a history of doing this. His recommendation – strip it, use a brightener/revive, followed by a higher end stain. I put close to 30 hours in and have at least twice that to completely redo the deck. AVOID this stain at all cost.
We agree it is a crappy stain that is known to turn black after a few months or year. It can be easily stripped with the Restore A Deck Stripper and Brightener Kits.
BTW, we moved your post to the semi-transparent versions as you posted under their solid stain version.
What do you recommend for a stained sealer on a 100-year-old Log Cabin and also what is % of UVprotection?
Use one of these brands for a log cabin:
Unfortunately, our SW superdeck solid stain product did not actually “stain” the decking but is instead peeling, much like paint, leaving raw, unprotected wood. Sherwin Williams representative came to our house and indicated the “conditions” (sun and sometimes rain) made the product release from the decking. Coincidentally, the stain on our covered deck is also releasing from the decking. The pressure treated decking had been dried for approx 9 mos- 1 yr and pressure washed before product was applied. We will definitely be searching for another deck stain that will actually STAIN the wood but of course, we’ll wait til the SW superdeck has released. Hopefully, we can get stained color on our deck by next year.
You will have to power sand this all off to fix it.
We built a new deck and followed all the directions. This is year two of the stain and it is junk. It is peeling off for no reason in areas that have hardly been used. Every person with this problem deserves a refund…not just someone telling you how to get it off!
Can these products also be used on a cedar fence? If so which would be best on a 15 year old cedar fence that has not been stained or sealed for 7 or 8 years.
Use one of these products in this article and make sure to pre correctly first:
I had a new cedar fence installed in September 2021. Sherwin Williams recommended Super Deck Cedar Semi Transparent stain applied at 250~300 Square feet/gal by spray application. Had a reputable painter spray, back roll with a guy coming behind and catching any drips with a bristle brush. Poor penetration and after 3 days or 75 – 80 degree temperature, parts of fence still tacky and splotchy PLUS- MY FENCE WAS YELLOW! Sherwin Customer Service in December told me to wait until Spring (March) and the splotchy sections would have evened out. It is now worse than before. Was told to get with SW store manager for resolution. SM told me to sand and start over. I reminded him of their 100% Customer Satisfaction policy. I was told they (SW) could do nothing more.
So what can I do. The fence cost $36,000.
Does anyone have any ideas???
It needs to come off. Did you use the oil or water-based version of the SW SuperDeck? Post some pics as well for removal help.
The Super deck product is SW modified oil.
Try Restore A Deck Stripper with both additives for removal. Do in sections and let dwell for 30-45 minutes and then pressure wash off: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/restore-a-deck-stain-stripper-booster-thickening-gel-review/
The RAD Brightener after fully stripped. Stain with a better brand that actually soaks in and works:
Given the price per gallon of Super Deck exterior stain, when will samples be available in Sherwin Williams stores?
I cannot justify spending $50/60 for a gallon of stain that ends up different than what was previously stained.
You would actually make money selling samples,
We do not make Super Deck or work for Sherwin Williams so no idea. Super Deck has numerous issues as well. We would not suggest it.
your article talks of the semi transparent which i had on my deck and it beaded (but I had a milky appearance problem and was suggested to use SOLID instead of semi transparent…the SOLID does NOT bead…is this your experience with the SOLID..water just lays on top or puddles…thanks for any help tim draper
That is normal. The need to bead water is a misconception.
I have composite deck that stain and I would like to change the color also. Will superdeck do the job?
No, look at the TWP Semi-solid. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/staining-composite-decks/
I believe super Deck should rate higher on the initial application after staining, the first category mentioned here. I just finished a deck with semi-transparent cedar color and my first and only coat is, and looks extremely even. Maybe for whoever wrote this review the prep job on the deck was not up to par. I spent a fair time sanding the surface down so there were no rough places to irritate the feet and it was well scuffed for Superior product adhesion.
Also, a side note, it rained within 12 hours of application and it looked funny after I used a blower to remove the standing water. But once the deck fully dried it looked smooth, even, and fantastic. I would recommend super Deck to all my customers. I particularly like the waterborne products. They’re extremely gentle on nearby vegetation, easy to work with, easy to clean and far more forgiving than an oil-based stain. It’s easier to put on evenly and it shows very little overlap marks where you let it dry as you were applying it.
Let me be clear, there may be better oil products out there, I haven’t tried everything. I would highly recommend the waterborne stain. That stuff is fantastic. Some people may say that it peels after a couple of years and they don’t like that but that can be removed pretty easily and I’ve seen oil products peel as well. There’s no reason not to go with a waterborne. And remember, and always helps to properly prepare your deck for staining.
Less than 1 year after application & following all the instructions, the product literally pealed off in sheets. The absolute worst product I ever purchased. I bought 7 gallons for the job. The SW rep came to the house & said “I” need strip it all & redo with another product. I won’t be using SW products again. Their was a class action lawsuit on this product because of its failure to perform. I have received no compensation for the cost of the product nor all the effort for preparation & application.
I have been using Superdeck Cedar #2001 and now find out that is is no longer available. Any suggestions for an equivalent from Sherwin Williams or other?
Sorry but no.
3 years and we have scrubbed and scrubbed…now repainting. This product does not hold color and gets so dirty. Won’t ever use again…
Switch to waterborne. I posted a couple comments about this but the waterborne product is fantastic and incredibly easy to work with as well as far less harmful to the vegetation around your project. I’m assuming it’s far less harmful to the environment in general being waterborne. It seems to hold up pretty well and repels water extremely well even shortly after being applied. I just did a fairly large deck and it rained within 12 hours probably less and it pulled up on top, I blew it off with a blower and my finish still looked fantastic. Don’t worry about what other people say about waterborne products, they’re pretty good and I will recommend them any day of the week to all of my customers.
I have twice used the oil based Semi transparent Super Deck in Coastal Gray with very good results. But now I’ve been trying to buy it again with no luck. How can I get it in Puerto Rico? Please, answer me.
We do not live there so we have no idea as to how to get it in PR.
You can not get the oil based stain any longer because stinking CA says so.
we were fortunate enough to have found the last 5 gal can at a hardware store nearby.
will be looking for a new brand someday.
Superdeck was my favorite stain for years. But no more
You can still get an oil-based stain in CA, it just has to be compliant with the VOC laws there.
My deck was stain 2 – 3 years ago with Sherwin Williams Semi Transparent oil based stain. There was not enough gray color and painter said I had to wait 18 mo for next coat…. ?
Now I am staining again, can I switch brands to another oil based and just use cleaner and brightener?
I think I have to strip.
You will have to remove all first.
I bought Sherwin-Williams Superdeck since it was so highly rated. After less than 5 months the cedar wood is turning black with mold. I spent weeks completely stripping the wood so there was no old stain showing. We even added extra mold and mildew inhibitors. I am super disappointed with Superdeck and will never use this product again
You shouldn’t spend weeks removing any product from anything. I would recommend power washing, using a removal product and sanding. Of course use power tools, don’t waste your time sanding by hand. Use a nice heavy grit, like 60 for your sandpaper. Get in there and tear it up. Even that rough grit will leave a deck nice and smooth and ready to accept a coat of your alternative product.
Is the SW Superdeck the same as Duck Superdeck?
Sort of. The added some lines and then kept one the same.
Terrible Product. I did my whole log house using the log house superdeck stain. In 3 years my whole house is black. Hzve to sand and do it all again. DONT USE IT!!!!!!!
What is the top 3 choices?
See this: https://www.deckstainhelp.com/the-5-best-deck-stain-reviews-and-ratings/
I applied the Sherwin Williams Superdeck Transparent to a newly installed cedar deck last fall. The “Transparent” color was darker that I anticipated once the entire 600 Sq Ft deck was complete. The deck is in full sunlight. After 9 months, the deck was very dirty and oily with deck color changing to BLACK. The color was so black I could not see the nice cedar grain. How disappointing !!! Washing the deck removed loose dirt but did not remove the black color. I am extremely disappointed in this product. I am in the process of hand scrubbing the deck and removing the Sherwin Williams product for a more reliable product that is clear when applied.
I will NOT be recommending this product to anyone as it is not worth the money. I always have stood behind using Sherwin Williams, but not in this case. If I could get a refund I would request one.
what is the best wood stain with non slip mixed in with it
You would need a deck resurface type coating like this link if you want anti-slip. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/gulf-synthetics-deck-revive-review-2015/
It will not work other stain types.
Just recently stained a deck that has never been stained. After letting stain sit for three days noticed that the tint of the stain was sitting on the surface and did not soak into the wood the color was SuperDeck birch white and mountain ash the deck was pressure washed and let sit for 2 days to insure drying before applying stain it is a semi transparent stain. Applied in 50 degree weather no rain or high moisture. Why is the tint sitting on the surface when all conditions were within the perimeters recommended by this company. Also tested on a new piece of wood that was stained inside with 76 degrees temp and still had the same issue
We have had issues with the Super Deck not curing correctly like this and is when of the reasons it will turn black shortly as well. It stays sticky and attracts dirt, etc.
It is why we will not use it on our customers’ decks and do not recommend it.
Horrible product. Failure in less than a year.
I have been using Superdeck for 21 years here at 9,000′ elevation in Colorado. On my rough sawn siding there are still sides of the house that have not been re-treated since 1997 and still look good. On redwood decks, nothing will last more than 2 years in our harsh UV conditions but Superdeck holds up pretty decent and soaks in deep for a good penetrating seal. When reading about “peeling” I can’t even picture how this could happen unless the wood wasn’t prepped right and the product was just applied over an existing finish.
We followed all directions and applied SuperDeck to our covered porches. Within a month there were signs of peeling. The product did not soak into the wood at all. In less than 2 years significant amounts of the product had peeled off. Again, this is not a high traffic area, and is protected from direct exposure to elements.
DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT!!!!
This was an expensive disappointing experience. We used the superdeck semitransparent stain for our beautiful clear cedar fence boards. I’ve painted decks, ceilings, walls, and refinished furniture for years and I’ve never had such a horrible experience! I read the instructions; we did a test board and it was a little more orange than expected, but we were okay with it and figured it would lighten in time. BUT after painting 35 boards under cloudy skies, we noticed there were brush streaks and the stain was not absorbing well. I tried to even out the stain but it made it worse! Thought perhaps a second coat would help so left the boards to dry overnight. Very discouraged in the morning to see how awful the boards looked. We decided to take a finished and unfinished board to Sherwin Williams to chat with the professionals about what to do…. The only option was to use a stain remover which they offered to give us at no charge and revive it…then restain. Needless to say the time it will take to refinish is unrealistic for something that will likely not turn out the way we want and we still have more boards to match…they will never match! We are out the cost of the cedar boards and labour…..DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT
I have used superdeck cedar transparent stain for a few decks and am very happy with the results and durability. surpised to see the negative results and comments.
After initial application, how long should the product last before it needs reapplied?
Maybe a year or two with the SW Super Deck.
Sherwin Williams won’t stand behind this product. They say no guarantees.
I used Jo-Max stripper followed by Olympia Deck Wash and Brightener, sanded, applied first coat of Cabot Gold (Sunlit Walnut) with 5″ brush, sanded again, then applied 2nd coat of Cabot’s with 5″ brush. About 19 hours start to finish (including board replacement). The results speak for themselves.
Looks really good but… a filming coating like this that leaves a shine may blister and peel within a year in most cases. Hope it doesn’t because it will be a pain to fix. 🙁
Yeah, I’ve thought about that. Although, when reading through reviews for Cabot Gold, I didn’t find anybody that had that particular issue. If it happens, I’ll deal with it, and then go with a more basic stain. The wife liked the shiny stuff, so that’s what I went with… 😆 😆
Well it does look good!
Thanks! I appreciate it.
A year later and I can honestly say there’s been no issues with blistering or peeling. However, it has faded a bit and lost the shine, and I’ve noticed the reappearance of some algae but nothing major. All in all, the deck still looks FAR better than it did before the stain. Cabot Gold, when applied properly, absolutely delivers.
I also now have black mold on or in surface. Don’t recommend, too much maintenance! Wish I had gone with another brand…
Still sticky after 3 months.
Full of mold.
Wish I hadn’t used it.
I used Super Deck and had extreme peeling. Even after power washing, Sherwin-Williams stripping products and some sanding, some decking is ok but boards that had not peeled are now peeling; I need to do something with my huge deck but, short of replacing everything, what can I do?
Try to sand with a power or drum sander.
Used Super Deck for two different customers. Mildew came through a few weeks later. Local Sherman Williams dealer (40291) blew me off when I asked about the mildew.
Was meticulous in preparation and waited for optimum application conditions. Within 1 year needed reapplication. Wore as if it were paint rather than stain. Will reuse same product, but if I had enough time to remove entirely, would use a different product.
I haven’t had any problems with this product, My opinion is most people don’t properly prep a deck before you stain it. Remove any mold from the wood before you stain, otherwise you will just seal it in and it will grow and mold will grow on top of any stain given the right conditions.
I agree with Mark. We have used it many times without problems. If you don’t remove and treat the mold before you stain it will grow right back regardless of the coating you use.
I used this product last year and within 4 hours of application the paint was bubbled. It was a perfect day about 65 and what a terrible outcome. The paint within 2 days was abled to be peeled back like a banana.
terrible ,I would not reccommend this product.
My new cedar deck was stained using SuperDeck; within a two months a black mold was a serious problem and I’ve had to clean several times. Even though I have enough SuperDeck to restain I’m looking for an alternate better product to go with. I don’t recommend this product.
I bought this stain from my Sherwin Williams store last year. Why has it turned black in 1 years time?
Super Deck has a tendency to turn black. We quit using it years ago because of this. Strip and brighten the wood to remove the coating with a Restore A Deck Stripper Kit. Stain with TWP or Defy Extreme. Neither will turn black.
Can you use this on an old composite deck?
Probably not but best to ask manufacturer.