ipe deck stainIPE is an extremely beautiful wood when stained and will be the envy of your neighbors. The problem with exotic hardwood decking such as IPE is that it will require maintenance annually. It is best to choose a pigmented wood stain that will enhance the reddish brown tones of the IPE as if wet with water. This will filter the UV and prolong the graying. Stains that are designed to penetrate IPE will work better and will be easier to clean and reapply when needed.

How to stain IPE decking:

  1. Make sure to choose a wood stain that is designed for dense wood such as IPE: IPE Decking Stains All of these stains are transparent but pigmented stains. Our most popular are: Ipe Oil, Messmers UV Plus for Hardwoods, Defy Hardwood Stain, Penofin Exotic Wood Stain, and Armstrong Clark in Mahogany Color.
  2. The IPE will need to be prepped first by removing and dirt, grime, mold, etc. Best to use a wood deck cleaner. Make sure to clean the IPE wood at least 2-3 days prior to applying the stain
  3. Always wear protective clothing and gloves when applying a wood finish. Take precautions to tarp or cover all surrounding plants, home, and concrete areas.
  4. On the day of staining make sure the wood is completely dry and that there is no rain in the forecast. Remove all furniture and sweep off any dirt or grime.
  5. We suggest applying the IPE stain with a stain pad applicator. This will apply the finish evenly to the deck. Always start with the railings before moving onto the flooring. Make sure to apply with the grain of the wood and take care to not "puddle" the stain. Do not over apply! Excessive application will result in the stain drying tacky and failing faster than normal.
  6. When finished make sure to check for missed spots and drips. Take care to wipe any thick areas of stain that have not absorbed.
  7. Stay off the decking surface for at least 24 hours before putting any furniture back on the flooring. If you notice any sticky or shiny areas you can wipe off the excess stain with a rag.

Keep the IPE surface free from dirt and grime. Periodic sweeping and rinsing with water will keep the wood looking better longer. Best to reapply the IPE stain before the wood turns gray. Depending on the exposure to the sun, you will need to reapply every 9-18 months.

If you have any IPE Staining questions please ask below.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Ninel · 08/03/2019
    I have a question about water base stain versus oil. The installers told me they will stain the ipe with a water-based stain and I am reading about oil. What is your preference for the best result?
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    Cassandra · 07/13/2019
    Good Day,

    A friend of mine’s ipe deck apparently has been stained with flood oil or some kind of paint that has been mildewing.

    We have now planned to do a DIY project and refinish the deck. Where do we start? Should we sand the deck to remove the stain/oil build up?

    Thank you
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    Lou Dornbach · 06/27/2019
    Good Day. I'm redoing a bench using Ipe boards given by a friend. I first used Varathane Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, waited several days, then a coat of Arstrong-Clark Amber Hardwood & Softwood Stain - Oil Based Formula. After about 10 days, I tried to assemble the bench but had to do a little sanding to get the wood to fit. I applied the stain to the small areas I sanded and put it outside to dry. The temperature was in the high 80's. A couple of hours later, there was a coating of oil on the entire board that was reabsorbed as soon as I took the wood back inside. I can't use a bench that gets oily in the sun, but I don't know what to do next. Any ideas?
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      The Sealer Store · 06/27/2019
      Hi, try taking it outside and see if it happens again. If it does, remove the excess oil with mineral spirits and rags. Saturate all oil rags in water and lay flat to dry outside when done.
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        Lou Dornbach · 06/27/2019
        Thanks. I'll try it in the morning when it's cooler and see how it goes. I'll let you know.
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          Lou Dornbach · 06/29/2019
          I just wanted to let you know that the mineral spirits worked fine. One application and there is no additional oil on the wood and it still looks great. I was worried that the mineral oil might change the wood stain, but it didn't. Thank you.
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    Anthony · 06/18/2019
    My ipe deck has moderate graying. My fault, since it has gone unstained in direct sun for five years. I want to stain it. Before I do, is there anything I can do to reduce/remove the graying?

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    Denise · 06/15/2019
    IPE, not pie lol.
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    Denise Pascarelli · 06/15/2019
    What pigmented stain would you recommend for a deck made of Brazilian pie? It has already turned gray.
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    jared · 06/13/2019
    I have a few questions besides the shipping info. The deck has not been cleaned or stained for at least 4 years. Should I count on two coats of AC Mahogany? Also do you prefer one stain pad applicator over another?
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      The Sealer Store · 06/14/2019
      Just one coat for IPE. It will not take two coats. Any stain pad will work.
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    Jared · 06/13/2019
    how long to ship to NC? I have a job I need to do next Friday. Can product be here by next Thursday? 1500 sq ft of IPE
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    Guy · 05/27/2019
    Can you use restore a deck brand water based stain on ipe wood?
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    Raf · 05/25/2019
    my fence contractor will be installing large ipe fence in my back yard, and do some ipe wall cover.
    I want to have the cherry look. I know ipe is dark I applied stain on the sample but didn't give the color I want to.
    any suggestion please help. '
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    SAL · 05/17/2019
    Hi! Can I use teak oil to stain/seal my IPE wood outdoor furniture?
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    carlw · 04/30/2019
    I had a small ipe fence installed 2 months ago. It still looks great, and I’d like to preserve exactly how it looks now (I don’t necessarily want to ‘enhance’ color for wet look). Which product would you recommend and do I need to do any prep other than wash/dry since it is new? (I had read here and elsewhere to wait a couple of months before doing anything)
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    Ipe deck owner · 04/28/2019
    If stain my ipe deck with the Armstrong Clark, do I have to clean and brighten every year after that or is the cleaning process for reapplication easier?
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    Donna · 04/15/2019
    We installed a new IPE deck which is open to all elements in CT at the end of last summer, 2018. We have not done anything to it, it's now Spring the following year and I'm a complete novice so need some advice! I have read that I should use Restore a Deck to clean and brighten the wood. Some information says sand the deck to open the wood to accept the stain and other sites say definitely not to sand. Please clarify? Your advice?
    Then, once deck is prepped, what stain would you recommend? I like the rich color & grain of the original wood (when it is wet now - not the grey). Would Armstrong Clark Mahogany be too dark, Amber better or Messmer's hardwood oil? Which is easiest to apply? I would appreciate any & all of your suggestions. Thank you!
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      The Sealer Store · 04/15/2019
      Do not sand. Look at Amber in Armstrong Clark or Defy Hardwood in Light Walnut for this. Both are easy to apply.
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    Damian Altenhofen · 04/04/2019
    Will cumaru behave the same as ipe? Getting ready to have cumaru put down on a deck and wall. Anything I should know first?
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    Michael · 04/04/2019
    My ipe is starting to splinter - can we lightly sand it?
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    Alison · 04/03/2019
    Will Defy water based stain (light walnut) applied to ipe decking wear unevenly with foot traffic?
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    Erickson · 04/02/2019
    I don’t see any mention of pressure washing in the article but it seems like you have told everybody to do just that in the comments. Is pressure washing the best way to prepare a 2 year old deck that has grayed?
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      The Sealer Store · 04/02/2019
      Use a deck cleaner and then pressure wash off. Brighten after.
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    Dave · 02/24/2019
    We have been using penofin on an ipe deck to keep it dark, tired of all the extra work with having to wipe it off after application. Thinking of switching to TWP 100, unless you have a better suggestion- I know I have to power wash the deck, does it have to be stripped as well? Thanks
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    AG in Florida · 01/07/2019
    We have a 20X24 IPE deck that is elevated approximately 6 feet - on lakefront - in sunny/hot Florida. First year after installation (in 2014) we tried to oil the deck with IPE oil - and it absolutely ruined the grain with dark tint - even though we ordered 'clear'. After a few tries at using the oil, last year we stripped/washed/cleaned and used Flood Water Based protection. But even though the color was a bit more satisfactory - we aren't sure that the protection is as good. Can you recommend an oil based stain that will not obliterate the beautiful grain of the wood? Thanks