Penofin® Products FAQ

Penofin makes a complete line of interior and exterior finishes and wood care products. Our products are designed with quality in mind and contain the finest ingredients.

We are often asked what makes Penofin different or better than other products. To answer that, we have compiled a list of the most common questions asked.

  • What makes Penofin different than the other stains on the market?
    • Penofin's formula penetrates deep into the woods surface, coating the individual fibers of the wood, allowing moisture to pass in and of the wood allowing the wood to breathe. We use the best, most safe raw materials available and do not compromise for the sake of cost. We value our reputation, and our reputation is built on our products and their performance.

      All of our stains contain Brazilian Rosewood Oil which is a strong, flexible, water-resistant, mildew resistant oil that is sustainably harvested from the seeds of the Brazilian Rosewood tree; no trees are ever cut to produce this oil. Rosewood Oil allows the wood to retain its flexibility and creates no surface film.

      A Penofin application is easy to maintain when applied according to directions. You will never see a surface film when using Penofin, so you will never see cracking, bubbling or peeling. You will also never need to strip or sand again! Simply clean the wood thoroughly, let dry and apply a light coat to any areas of the wood that may show wear and tear. It will easily blend in with the rest of the application.

  • How much Penofin do I need for my project?
    • Penofin will cover 150 — 200 square feet per gallon on rough surfaces and from 250 — 300 square feet on smooth surfaces.

  • Why does the lid say not to store in the can?
    • We recommend that you buy only enough Penofin to complete the job. Once the factory seal is broken it is hard to re-seal a container. Allowing air into the container will dissipate the solvents causing the remaining oils and resins to gel. Unopened Penofin can be stored indefinitely in the can.

  • How long will Penofin last on my wood?
    • On a horizontal surface you can expect Penofin to perform for an average of 9 - 24 months and 2 -5 years on a vertical surface. The time will vary depending on the percentage of sunlight and weather exposure.

  • What do I do to prepare the wood for a Penofin application?
    • We recommend that you use our Penofin Pro Tech wood care products. Our cleaner and brightener both come in powder form and are easily mixed with water, they take just minutes to apply and are environmentally safe. The Cleaner is an excellent product to use for regular maintenance or if your wood is susceptible to mildew or algae growth. Let the wood dry for at least 24 hours and then apply Penofin.

  • I have a deck that has never been finished, it is gray and darkened.
    • Penofin Pro Tech Brightener, Step #3 is formulated especially to remove tannins and bring back the original color of the wood. A cup of the powder to a gallon of water is applied to the wood's surface. Let sit for 15 minutes and agitate with a stiff bristle brush, rinse thoroughly with a garden hose and a spray nozzle, let dry for 24 hours and apply Penofin.

  • Can Penofin be applied over another stain?
    • Because Penofin is a penetrating finish and different stains contain different ingredients you can not be sure that Penofin will penetrate through the existing finish. It is for this reason we recommend that Penofin be applied to clean, bare, dry wood. Penofin can be applied over an existing Penofin finish.

  • How hot or cold can it be when applying Penofin?
    • Generally speaking you should not apply Penofin out doors at temperatures under 45 degrees or above 80 degrees. A good rule of thumb when applying Penofin is to trust your own temperature gauge. If you put your hand on the wood and it is uncomfortably hot, it is too hot to apply Penofin. The product may flash (like oil in a hot pan) and dry on the surface. This will eventually cause darkening, and the coat will chip and peel. If your nose is cold, it is too cold to apply Penofin. The product will not penetrate the wood as efficiently at colder temperatures and the application will not last as long. Shirt sleeve weather is the ideal temperature range for a Penofin application.

  • How long will it take Penofin to dry?
    • Penofin dries to the touch in 4 hours and is serviceable ( You can have a party) in 12 hours.

  • It's going to rain?
    • Ideally you should apply Penofin 24 hours after a rain and rain should not be expected for 24 hours after application.

  • It rained, I have these little spots all over my deck, now what?
    • Simply wash the wood with a solution of 1 Cup Penofin Pro Tech Cleaner Step 2 to a gallon of water. This can be done even while the wood is still wet. Apply the cleaning solution to the wood and agitate the affected area for approx 15 minutes with a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly and let dry for 24 hours. If the surface appears blotchy apply a light coat of Penofin to even out the appearance.

  • Do I really have to wipe the wood after applying? or... My deck is sticky, tacky, shiny, dark, the smell won't go away, its been two weeks, "My Dog is stuck to the deck!!!!!!!", "My son is stuck to the deck!!!!!".
    • This is the grand daddy of all application questions and the answer is a resounding. YES...!!! Penofin is a penetrating finish that penetrates into the surface of the wood. That is where it belongs and does it's best work. The surface of the wood must be wiped thoroughly with nap free cloths to assure that no Penofin dries on the surface of the wood. If you allow Penofin to dry on the surface of the wood it will turn sticky and tacky and eventually peel off the surface because it is not a surface coating. It will also interfere with the cure of the product that has penetrated into the wood causing the product to fail to protect the wood fibers.

  • OK, I didn't wipe and now its sticky and tacky now what?
    • PENOFIN Pro-Tech Cleaner applied according to directions will clean the finish, once dry. If the wood appears blotchy apply a light coat of Penofin according to the directions on the can remembering to wipe.

  • What is spontaneous combustion? Why do I have to soak the oily rags in water?
    • Spontaneous combustion is a phenomenon in which a substance unexpectedly bursts into flame without apparent cause. In ordinary combustion, a substance is deliberately heated to its ignition point to make it burn. Many substances undergo a slow oxidation that, like the rapid oxidation of burning releases heat. If the heat that is released cannot escape the substance, the temperature of the substance rises until ignition takes place. Spontaneous combustion often occurs in piles of oily rags, green hay, leaves, or coal; it can constitute a serious fire hazard.

  • What is VOC, and how do I find the regulartory levels for the area I live in?
    • VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound, which is a drying agent that causes off gassing into the environment. All Penofin products sold in your local area are complient with all state and local EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulatory VOC levels.

These are just a few of the questions we field each day, if you have a question and need an answer, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-PENOFIN (800-736-6346) or email us at