Porch Ceiling Restored with Penofin

On multiple searches for the best oil to apply to bead board porches Penofin Penetrating Oil came up, so I went to their website to do further research. I watched their video on how to apply and it focused on deck application. Just to be sure it could be applied to ceilings I emailed their customer service. This is a great tip for DIYers; don’t be afraid to reach out directly to the company whose product you want to use. I have rarely had a negative exchange when doing so.

Kaylee Simii, Penofin Customer Service Manager, replied within a day with detailed instructions for utilizing their Ultra Premium Red Label product. She shared it offered 99% UV protection with mold, mildew and algae inhibitors and it is the same application process as seen in the videos. The preparation and application is a three step process and I must admit I wasn’t thrilled. I went to Amazon first for the product and no one carried small sizes, so I was looking at $150 in products. Their website offered a product locator section, so by typing in my zip code I discovered that Doppes Building Material, less than 5 miles from my house, carried the product. Fortunately they carried quart sizes in the step 2 and 3 products she recommended and they were only $16 each. The actual oil only comes in gallon cans, but I’ll still be well under $100 so I decided to move forward with their product.

The first item in her instructions was: pressure washing is not recommended. Well that ship sailed as I had to do that to get the Peel A-Way product off. Oh well, forge on. Item 2: Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner. Mix 1 cup of Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner to 1 gallon of water in a garden pump sprayer. Prior to applying the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner solution, sufficiently wet down the surface area with a garden hose. Now you will mist the surface with the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner. The solution needs to sit on the surface for 10-15 minutes without drying, so you may need to mist with the solution occasionally to prevent the solution from drying on the surface. After the solution has sat on the surface for 10-15 minutes you will lightly agitate the surface area with a push broom or soft bristle brush. Finally, you will rinse the surface area with a garden hose. This is their video on applying the product.

Item 3 from her email stated: Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener. Be sure to cover/protect metal surfaces. Mix 1 cup of Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener to 1 gallon of water in a garden pump sprayer. Prior to applying the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener solution, sufficiently wet down the surface area with a garden hose. Now you will mist the surface with the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener. The solution needs to sit on the surface for 20-25 minutes without drying, so you may need to mist with the solution occasionally to prevent the solution from drying on the surface. After the solution has sat on the surface for 20-25 minutes you simply rinse off with a garden hose. This is their video on applying the product.

Amazing results and very easy to execute. I plan to build a deck off the back of my house and thanks to Covid-19 I won’t be able to justify the cost of composite wood for it (bummer), so it’s nice to know I’ve found a product that will make maintaining a wood deck feasible. Item 4 in her email said to allow wood surface to dry for 24-48 hours before application of the Penofin penetrating oil finish.

Ultra Premium Red Label Wood Stain Finish | PenofinI waited 48 hours before applying the oil.  The hardest decision for me was deciding which color to apply.  The cleaning and brightening steps really lightened the wood.  Fortunately Doppes offered sample tubes of the stains, so I got Cedar, Redwood, and Western Red Cedar samples and applied them to the house.  I found a lumber mill in Indiana that sold to order specification Eastern Red Cedar, which I planned for my pergola.  My thought was to find a stain that would hopefully match the cedar.  Given I’ve never seen Eastern Red Cedar I was working from photos of the wood, which I new would change colors as it aged.  I didn’t like any of those options, that I applied to an area that would be painted Incredible White, so I emailed the color chart to my father who thought Bark or Mission Brown would be the best options.  I went back to Doppes and retrieved those samples and decided to go with Mission Brown.  As luck would have it they did not have the Red Label or Blue Label (99% and 90% UV protection respectively) in that color in stock.  They could order, but I wouldn’t have until next week.  This was my weekend to finish this project, so I brought home samples of the colors they had, Sable, Sierra, Hickory, and Clear.  Mission Brown was my color.  The next closes business that sold the product was over an hour away in Georgetown, KY.

20200816_105916Someone else had ordered 4 gallons of Penofin Transparent Penetrating Oil Finish Stain & Sealer in Mission Brown, but had not picked it up. Doppes was willing to sell me a gallon of that, so I went home and looked up that product on Internet and decided to go for it. That area will never see sun, so I didn’t think the high UV value was relevant and I thought the added benefit of the sealer would be, but lets face it…..the color was right. Kaylee had sent steps for applying the Red Label, but I followed the instructions on the can instead. This product called for two thin coats, so I taped off under the moulding being stained and went to work. It applied darker on the bead board than in my sample patch, but it was still the right color. What the first coat revealed were areas where I still had paint in the grooves, so instead of resting in the hour between coats I pulled out my scraper and pick and removed more paint. It chipped out easily, thankfully, in most areas. I didn’t get it all, but enough.

The second coat went on like the breeze that started blowing as it looked as though a pop up shower was headed my way. It never did, but I enjoyed the drop in temp. I applied the product to my door step also, which allowed me finally install the metal strip that had come with the door. My door installer told me to wait until I painted to put it in. My porch is absolutely beautiful. The ceiling now ties in with my brown stained doors that will greet you as soon as you enter. It even ties well with my light fixtures, mailbox, and door hardware. One would think I was a born designer, lol. I did manage to get stain on my concrete. The gray areas don’t concern me as that will be painted, but I hope I can get it off the red areas or at least lighten it greatly.

This project is the lemonade that came from the lemons of selecting the wrong painter. I’m thrilled with the final results, so much so that I am no longer going to use Eastern Red Cedar for my pergola. I found a lumber mill, Wilhelm Lumber, only 30 minutes away that also cuts to order. I spoke to them and they are recommending Poplar or White Oak as they furnish it to some of the top landscape designers in the city specifically for pergola projects. Poplar will be far cheaper and it should stain similar to the ceiling providing more of a cohesive look.

Peel A-Way Clean-up to Prepare for Oil Finish

After getting all the crown moulding on the front cleared of paint and ready for Joe and crew, I finally turned my focus on the porch ceiling bead board. Thanks to working on other projects for Mike Tanner, Joe is very familiar with painting my type of columns, so it is very important for me to get this project done before he starts working on the front of the house. His plan is to paint fully the Stock Street side, followed by my neighbor’s side. These areas call for his tallest ladders and will be the most difficult to paint. If I’m finished with my project he’ll paint the front next, saving the rear for last.

I had received the sample pints from Alan Bensen, National Account Sales Manager Dumond Chemicals, Inc., but I started with what I had left from the crown moulding. Alan sent me an email with reminder tips from our phone call. Somehow I forgot reminder one and paid the price for it.

  1. Apply Peel Away 1 like you are icing a birthday cake, and you like icing! 😊  
  2. Don’t let it sit too long or else it may dry out (24 hours max).  It may even work overnight (apply at 5-6pm at night), remove before noon the next day….it’s trial and error.
  3. When removing, use water, nylon scrub brush, and/or scotch- bright pad to remove. Don’t be afraid to use the garden hose!  Water and elbow grease working together does the trick.

When this product dries out on your surface it does not scrub off. I had to use my pressure washer and unfortunately in spots I furred up the soft pine boards. On the phone he had told me, based on the pictures I sent that the product wouldn’t need to sit for more than a couple of hours. It was drying so fast that for the third section I only let it sit for an hour. Applying it liberally is truly the key. The paint that was in the groves, especially around the edges was my primary concern. The re-treatment with the Peel A-Way did nothing around the edges; about 60% came out of the grooves thanks to the 20200813_081636pressure washer. The very thing I was trying to avoid, using my heat gun with a metal pick, is exactly what I ended up doing. The white along the edges I think was caulk and not paint because it was really gummy once hit with the heat gun. I burned the wood in some places. That didn’t concern me much as once I discovered I had furred up the wood in some areas I knew I’d need to sand the surface. The burns weren’t deep, so most would go away with the sanding.  I started with 80 grit, followed by 120.  I may go a step further before applying the oil.

I did the ceiling in three sections over the course of two days. My arms were so tired, as all the work was above my head with extended arms. I still love Peel A-Way and would highly recommend it, but given how much manual removal I ended up doing I could have eliminated the need to use the pressure washer and sanding if I had just started with my heat gun and pick.

Ceiling Before Peel A-Way

Amazing what the right product and elbow grease can accomplish. After doing some Internet searching I have decided to use Penofin Ultra Premium Red Label Pentrating Oil. I’ll let the Peel A-Way neutralizing agent set for a day before starting the Penofin prep processes. If all goes well I should be finished with my outdoor projects by the end of the weekend.

Peel A-Way Product Review

With all the scraping Lyle has done on the 2nd floor dormers over the past 5 weeks, which exceeded my expectations, I decided I wanted the paint from the front porch removed also. When Lyle first walked the property I said that didn’t need to be scraped as I assumed the bead board would be difficult and time consuming to clear properly. After all that is why I rebuilt the rear portico. Lyle said Peel A-Way would be the product to use, but it was expensive (approximately $40/ 1.25 gallon from the Oakley Paint Store; $55 at Sherwin Williams). I told him I’d buy it if he applied it, so I did and he did. I watched the product video several times before he applied it and thought if it works that well maybe I can leave the wood natural.

The product stayed on approximately 24 hours before Lyle removed it.

Honestly I wasn’t impressed at that stage. My thoughts of leaving the natural wood were dashed, but at least I felt the new paint would look cleaner. At that point I was contemplating painting it white or Lullaby Blue in keeping with southern porches. I had bought 3 pails and Lyle had used 1.5 of them, so he suggested applying another coat which he did. It was early evening, around 5pm when he applied. By the next morning when I let out my dogs I discovered that the paper had already fallen. I sent Lyle a text and he said he couldn’t come for another hour. I remember him warning it was important to not let the product dry out, so I removed the final piece that had not fallen and all the product that was still adhered to the boards.

I could still see paint and product in the grooves, so I used the edge of my carbide scrapper to remove it. Where it was still moist it came off easy. Lyle did arrive and I asked to use his paint eater tool I saw him use on the windows. He said he’d do it, I let him, and when he finished I knew I wanted to keep the wood natural. Peel A-Way removed so much that it was worth the extra sweat equity I’d need to perform to get it clean enough to leave unpainted. At that point I told Lyle I would take over this portion of the project. I will take the time and effort to remove all the traces of paint, but so worth it. I need for him to focus on the house he started on June 9.

I didn’t want to buy anymore Peel A-Way as I thought it would be overkill for what paint was left, so I went up to the Clifton Ace Hardware store to see what product they’d recommend. I showed the pics above and the owner was so impressed that she went to Dumond’s website and is going to look into carrying it at her store. Another worker recommended that I use Citristrip. I knew that wasn’t a good option as I used that product when I stripped the doors (sure wish I knew about Peel A-Way then). It would work, but be messy. What I really liked about the Peel A-Way was the ease of clean up. The sheets went in the trash and any paint that did fall to the ground swept up easily. He then recommended Goof Off, which I bought. When I got home I decided to contact Dumond Chemicals, manufacturer of Peel A-Way, made in the USA, directly to see if they had a spray on product that would work. Their website list the names, phone, and emails to people in their corporate office so I emailed my pictures to Customer Support; Dave Martin, Dumond Senior Chemist; Matt Bartolotta, Product Technical Manager; and cc’d the President, Richard Grear.

Customer Suport replied stating to apply more Peel A-Way, but Matt responded back stating that Alan Bensen, National Account Manager, wanted to speak with me directly and he asked for my number. In my initial email I did mention my blog, so Alan actually had reached out to me through that and asked that I call him between 3 and 5 Friday, which I did. What a great conversation. He’s another old house restorer himself and had done a similar project on his own home. He confirmed what Customer Support had responded, but stressed that I only needed to apply it to the areas in question. From the pictures he didn’t think I’d need that much, so he offered to send me their free samples. He shared I’d only need to let it set a couple of hours and I didn’t even need to use the paper sheets that came with the product. I let him know I had bought extra, so had plenty I could use. He then said to use a nylon brush and water to remove the product. He also recommended that I get the Scotch Brite pads for scrubbing. This is what I call great customer service. It ranks right up there with the owner of Thermasol, Mitch Altman, calling personally to assist with my shower.

I’m excited to share the final results, so stay tuned.