SuperDeck Stain Review
SuperDeck Stain Pros and Cons
SuperDeck, which has replaced the DeckScapes product line, is a Sherwin Williams deck stain sold in a waterborne and oil-based formula. I typically stain two to three decks per year and use this product for most of them. I have only used the waterborne version in the solid and semi-transparent finish, so I can't comment on the oil-based stain, or the other finishes, in my review.
Waterborne Solid and Semi-transparent Stain
- Durability. The solid finish on my deck lasted four years before the material began lifting, mostly in the foot traffic areas. Thorough power washing and sanding makes a big difference in durability with any product. After power washing, I allow the wood to dry at least three days before sanding and staining.
- Coverage. The consistency is water-thin, but covers well, spreading easily over spindles and deck boards without having to dip the brush and roller excessively. Most colors cover well in two coats, while still allowing the natural grain in the wood to show through.
- Self-priming. No need for a separate sealer. This product seals and blocks discoloration from knots with the second coat.
- Less mildew with waterborne stain. Oil-based stain tends to feed and grow mildew on the surface, which is one of the reasons I avoid it.
- Sprays well. I spray deck railings and spindles with an airless sprayer and SuperDeck sprays nicely without any issues.
- Surface cleaning. Newly stained deck boards look smooth and slightly glossy at first, but the luster gradually fades into a chalky finish, making it harder to clean accumulated dirt from the surface. This can be avoided though with monthly deck cleaning.
- Cost. At full price, the solid waterborne stain, as of 2017, is $52 per gallon. Sherwin Williams runs a 30% off sale several times per year though, starting in spring, but buying material for a large deck will be pricey without a discount.
- Lousy deck stripper. If you stain your peeling deck with any of their transparent finishes, the peeling stain needs to be completely removed from the surface first. The SuperDeck Stain and Sealer Remover is sold as part of their deck care system. In my experience, the stripper didn't work well. I attempted to remove peeling stain from part of a deck and had to buy a different stripper to get the job done.
- No water repellency. Water won't bead up on the surface like oil-based stain does.
- Color inconsistencies. When I stained my own deck, the actual color was way off from the sample in the color book. There are no sample jars available for this product, as far as I know.
Is SuperDeck Waterborne Stain Worth the Money?
SuperDeck certainly isn't the greatest deck stain on the market, but the waterborne stain has lasted where I have used the product, including my own deck and for my painting business.
Most decks need to be re-stained every two to five years, depending on the product and whether the deck is exposed to direct sun a lot. Solid stain lasts longer, whereas the more transparent finishes will fade and peel sooner. The solid option in this product lasts the longest, but keep in mind, if you later decide to re-stain with a transparent finish, you will be faced with the task of chemical stripping.
This stain was originally an exclusive product of the DuckBack company, which was bought by Sherwin Williams, who enhanced the formula. Some people believe the original DuckBack stain was better quality, but I have only used the product after the merger with Sherwin Williams, so I can't comment on that. The quality is the same, if not better, than the defunct DeckScapes product line that it replaced.
At $52 per gallon, I wouldn't pay full price for this product, but you can save a lot of money by stocking up in the spring when Sherwin Williams has their big sale at 30% to 40% off.
In terms of colors, there are attractive options available, but I have found the color consistency to be way off when I used the color Woodbriar (SW 3035). Popular colors I have used include Pepperidge (SW 3017), Desert Wood (SW 3030) and Cedar (SW 3034).
© 2017 Matt G.