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Penofin Ultra Red Label Wood Stain Review 2.7/5 (5)

Penofin Red Label

Penofin Red Label

Penofin (PENetrating Oil FINish) Ultra Red Label wood and deck stain contains a Brazillian Rosewood Oil that allows the stain to penetrate deeply into the wood. Formulated for maximum protection for all types of exterior wood. Penofin Ultra Premium Red Label is perfect where rain, wind, snow or high elevations are encountered. Trans-oxide pigments offer 99% Ultra Violet Radiation protection

Penofin Ultra Red Label Wood Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 9

– Penofin Ultra in the Western Red Cedar color has a beautiful appearance when dried. One of the best stains we have tested when it comes to penetration into the wood and highlighting the natural wood tones.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 7

– At the 2 year mark, the Penofin Ultra Premium stain did an adequate job with preventing UV graying. The high solids of the trans-oxide pigments absorbed the UV radiation, preventing the graying of the wood. About 70% of the color remained since initial application.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8

– The Penofin Ultra had little to no peeling on the surface, We expected theses results since the stain absorbed so well into the cedar wood. There was some wearing on about 5-10% of the decking surface mostly in the traffic areas.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

– Penofin Ultra costs about $45 a gallon. This is on the high side of quality deck stains. The square footage was not what the manufacturer claimed of 200-300 feet. Square footage was closer to 150 sq. feet per gallon. We used 6 gallons for the 800 foot deck and trellis.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 6

– The Penofin Ultra seemed to attract a decent amount of mold spores even though the deck was in full sun. The mold was only visible on the horizontal decking surface. On inspection. the mold was growing in the stain and could not be cleaned off with a wet towel.

Ease of Application: 8

– The Penofin Red Label applied very easily to the surface. We watched the stain absorb into the wood within a few minutes of application. We used a stain sprayer to apply then back wiped with an exterior stain pad. The final result was an even beautiful finish. One issue was the smell. Penofin has one of the worst odors of all deck stains tested.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 5

– Penofin scored the lowest in color shifting as the finished achieved a “brownish” color after the 2-year mark. This issue was only on the flooring while the vertical wood railings and trellis did not darken. A good deck cleaner should be able to revive the color when it is time to reapply.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 7

– Since Penofin had “darkened” in color we would suggest that the stain is removed with a stain stripper followed by a wood brightener. This would not be a difficult strip, though. Since Penofin penetrates so well, it will come off rather easily with a standard deck stripper.

Overall Score Penofin Ultra Premium at 2 Year Period: 7.14

– Penofin Ultra scores high in a few areas and most importantly has one of the best finished looks of all stain tested. We were disappointed in the color shifting after two years and the smell during application. We would expect a high-quality stain to not darken in color. Our result though may not be the norm as Penofin products clearly have devoted customers who continue to use their products.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Select Stores or Online
Cost: $45.99 per Gallon, $209.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Rosewood Oil-Based
Available Colors: Clear, Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Sable, Chestnut, Sierra, Redwood, Bark, Hickory, Mission Brown
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1-2 Coats
Coverage Per Gallon: 200-300 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 3-12 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in All 50 States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Penofin

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: June 2006
Deck Wood Type:  Cedar and Trellis
Deck Square Footage: 800
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Western Red Cedar

*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.

3 responses to “Penofin Ultra Red Label Wood Stain Review”

  1. Mike Haggerty says:

    Applied red label cedar colored Penofin to my cabin's exterior cedar plywood. It appears the product is becoming a black mildew magnet. Cabin in north Michigan. I wish I would have used Sikens instead. I hope in the future diluted clorox will provide some control but suspect the control will only be very short term.

  2. Richard says:

    I have a large deck. We went with trex flooring and decided to apply red label cedar color to the railing and sides. After two years my railing is now black.. Will never buy again. Very disappointed NOT to mention very costly! In process of trying to remove the black stain that was supose to be cedar in color. Home located in southeast Michigan.

  3. Jeffrey Hest says:

    I was "sold" on Penofin, especially after I had completed extensive research. I could not be more disappointed, period. The cost was very high, and the outcome was a large deck that was nearly as black as coal. When applied I ensure it was not applied to heavily, and it dried thoroughly in about 12 hours. I was amazed at the difference when I moved a large flower pot, supported by feet so it did not sit directly on the wood, that underneath the flower pot was what the entire deck should have looked like, it was lovely. But the remainder of my 1500 sq. ft. deck was essentially ruined. Now I have to strip the deck again, sand it, brighten it and reapply another brand, likely TWP. Penofin you have let me down! I live about 50 miles south of their headquaters in Healdsburg, CA, northern Sonoma County, CA.

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