This post was updated on May 20, 2022
Penofin Red Label Reviews
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 Rating (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 of 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 the initial application.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 8
– The Penofin Ultra had little to no peeling on the surface, We expected these 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 the 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.
Penofin Wood Stain Photo Issues
Where To Buy: Select Stores or Online
Cost: $52.99 per Gallon, $259.99 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
Test Deck Stats:
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 into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.
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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.