Penofin Hardwood Wood Stain Review 2024 2.2/5 (17)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

Penofin Hardwood Wood Stain Review 2024

Here at, we are proud of the fact that we have become the Internet’s number one reference for your deck stain opinions and reviews. We thank you for your continued support. Our customers who have used Penofin Hardwood Wood Stain continue to give mixed reviews in the past and for 2024. The stain is easy to apply, but is prone to UV damage and turning black down the road. If you have used Penofin Hardwood Wood Stain, we would like to hear what you think, so feel free to leave a comment below and pictures of your completed projects if you have them.

Penofin Hardwood Stain Review

Penofin Hardwood Stain Review

Important Note: This is our 2nd Review of Penofin Stain For Hardwoods. Our first review was started in 2008 and completed in 2009. We are not aware of any product reformulations.

See Here for First Review: Penofin Exotic Hardwood Stain Review

Only Penofin’s Hardwood wood stain can penetrate dense hardwoods that need nourishing and stabilizing. This unique formula penetrates deep into the wood fibers and does not create a surface film. Unlike high-solid wood stains that simply coat the surface, Penofin’s Hardwood Finish, using sustainably harvested Brazilian Rosewood Oil, is the choice of wood experts who know that wood penetration is key to longevity and beauty. Penofin allows the wood to breathe, important in working with exotic hardwoods such as mahogany, teak, Ipe, Brazillian Redwood, and many other species. Only Penofin Penetrating Oil Finish can meet the needs of hardwood in fiber protection, penetration, stabilizing, and nourishing.

Important Note: Testing for Exotic Hardwood Deck Stains

Exotic hardwoods such as IPE are extremely dense and difficult to penetrate. These wood types, when stained will always fade faster than the other woods such as Cedar, Redwood, and Pine. Testing will be changed to 1 year instead of 2 years for exotic hardwoods.

Penofin Hardwood Wood Stain Rating (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 10

In our opinion, Penofin stains give one of the best-finished appearances to wood once dry. The IPE was highlighted beautifully with natural reddish-brown colors.

Preventing UV Graying at 1 Year Mark: 1

The Penofin retained little to no color after a year on the Ipe. The customer called us after 6 months and said the stain had disappeared in the sun and turned black in shaded parts? We inspected and agreed with the homeowner. Penofin explained to us that IPE needs to be reapplied every 3-6 months if you want to retain color.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9

Penofin has always had great penetration abilities, even on exotic hardwoods. There was very little wearing.

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

One gallon was used for the 300 sq. feet. Each gallon costs about $48. Great coverage but on the costlier side.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 4

The Penofin had darkened considerably. A good amount of this was due to mold growth. Little black dots were very noticeable in the wood grain.

Ease of Application: 7

The reason we gave the Penofin a 7 here is not due to the application but rather the smell. Penofin applies easily but the odor is horrible. Makes your eyes water! If not for the smell, we would have given this a 9 or 10.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 2

Penofin has an issue with turning brown or even black in color after exposure to the elements. We have seen this on numerous decks stained with Penofin through the years. On this IPE Deck, the color had faded significantly in the sunny areas and turned dark brown in the covered areas.

The Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

It should not be hard to remove the darkened Penofin with a stain stripper and a light pressure washing.

Overall Score Penofin Hardwood Stain at 1 Year Period: 6

It is really too bad that Penofin has an obvious issue with darkening as it is a beautiful product when first applied. Research online shows numerous complaints on this subject. If it could somehow fix this issue, it would score much better.

The results with the second review were worse than the first. It could be changed in UV exposure and wood type.

Penofin Wood Stain Photo Issues

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Google Search Penofin Stain
Cost: $49.99 per Gallon, $244.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Rosewood Oil-Based
Available Colors: Natural
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1 Coat.
Coverage Per Gallon: 300-400 sq. ft for Exotic Hardwoods
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 4-12 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
Manufacturer: Penofin

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: Ipe Decking
Deck Square Footage: 300 Square feet
UV Exposure: 60% Shaded. 40% Full sun. South Exposure. High Elevation
How Many Years Tested: 1 Year
Stain Color Used: 

*All products tested and results are from our experience as wood restoration contractors. 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.

Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
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.

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3 years ago

I stained our 1 year old deck last spring. Looked great. One year later and the stain is peeled off like it was painted.
Not excited by this product. I wore a respirator also. Very strong fumes

Michael McKenna
Michael McKenna
3 years ago

Hi, Could anyone please tell me what is the best UV oil to use for composite decking?
Much appreciated.

Catherine Kellington
Catherine Kellington
3 years ago

After using my deck is very slippery how to fix.

4 years ago

Never using this product again. It stinks to high heaven on application to the point where you need a respirator when applying it. The smell permeated into my kitchen for extra fun. If you must use Penofin, I recommend it. The curing process IS NOT complete in a few days and in places like Seattle, IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM is it dry enough to walk on after 24 hours. I applied it EXACTLY as instructed, and the deck still smelled after 2 weeks. The color fades quickly as well. I also had mold and black spots which had to be power washed. This was tedious because my rails are cedar and one needs to be extremely careful or you’ll chew up the railings.

Jim Weiler
Jim Weiler
6 years ago

I’ve been using Penofin Hardwood Stain (brown can) on a mahogany deck in MA for 8 years. I did not apply the 2 step annual cleaner and brightener process for the first 5 years or so, just did a power wash and restain every year. The deck got blacker each year. Extremely slippery mold coating the one time I skipped the annual restain. I’ve applied the 2 step program for 3 years now. You really have to have a strong solution of the cleaner to get any black off. I started sprinkling the powder onto the wet wood directly and mixing it up on the wood with a rubber glove. Then with a power wash (the Karcher circular wand strong blast, not the foot wide deck washer attachment) the black comes off. But you cannot use the same can next year after you open it because the volatile hydrocarbons evaporate, the can actually shrinks and if you apply the year old but normal looking stain you will have gummy streaks and bumps all over the wood. So every year now I throw away a half full can that costs $60. I also have to wipe it twice after applying, waiting the 30 minutes or so they recommend, but then I have to wipe it 12 hours later to remove the widespread ‘extractive bleeding’ so there aren’t shiny streaks on the surface. And I apply a very thin coat, almost not covering the wood. So I’m going to try Australian Timber Oil that a friend uses on their mahogany deck. Seems like far less work and cost for similar result.

6 years ago

Which stain is best to give it a more brown color

Mike W
Mike W
7 years ago

The worst product we have ever used. Deck turned black. Mfg rep came back and stripped it. He then restrained it. By the next spring it had turned black again. Use at your own risk.

Stefan B
Stefan B
8 years ago

It is an OK product, highly overrated.
1) Although it brings out the natural grain, even the transparent version has has too yellow color to it, looking artificial on oak or acacia.
2) the smell is very pungent, hope it subsides
3) The oil separates fast from spirit during application so you have shake it often.

Not sure how long will it last, but certainly dissapointed with its performance. Not sure who are the people who gives it glowing review

8 years ago

Had our porch redone with mahogany railings in April and are ready to treat/stain. Were gung-ho on Cabot Australian Timber Oil in Mahogany Flame color until reading about problems with the new low voc formulation. Opinions on TWP for mahogany railings? Color choice that would restore the original mahogany? Thanks!

8 years ago

I am applying this on Brazilian Mahogany which is on the ceiling of my covered porch. The oil brings out a brilliant hue which enhances all the color variations in the wood. I applied an initial coat about a year ago and have noticed that the wood was slightly drying out but still maintaining its color. I just put another coat on and restored its brilliance. It goes on super easier and the wood looks amazing after it is coated. I am planning to brush more oil on it every 2 years.

I am sure this is not your typical application for the wood since it is on a ceiling but it is exposed to winter months in the USDA zone 5 & 6 in this area.

I would highly recommend this oil.


-Goes on smooth
-Makes wood look brilliant
-Oil penetrates the wood


-It does smell very strong

9 years ago

One year in with Penofin on a ipe deck. Three applications and the decking is beginning to look dirty. It gets full sun and does not appear to be mold. My hunch is that Penofin resins are getting baked in the heat. Does not look pretty. Not sure about this stuff…..

10 years ago

We stained our 660 square ft. deck a couple of weeks ago using this product and have several areas that are still "tacky". Except for a couple of day of rain, we've had bright sunshine, temperature in the 80's so disappointed with this "issue", but overall very pleased with he results. Took us an afternoon to get the job done, and used less stain when compared to the Benjamin Moore product we used previously. The area that's the most "tacky" is a somewhat shaded area where we typically pull out our gas grill, so I need to resolve the problem, quickly. Suggestions..?