an image of superdeck on a couple boards showing the uneven appearance

SuperDeck Stain Review

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Matt Stone

SuperDeck Exterior Stain

image of a can of superdeck fence stain that is about to be reviewed

Product Description

This is a review of Sherwin-Williams Superdeck transparent and semi-transparent oil-based stain.

Sherwin Williams Superdeck can be a useful product to protect your outdoor structures.

The high amount of color options will give you a lot of customization to your outdoor space.

The product is prone to peeling and the finish can sometimes look uneven. Because of this, we can’t give an unqualified recommendation for the product.

Overall Score: 5.3/10

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Vast Array of Colors Available

Made by a Well Known Company


Color Can Be Uneven

High Price

Tends To Peel and Flake

Read below to get all the details.

I have been applying Sherwin-Williams products for years. I am impressed with the company’s commitment to quality in its products. While I can give an unqualified recommendation for many of their paint products, their exterior stains have some limitations. Keep reading to get my take on Superdeck oil-based stain.

Superdeck Detailed Overview

superdeck fence stain applied to wooden cedar fence pickets
This Fence has been stained with Sherwin Williams Superdeck semi-transparent stain.

Superdeck transparent and semi-transparent are exterior oil-based stains created by Sherwin Williams. This company has been making paint and other coatings for over 150 years. This product is meant for protecting outdoor wood structures like fences, decks, and siding. It can be applied to any bare wood that is on the exterior of your home.

This product comes in transparent or semi-transparent color options. The transparent version will allow more of the wood grain to show through. It is used to enhance the look of new wood.

The Semi-transparent colors will cover up more of the wood while still allowing some grain to show through. This option gives by far the most color choices for you. 

The oils in Superdeck will repel moisture from your wood to protect it from rotting. Warping is also caused by moisture so this product can help prevent that also. The pigments used in the stain offer protection from UV rays which will break down wood over time.

Product Ratings

Ease of Application6
Initial Appearance5
Average Rating:5.3/10

Ease of Application

Superdeck is a standard oil-based stain. If you are familiar with applying wood stains the application process will be similar to other products you have used. One difference is that Superdeck can be applied in one coat only. The manufacturer recommends against applying a second coat.

The reason it can only be applied with one coat is that the product forms a clear film on the surface of the wood. This film will keep any additional coats of stain from penetrating into the wood. The subsequent coats will also have a tendency to peel because they do not stick to the film well.

Care must be taken when using this product to keep a wet edge. This means that you should not allow the stain to dry in the area you are working on. If you apply new stain over a dry area, the place where they overlap will be darker than the others.

If you are applying this product with a sprayer, you should make sure to back brush the wood. This will promote penetration and an even coat. Your stain job will last longer and look better.

Application methods: Brush, roller, pump sprayer, airless sprayer

Requires back brushing: Yes

Requires keeping a wet edge: Yes

Initial Appearance

an image of superdeck on a couple boards showing the uneven appearance
Superdeck transparent stain during our application test.

Superdeck can be inconsistent with its initial appearance. Sometimes it will look great when first applied. I have also seen times when the color is uneven. Because this product can only be applied in one coat you don’t have the option of adding a second coat to help even out the color.

The surface film that this product creates gives the surface a little bit of a sheen. Most other outdoor stains have a flat appearance. This makes Superdeck’s colors seem a bit more lustrous and deep when they are first put on. This will be true for about a year until the film wears off.


Superdeck is a hybrid product that will penetrate into the wood and form a film on the surface. 

superdeck semi-transparent stain applied to two boards for a review
Superdeck semi-transparent stain from the same test.


Superdeck comes with a high price tag like many other products from Sherwin-Williams. Sherwin Williams often runs sales so you might be able to get it at a lower price if you time it right. 

Ease of Reapplication

The surface film on Superdeck must be allowed to naturally wear off or should be physically removed prior to applying a new coat of the stain. According to the rep with Sherwin Williams that I spoke with, the film should wear off in about a year. Otherwise, the reapplication process can proceed the same way as the initial application.

The fence should be cleaned before a new coat of stain is put on it. If there is gray on the fence this will need to be chemically treated prior to staining.

Resistance to Peeling

Because Superdeck forms a surface film, it will have a possibility of peeling. This is especially true if a second coat is applied.

Product Information

Stain Type: Oil-based, Film-forming

Color Options: 100+

Application temperatures: 50-90°

Recommended coats: One only

Coverage: 150-400 square feet

Dry Time: 8 hours

Cleanup: Mineral Spirits

Data Sheet

Manufacturer: Sherwin Williams

Alternatives to SuperDeck

Ready Seal Exterior Stain

image of a ready seal stain can close up

Product Description

Ready Seal brand fence stain isn’t prone to peeling like SuperDeck. It is also easier to apply. We recommend it over the Sherwin Williams product.

Overall Score: 8.0/10

Single Gallons

Five Gallon Buckets

How Much Stain Do You Need?

Want to know how much stain to buy for your next fence stain project?

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Author: Matt Stone
Matt has worked as a professional painter for over 10 years. This includes much experience with all types of wood stains. He loves to write about wood stains to help others make good choices to protect their homes and make them beautiful.