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SuperDeck Stain Review 3/5 (46)

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 the 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 disappointed 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.

Please Rate This Product. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

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176 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.

    • Bryan says:

      As manager of a lumberyard in Washington State I would echo agreement here. When properly applied (and that means not overapplicating), Super Deck is in my opinion one of the best cedar deck stain options on the market. We test our products first hand as well and have been the most happy with Super Deck. It is true that the wood will only absorb so much of this product so if you do over-apply then you can have areas of stickiness that will lead to discoloration from dirt and dust. With that said, it's pretty easy to not over-apply and in that case I would highly recommend Super Deck.

  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.

    • guest says:

      One coat is all the instructions say. Did you read it?

  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.

    • Terry says:

      SuperDeck just came out a couple of years ago if that. You used DeckScapes…So did I. That was a good product – never had any issues with it. This year I used the Superdeck and my deck looks dirty. I've power washed it a couple of times and the dirt comes off, but then returns within 3-4 weeks. I would NEVER use Superdeck again! I've sent an e-mail to Sherwin Williams about it. Let's see how good their customer service is. Ha.

  25. Pat Mac says:

    This year will be the third time I have applied the transparent CWF and the only preparation I have ever done is light pressure washing. I have gone two years between applications and while the deck was beginning to show a little gray, there was still a light presence of the finish evident. Reapplication is without problems and drying is uniform. I have had no negative issues. I love how it looks after a fresh application and nearly always consider doing it again the following year – just because I like the look! Great product – my only problem is finding it!

  26. Renee says:

    I used this product on a new pressure treated wood after the new deck sat about 7 mo. in almost full sun. I followed the directions which included cleaning the new wood and applied one thin coat. However, it is sticky and dirt seems to adhere to it. It is now spring and I need to clean my deck. I followed the directions perfectly and took extra care because I wanted it done right the first time.
    My questions are, can I use a pressure washer to rinse off the deck cleaner, how do I get rid of the sticky feel, and should I apply another coat of stain? I am so dissatisfied with this product.

    • Strip it off with the Restore A Deck stripper and pressure washer. Brighten after. Switch to a stain that fully cures. Try TWP or Defy extreme.

    • Jim says:

      I have been using the Superdeck line for 16 years and have never seen a deck be sticky of not dry. In fact the product which is very very easy to apply dries quickly. How did you apply the finish ?

  27. Robin Schaffter says:

    We hired a company to stain our deck more than a year ago. They used this product and it looks horrible. It stays tacky after it gets wet, looks the original color when wet but drys like there is a white film on it. It holds dirt and foot prints. I've tried different cleaners but nothing fixes it. I am waiting for better weather to sand it off.

  28. Jeff C. says:

    I wonder if the folks who found it turned out sticky with a film have followed the directions and wiped off all the excess with a soft rag before it dries. I did make that mistake myself once. It's a pain, hands and knees, sometimes you have to work fast if it's hot at all before it dries sticky, so I do mine in the AM. There may be a smarter way to wipe off the excess with a mop wrapped with rags. It says right on the can not to leave any excess or it will be sticky and then it is very hard to get it off. In fact, as I recall, it also says on the can not to use more than one coat. I have used this stuff for 30 years, both before and after the "environmental" formula change, it looks great, wears well, and my redwood (all clear heart) still looks smooth and almost like new. In the worst areas (that get water from the sprinklers) it does wear off and need refinishing every 3 years, I wish it were longer, but it looks terrific all over again. I have let it go 5 years this time and most of the deck (except for the worst watered areas) still looks just fine. Of course, clean and bleach before each refinishing or the areas that are more protected start to build up a finish and look darker. However, I would be interested in other products that, when properly used and compared directly, worked better.

  29. Linda Curcio says:

    I stained new cedar posts on my fence and the color matched exactly the previous stain on the fence and arbor. After one year, I am very disappointed that the color blackened and each newly stained post stands out from the rest of the fence and arbor. Very expensive for such poor results. I bought 4 more cans to stain the entire fence this summer, however I am glad I saw the discoloration of the few posts and spared myself the anguish of an ugly black fence and arbor a year from now! A lot of wasted money on what appeared to be a nice stain at first application.

  30. Dennis says:

    This is the worse stuff ever pealing, bubbling, cracking after 6-9 months. Had to strip and sand the deck to remove.

  31. guest says:

    Very disappointed with this deck stain. We applied it and the smell is awful!!. !1 week later and the odor this stain gives is still lingering!! horrible!!

  32. Gerry says:

    Looks good on treated wood. Slightly faded after two years. Will need to re-apply

  33. Steve D. says:

    I read all these reviews and almost decided to not use the SuperDeck Oil based semi transparent stain I purchased. However, after reading all the instructions I stained my new deck last night. It turned out very nice, is not sticky and looks great. You need to read and understand what your doing. Let your new wood sit for two or three weeks after building your deck. Make sure the wood is dry and that it is not a hot day. I used a good brush to apply the stain and did three boards at a time. To avoid sticky stain you have to apply the stain, wait a few minutes, then wipe off any residual standing stain that did not soak in. If you leave excess stain standing on the boards, guess what…it starts to dry because it did not go into the wood and it's sticky…wipe it off (This is very important). It is very obvious by some of these reviews that people made mistakes that are not issues caused by a bad product. Also, avoid hot weather or work in the morning or late evening. This will allow the stain the opportunity to penetrate the wood and not dry way to fast. I came back to this website to share my experience because it became clear to me after my experience that some of these reviews are staining the reputation of a good, easy to use product. And no, I am not a paint dealer or have any ties to the Super deck product.

  34. Josh says:

    If you have an issue with residue it can be horrible… The tackiness will fade over time for the transparents. I found that wiping the finish with mineral spirits after it so called dry, will help knock down the tackiness Then follow that up with a dawn dish detergent solution. Scrub, scrub, scrub then rinse with pressure washer (green tip or lower) no need to scour. This will help so it's not an ice rink… The weather will take care of the rest… WARNING NEVER APPLY 2 COATS OF OIL PENETRATING STAIN. YOULL REGRET IT!!!

  35. Mary Gonzales says:

    This semi transparent super deck was applied to my deck 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. It looks terrible. The sides are sticky and shinny. The floor which is dry but shows foot prints I used this product 7 years ago and it was great. Has the formula changed. I dread to think of what it will look like after winter. I had rep that looked at it and told me to use zap diluted with water. It didn't touch it. I tried full strength and it took color off and was a mess. I ended up scraping with putty knife. It was a mess never buy this product again.

  36. Alexis Butcher says:

    We were forced to switch to this product after years of successful use of Sherwin Williams Deckskapes. These products, we were told by Sherwin Williams staff, were exactly the same product. Immediately upon initial application, it was apparent the products were not exactly the same – the new product is harder to apply and does not dry well. Thankfully, we had already begun staining on the deck with Deckskapes we had remaining from the previous year, so we covered over half our deck with that product. After only 2 months of application of the Super Deck, ONLY the areas covered by this new product, have a black, blotchy, heavy mold on the surface of the deck. The mold is even on the edges of the boards where the Super Deck was applied. NONE of the areas where the Deckskapes was applied has this issue – but EVERY SINGLE area covered by the Super Deck has a black mold issue. It looks like the deck is literally spotted with black tar. It's absolutely disgusting looking!! You can rub the mold off with some serious elbow grease, and my husband is currently outside trying to use bleach and water with a clear water rinse trying to remove the mold – per Sherwin Williams staff. This was to help determine if the mold was under the stain or above it. After working on the deck today for 5 hours – it looks like it is helping, but seriously???? Sherwin Williams????? you expect us to now, after paying to have the deck stained only 2 months ago, get out and have to completely clean this deck again. And, how many more times are we going to have to do this to keep the mold away???!!!!!! We are both furious and would absolutely not recommend this product to anyone!!! At least with Deckskapes it didn't last on the flat surfaces very well from year to year – we had to stain the flat surfaces every spring – but, we didn't have this serious, dark, nasty, mold issue. BEWARE of this product!!

    • Mark Goldbach says:

      I am in the same situation. Deck was installed 9 months ago and stained professionally 3 months ago. It's turning black and it rubs off. The 2 year old grandson was out on the deck for 10 minutes and now Grandma is upset!!!! Grandson came in the house with black feet and hands. What a mess I now have. Sounds like deck needs stripped?

    • Jon D says:

      I have had the same issue. TWICE! Have been fighting with S-W for months. At first they blamed it on too much shade- when my deck receives sun most of the day. Then they blamed it on being an oil based product- when the Flood product I had used for the past ten years NEVER had mold. I am sorry. This product Sucks!!!

  37. Jean Owsianny says:

    I did not apply this product. My contractor did and I am extremely unhappy with the finish. He applied it to my cedar siding at my vacation home. I was not there at the time. After 4 months, it is still tacky in spots, miscellaneous items stick to the surface, the area by the dryer vent is covered with lint. When you look at the house in the sunlight, it is shiny and dull. Of course the shine is all tacky. I have no idea how this can be fixed. After reading the other comments, I see it getting worse and worse. I absolutely would not recommend this to anyone. The dealer at Sherman Williams told my contractor this was a good product. He mus have been brain washed. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!

  38. Bobby Pearson says:

    used sherwin williams oil base semi transparent stain on deck that was professionally prepared and professionally applied two weeks later the deck turned as black as coal. cannot get any satisfaction from sherwin williams. will never use any sherwin williams product again. highly recommending to all my friends to steer clear of this product.

  39. Bill cooke says:

    One of the worst stains I have ever purchased. At $74 a gallon ( 2 gals) did not cover well left all cracks exposed . No substance to product was the texture of milk did not fill in even smallest cracks. Now after 2 weeks my deck chairs are sticking to surface.certainly not worth the price.

  40. Kevin ( Painter) says:

    Powerwashed my Deck in June. Stained it on Labor day weekend.. All old stain gone. One coat on handrails, two coats on deck flooring. Used semi – transparent.. Work with Sherwin williams products for my Job. 3 weeks now and my deck is still tacky and shiny. Can scrape stain off with my fingernail. this deck was completly ready for stain.. Have used deckscape in the past and it absobed right in, this superdeck product acted almost like Latex. Not impressed at all. Will have to try some mineral spirits on it. Waiting to hear back from store.

  41. Barbara says:

    Please advise me. I had my redwood deck (new wood) stained with super deck transparent. I am unhappy with the results. In some areas, the wood is bright red and in others it looks like it is an older deck that needs real work. The deck is new wood, was prepped properly. I have never had such bad results on the decks that I did before with Penofin. What can be done at this point. Can I cover the transparent stain with another brand of stain that may be able to cover this deck a little better. Is semi-transparent the answer? I have read some of the comments on the transparent which are not all that good. I did watch the workman apply the stain. He rolled it on, waited for a period of time and then brushed it, which I believe is what I read needed to be done. I'd like to send you a picture. How would a second coat help or does it?

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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 in consideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.