Sadolin Superdec Review by Robin Gofton

Updated Feb 14, 2024 | Posted Jun 12, 2021 | Product Review, Paints | 19 comments

I was recently asked to review Sadolin Superdec for the Decorators’ Forum UK.

I’m a self-employed decorator with 14 years’ experience, so you won’t be surprised to hear that I’d used Superdec many times before, but sometimes actually having to sit down and write a proper review helps you to crystalise in your own mind exactly what you think about a product, its good and bad points, and so on. I hope you find my review helpful.

For those who don’t know, Sadolin Superdec is a water-borne opaque finish for exterior wood. It comes in a satin finish (although you can also get black and white in a gloss finish), with a huge choice of different colours (some bespoke Sadolin shades, plus a selection of BS and RAL colours), and is very flexible when dry, meaning it is much less prone to cracking and flaking, so it should last a long time; on the tin they claim “10 year protection”.

It’s self-priming and undercoating, which means in many situations you can crack straight on with it once you’ve finished your prep. On very resinous timber, you should probably seal it with a suitable primer first though. Because it’s opaque, it’s the ideal product to use if you want to make a significant change of colour, and Sadolin say it’s suitable for all exterior woodwork except decking. You can buy in in 5L, 2.5L, 1L and sample tins; I usually get mine online from the Decorating Centre, but I know Crown also stock it.

I’ll start off by saying that I’ve used Superdec many times before, and I’m a bit of a fan, although there are one or two things I don’t like; not problems per se, more things to be aware of. But my overall feeling towards this product is very positive. Sadolin recommend applying with a synthetic brush; on the tin it does also say you can spray or use a roller, but their website says brush is best, and that’s what I tend to do.

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I recently had to paint a small shed for one of my older customers, and he was happy to go with my recommendation on what product to use. Choosing the colour was where we ran into the first of my minor gripes with Superdec.

They have a huge range of colours available (about 300 if my maths is right), but in my experience they never match the colour chart! They ALWAYS come out a shade or two lighter than you expect, and don’t even try getting a really dark colour, because I don’t think you can!

So it took us four sample pots before we found the colour my customer was looking for; at roughly £5 a pop, that makes a dent in the budget, which surely could be avoided with a more accurate colour chart? Anyway, we eventually found our colour (the somewhat unimaginatively named “Light Green”, but then again it’s nice to know what you’re getting, rather than trying to guess what colour “Armadillo’s Gizzard” is going to be!), so off I trotted to my local CDC to pick up a tin.

Here’s the next issue – how big a tin do you need? This one isn’t entirely Sadolin’s fault. On the tin and their website it states that 1L will cover “up to 10 sq m”, although the Brewers website says up to 15. Reading the small print, this is based on smooth planed timber; Mr R’s shed was certainly not smooth! So I bought a 2.5L tin, and almost all of it went on the first coat. Bought a second tin, and more than half of it is left after the second coat!

In my experience, on wood that hasn’t been painted before, the wood really soaks up the first coat, so you get through more than you might expect. Much less of an issue on the second coat. It’s also fair to say that the wood in question on this job was pretty rough, so the surface area is actually much greater than smooth wood. And finally, I do tend to put on a really thick, thorough first coat, and more of a “normal” second coat. Sadolin do say that up to three coats are needed on untreated wood, but I’ve always found that two are fine, as long as you’re really thorough with your first coat. So estimating how much you need is my second minor gripe, but I’m not sure how to get round that one when you could be faced with so many different surfaces to paint. Experience, I guess….

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Anyway, I’ve been to Crown, I’ve got my Superdec, and I’m ready to rock. The sun is out, and Mr R is keen to see his shed get a makeover! And as you can see from the photo (right), because the opacity is so great on this product, it didn’t take long before he could see the transformation beginning to happen.

As I said before, I like to put on really “thorough” first coat; plenty of paint on, working it into all the little problem areas in the wood grain, to make sure that everything is really well covered on the first coat.

Superdec is really easy to work with, it’s a nice consistency I find; thick enough that it doesn’t run and drip all over the place, but thin enough to be able to work with it. It was 23° with a light breeze when I started, perfect drying weather! Sadolin say it will be touch-dry in 1-2 hours, but because of the absorbency of the wood and the weather conditions, it was touch dry in well under an hour. If you’re working outside in the sun all day, it is going to dry on your brush, so make sure you either have spare brushes or the facility to rinse your brushes out after a couple of hours. But the first coat went on like a dream, great opacity, and although you could still see the texture of the wood grain, the original wood colour was completely obliterated after one coat.

painting an exterior shed
Sadolin Superdec Review - the best paint for sheds and fences
Sadolin Superdec Review

I went back two days later to do the second coat – partly because that’s the way it fitted in with other jobs I was doing at the time, and partly because Sadolin recommend at least 16 hours between coats.

I’m not sure how necessary this really is, given it felt bone dry after a couple of hours, but they’re the experts (just be aware of this when planning your job). The second coat went on really easily, probably because my thorough first coat had sealed the surface, so the next coat glided on easily and used much less paint (and time!). The second coat does make a difference (see photo, right); opacity is great after one, but even better after two!

Bottom line – my customer is really chuffed with his newly-painted shed, and I’d had a few hours out in the sun on a relatively stress-free job – win-win!

In conclusion, I really like Superdec – I’ve used it on sheds, pergolas, summer houses, log stores… I even know of one person who painted his whole garden fence with it. Not sure I’d do that for cost reasons (it’s a lot more expensive than the more traditional fence products), but you get the idea – if it’s exterior woodwork and you want an opaque colour in a satin finish, this stuff is worth checking out. It’s not cheap (I pay about £50 for 2.5L), but it’s good stuff. You really can get a complete colour transformation in just two coats, whether your wood has been previously painted or not.

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It’s easy to use, nice consistency, dries quickly and looks great! Just remember to double check your colour choice, think about how much you might need, and be prepared to rinse your brush out a few times if you’re on it all day in the sun! But overall, Sadolin Superdec (and the ever-helpful team at Reading CDC) get a big thumbs up from me!

Click here to see latest prices.

Best Tools to Apply Sadolin Superdec

 

As already mentioned, Sadolin Superdec is a water-based product, so you may struggle to apply it unless you use the right tools for the job. You should use a mini-roller on the larger flat areas, and a brush to cut-in and paint smaller surfaces.

The roller needs to hold plenty of paint, distribute it evenly, not shed, and leave no orange peel. The roller I’d recommend for applying Sadolin Superdec is Two Fussy Blokes. You’ll find them perfect for this type of material. Click here to see online prices.

As for the brush, you need something that will hold its shape and not splay with water-based paint. Purdy Monarch Elite XL is probably the best. Click here to see online prices.

Robin Gofton – Review of Sadolin Superdec for Decorators Forum UK

Updated Feb 14, 2024 | Posted Jun 12, 2021 | 19 comments

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19 Comments

  1. Richard

    I do like the Sadolin superdec, the self undecoating aspects draw me to it.
    Recoat times can occasionally be an issue, Johnsones actually do a decent water and oil version of superdec the premium
    (old buttinox) Gori range is even better actually.
    Recoat times for both products better if required same day recoat.
    A minor concern of ALL these water based opaque finishes l have seen countless times with different decorators is they are so flexible can pull the old coating to blister and move, customer is then on the phone saying sadolin you applied has blisters
    Its fine if its totally new wood but obviously thats not always feasible depending on customers budgets etc.

    Reply
  2. Mike Trowsdale

    I’m looking to use Superdec Matt coloured paint for a new, untreated summerhouse. Although it’s supposed to be self priming it has been recommended by Sadolin to use a good quality exterior preservative prior to using the Superdec. Unfortunately Sadolin don’t give any recommendation for the exterior preservative. Can you please recommend a good one.
    Many thanks, Mike

    Reply
    • Tony Hughes

      What a fantastic product I have used many different types of preservative but this defo takes the biscuit. As long as its mixed well goes on a treat. I did a 4 x 4 in one 5 ltr tin. Yes it may need another coat, but the way it looks now I will hold off until August. and re prepit for the winter.. I then think it will last for years

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    Hi maybe a strange question , did you have to use a clear knotting first ? I’ve been told yes but on there info says no ? Have you had problems with the knots bleeding

    Reply
  4. Stuart Devonish

    Thank you for your in depth review of Sadolin Superdec.
    One question… I know that Superdec is ‘self priming’ But I am just about to start a job which includes 16 No windows previously decorated in Superdec but long overdue for a repaint with the paint coating powdered and broken down allowing de naturing of the wood. My instinct is to apply a water Bourne base coat after thorough preparation allowing to thoroughly dry before light sanding then following with two full coats of Superdec.
    I have been decorating for nearly 40 years but love to hear from others as to their experiences and frankly am still learning and trying to keep up with the ever changing technology.
    Thank you again.
    Stuart

    Reply
    • Uel Boreland

      Hi have you ever used it on composite decking and if so what do you think

      Reply
  5. Mike

    Hello
    Would you use this product to decorate a veneered external front?
    Regards
    Mike

    Reply
    • Tony Hughes

      DEFO

      Reply
  6. K

    Is Sadolin Superdec a wood paint or a wood stain? I don’t whether a water-borne opaque finish for exterior wood is the same effect as paint or stains? Guidance would be much appreciated.

    Reply
  7. Martyn

    Hi saw this review and you said that you have sprayed superdec before – did you dilute the superdec for spraying and what ratios do you use thanks.

    Reply
  8. John

    Hello, I’ve recently painted my shed with sadolin super deck volcanic ash, altho the samples show this as grey and having a look around pictures online of other projects using volcanic ash which also appear to be grey, my shed has turned out to be chocolate brown! Is there a potential reason for this other than the chart colours are off? Could it be something I have done? I’ve given it 2 coasts, the paint it’s self is good lts just a different colour than I was hoping for! Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Brianna

      If your Superdec was mixed in store check the label on the tin to make sure the correct base was used. Also check the correct colour and size. You should also stir the paint as you use it to prevent all the ‘goodies’ sinking to the bottom and keep the colour true. If you did this and information on label is correct you probably have just reason to return it.

      Reply
  9. William becce

    I would like to buy sadolin super deck to paint my wood siding I have a Tudor home what color dark brown do you suggest I’ve been using Benjamin Moore Tudor brown

    Reply
  10. BRUSHMAN 23

    I have been using Sadolin Superdec for years and only the last couple of years I have noticed my brushes don’t wash out completely with hot water they seem to have an oil based chemical in the bristles and need white spirit to completely get them clean. This is more noticable the on tinted Superdec so I am wondering if something is added into the basecoats. Does anyone else have this problem?

    Reply
    • Dave

      I have the same problem. Although it only seems to happen when you get to the last dregs of the tin the brushes washed out fine when the tin was new. I am still looking for a answer to this problem.

      Reply
    • Simon Fuller

      I wash out in water and then shake any residue water out of the brush but always have to finally wash out in white spirit. It is odd and not addressed on the tin so painters should be aware of this issue as there is clearly a large amount of trace oil/s within this product.

      Reply
  11. Matreya Southgate

    I also found the samething, I tried every cleaner, but only white spirit truly cleaned the brush, very odd for a water based product. Annoyingly has ruined 2 expensive brushes.

    Reply
  12. David

    When washing my brushes after sadolin Superdec they feel oily and not flexible.
    I have used this paint for years but it seems different

    Reply
  13. robert swinney jeffrey

    Wash them out with warm soapy water most of these paints are acrylic based plastic so are in fact oil when you wash out with water you push the stain or paint into the heart of the brush so yo think there clean but dry greasey or waxy so use white spirit and soak overnight if they are good brushes then clean with warm soapy water ie, fairy liquid

    Reply

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