The Penofin® Story


Performance Coatings - Penofin

It was sometime in 1977 that a brilliant scientist who held Ph.D.s in physics and nuclear physics was having a quiet drink in a Colorado lounge with some friends who were manufacturers of a high line of furniture. Conversation centered around manufacturing. Told that a well-known brand of wood stain was made from a secret formula, the physicist scoffed, stating there were no secrets in chemistry. To prove his point, he analyzed the famous brand product and was not surprised to find the "secret formula" was a combination of linseed oil, aniline dyes, and solvents.


When he reported his laboratory findings to his friends, they dared him to devise a superior product, a challenge he readily accepted. The product should include these qualities: it had to penetrate, seal, dry quickly, have minimum odor and bleed back and be easy to apply. It also had to be stable enough to allow lacquers and varnishes to be sprayed over it if wanted.


In the finest alchemical fashion, the chemist continued to secure ingredients designed to carry out the stated purposes. After great and deliberate experimentation, he came up with PENetrating Oil FINish (so the name Penofin) that has, in truth and in fact, proved far superior to any competitive product on the market.


Thus satisfied, the scientist quickly sold and gave up any formula rights to his friends and went on to seek new horizons.


In 1979, a small group of investors bought the Penofin Company and moved to California. Manufacturing improved from a garage in Denver to a warehouse in Sacramento. The small but determined band of entrepreneurs, professionals in their own fields, painstakingly made and packaged their product with the crude but clever apparatus the scientist had designed. They worked nights and weekends for two years, until, finally, in June of 1981, they contracted with a paint company to manufacture Penofin for them. The consumer immediately received Penofin as an innovation in wood finish technology.