This post was updated on January 16, 2024
Penofin Blue Label Review 2024
Penofin Blue Lable continues to have issues with darkening or turning black on a vast majority of wood decks and exterior wood.
Penofin (PENetrating Oil FINish) Blue Label preserves and protects exterior wood. Using trans-oxide pigments, Penofin Blue label retains the wood’s natural colors while penetrating deep into the wood fibers. Use Penofin Blue Label on fences, decks, and unfinished exterior wood siding.
Note: For this test, we used the Penofin Blue label on a vertical fence in Texas.
Penofin Blue Label Wood Deck Stain Rating (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 9
– Penofin stains always present some of the most natural-looking wood. The Cedar color used highlighted the grain without adding too much orange or yellow tones. Penetration into the fence was excellent.
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 7
– After 22 months we evaluated the Penofin Blue Label on the fence. Color retention was decent as the Blue Label had only lost about 30% of its original Cedar color.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9
– Excellent penetration into the wood means very little peeling. The Penofin Blue Label deserves a high score for this. A very small amount of wearing was only visible on the horizontal parts (cross beams) of the fence.
Cost Per Square Foot: 8
– Penofin Blue Label costs about $35 a gallon. Less expensive than the Penofin Red Label but the Blue Label (550 version) does require 2 coats of stain. We used 5 gallons of the Blue Label for our 600 feet (square) of fencing for the two coats.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 8
– The Penofin Blue Label does a decent job with mold prevention. The only noticeable mold was at the bottom of the fence where the wood faces north. In this area, there were mold and green algae growing.
Ease of Application: 8
– The Penofin Blue Label is “thin” and applies easily with our pump-up sprayer. We tarped all the grass along the bottom of the fence and sprayed the stain up and down. Very little need to back wipe as the Blue Label absorbed into the wood quickly. The first coat absorbed to the point where the stain color was very light. The second coat of stain really gave the enhanced look we wanted and evened out the appearance. The second coat was applied twice as far as the first coat.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 6
– Penofin Blue Label did darken in sunny areas. This seems to be normal for Penofin as the stain itself darkens. The Blue Label does better than the Red Label Penofin version. We suspect that higher usage of trans-oxides means the probability of the stain darkening in color increases.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 7
– A quality wood deck cleaner should be able to revive the wood color. A stain stripper should be used if the Penofin has darkened considerably. For our test fence, we felt a good cleaning would be enough for reapplication without the need for stripping.
Overall Score Penofin Blue Label Wood Deck Stain at 2 Year Period: 7.75
– Penofin Blue Label is a decent wood stain. We really like the colors that Penofin makes and the way the stain absorbs into the wood. In general, the better a stain absorbs, the better it works.
Penofin Wood Stain Photo Issues
Where To Buy: Select Stores or Online
Cost: $45.99 per Gallon, $224.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Rosewood Oil-Based
Available Colors: Clear, Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Sable, Chestnut, Sierra, Redwood, Mendocino Mist, Pacific Pearl Mist, Nantucket Mist
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats. Let dry for 3 hours between coats.
Coverage Per Gallon: 200-300 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 3-12 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 550 Compliant in 33 States as tested. Blue Label is available in a 250 VOC formula as well.
Test Deck Stats:
Fence Wood Type: Pine Treated Fence
Fence Square Footage: 600
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: Cedar
*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.