Penofin, Does a Pergola Good

This is a very delayed post and I almost decided to not write it, but Penofin deserves the plug. I’m a real fan of the product line. Staining the pergola was my first maintenance project for my home. I did this work in May. The natural wood was so pretty when I built it, I thought about leaving it natural, but wood greys as it ages. I decided to stick with the plan and applied Ultra Premium Red Label Penofin in Mission Brown, to match the porch ceiling.

When I did the porch I followed Penofin’s suggested three step process, Cleaner, Brightener, Stain. That was a small, solid, area of almost 100 year old wood that had been covered in layers of paint.  Of course that process was needed. I was hoping that would not be the case with a barely 6 month old pergola, but I called Penofin just to make sure. The agent held firm to their process, so I followed and started by removing the top course of the pergola. I thought it would be easier cleaning them and applying the stain to the entire structure with them removed. I leaned them on the backyard fence and proceeded with the Cleaner. Immediately I could see why the agent stuck to her guns. The beauty of the first two steps is that you can go immediately from Cleaner to Brightener. With the top course complete I moved on and did the same steps on the rest of the pergola after wrapping my columns in plastic and draping plastic on front of house.

That was all I was able to do on the first weekend because the only store that carries the product locally, Doeppes Lumber, did not have Mission Brown in stock. They would have to order it in, so I decided to get it from Amazon where I knew I’d have it delivered to my door in two days. The mistake I made was only ordering one gallon. The project took two, so two-weekends stretched into three. I finished the staining on Saturday and re-installed the top row on Sunday. That was the most tedious aspect of this project. I don’t know if I’ll remove it again when it’s time to reapply.

At my old home I treated (stained) my deck floor every 2 years and the fence every 4 and I used a Porter Paint stain. Penofin states their product performs on horizontal surfaces for 9-24 months and vertical surfaces for 2-5 years which is a big range. Most of my surfaces are vertical, so I’ll monitor the wood and hope to stretch it out as far as possible. Easy, but not fun. I applied the stain with a brush and could not control the drip when working on the pergola. So grateful Penofin is a one-coat process.  I was a smelly, sticky mess, so much so that the t-shirt I wore while staining went straight into the trash.

Sista Girl with Skills Update

I have converted to and have created a full website vs. just a blog. Based on the limited feedback, all negative, and me not liking the logo either, I have landed on a new Sista Girl with Skills logo. Thanks to an Etsy vendor, The Carton Amiga, my bakery division has its on adaptation of it.

I’ve added two new navigators to the site: Bakery Division, which includes a drop down for my product offerings, and GC Division. GC stands for General Contractor as it is official, Sista Girl with Skills, LLC is registered as a GC with the City of Cincinnati. This was forced when I learned the City would not allow me to pull a building permit for my first flip house project. That’s right, I have purchased 3067 Sidney Avenue, an 1890 Italianate Victorian house located one block from me in Camp Washington. As with my house I plan to chart the journey of the “restoration” not “renovation” on my blog. 

Hopefully her future owner will appreciate seeing what went into saving this house from further deterioration caused by owner neglect.  The house has been sitting vacant since at least 2014 as that was when the previous owner’s building permits expired; he purchased in 2010.  He started the flip, I’ll finish it and as my sign slogan states: I’ll do it right, or not at all. Her name is Inez in honor of my grandmother whom I’m channeling with all the baking I’m doing.

In regards to baking I’m still servicing six coffee shops and a caterer.  Deeper Roots requested a pumpkin version for the season and I obliged by creating a Zucchini Pumpkin Dates muffin featuring Pumpkin Pie Spice from Colonel de Gourmet. I’ve never made anything with pumpkin, I’m a sweet potato pie fan, but that muffin is good!  They also have listened to their customers request for a gluten-free option, so one of the two varieties offered will be gluten-free.  Don’t be afraid to try your favorite flavor if it happens to be gluten-free on the day you visit.  Gluten-free flour changes the texture slightly, but the moistness and flavor of my muffins remains the same.

My muffins are dense because they are really individual portions of my adapted zucchini bread recipe poured into a muffin pan. So what do you get when you cross bread with a muffin pan? A Bruffin, which is what I’ll call my product for here on out.

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.