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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    Alan · 06/03/2020
    We have power washed our IPE deck and have not put any stain on it. It looks good, but is prone to little slivers. It is not inviting to walk on barefoot. Any ideas as to how to eliminate the sliver issue?
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    Bill · 06/02/2020
    What water based stain do you like for our 10 year old Ipe front porch? It was stained last 4-5 years ago with an oil based stain that has largely worn off.
    Thank you, Bill
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    Dennis · 05/27/2020
    I'm refinishing a 17 year old Ipe deck that has never been stained. I cleaned it with a couple of different cleaners over the last couple of weeks. It looked pretty good but still had some greying and other blotches. I decided to sand it with an orbital sander using 80 grit paper. The deck is now looking much better. I have already ordered RAD cleaner and brightener from you as well as AC hardwood stain. It will be arriving tomorrow. The question I have is: Should I only use the RAD brightener before I stain since the deck is about as clean as it's going to get??

    Thanks, Dennis
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      Anthony Elarth · 05/27/2020
      I used the brightener and the cleaner on previously unstained ipe wood. I’ll just say this - the brighter essentially bleached the wood, into a light shade of almost yellow. No worries if you’re going to stain over it. But I was shocked to see what “bright” meant. No way would I have ever left it unstained. Obvious reco - stain a small part first before staining the entire area.
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        Dennis · 05/28/2020
        Thanks very much for your input. I assumed the brightener equated to bleaching. I will be using the Armstrong-Clark mahogany stain so that should be okay. RAD says their brightener helps balance the ph so the stain adheres better. If that’s the case, I’ll probably go with it. Any more thoughts?
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          The Sealer Store · 05/28/2020
          There is no bleach in the Brightener All it does is restore the wood to a neutral pH balance or natural state.
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            Anthony Elarth · 05/28/2020
            Yep, I didn’t mean to imply there is bleach in the product. And even though I’m pretty religious about following instructions closely when doing something for the first time, I may have made a mistake somehow.
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            Dennis · 05/28/2020
            Bad choice of words on my part. Here's two pics showing my efforts so far. Comments?
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              Anthony Elarth · 05/28/2020
              That’s looks a lot like my ipe after using the brightener. Much, much lighter than when installedor during the eight years of subtle change from weather
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              The Sealer Store · 05/28/2020
              Looks good but using both will help to open up the pores.
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      The Sealer Store · 05/27/2020
      Use both to help open up the wood pores.
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    Jerry · 05/18/2020
    I have a large ipe deck in NJ that I believe is approximately 20 years old. It was last stained with Sikkens Cetol in Mahogany (prior owners left the can) but I am not sure how long ago. We would like to lighten the deck color significantly but are not sure the best way to do it. Would simply powerwashing and staining a lighter color do the trick? Any help is appreciated. Thanks. I should mention that the fading color you see in the picture with the slide was due to using a brush attachment on a power washer.
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    John T · 04/18/2020
    We installed a large ipe deck in stages over the course of the last year. The deck is very clean but there are wide variations of color from brown to grey depending on the exposure to the Caribbean sun. We much prefer the red/brown color to the grey. Contractor wants to sand the entire deck and apply Cabots Australian Timber Oil. Part of the reason for sandongnis that there are some plugs/bungs that aren't flush. Questions: 1. Will the 2 step process (brightener and then penetrating oil) eliminate the extreme color variation? 2. Should sanding be avoided entirely or could we sand with a commercial deck sander to resolve the issue of the bungs and simultaneously prep the deck for application of the penetrating oil. 3. What product do you recommend for an environment with extreme sun exposure? Also, the deck posts and handrail have the same extreme color variation depending on sun exposure. Since cable rail has been installed I assume we would be using brightener and hand applying penetrating oil between the stainless steel cables.
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    Alan Balfour · 03/31/2020
    Do I need to stain the IPE deck? My neighbors don't do anything to their IPE deck.
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    Joseph Haley · 02/29/2020
    I just sanded and stained a pie deck in central Florida. It was 70 the day I did it but it dropped to 40s that night. The deck now has a shine in the center of the board. Any ideas on how to fix it
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      The Sealer Store · 03/01/2020
      What stain brand and type of stain did you use?
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        Joseph Haley · 03/01/2020
        Epi oil. Deckwise
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          The Sealer Store · 03/01/2020
          You would have to strip it all off and start over to fix. Give it a week though as it may go away naturally.
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    Sam · 01/17/2020
    Hi, I have recently installed an IPE deck. I live in Baltimore Md (rapid temp/humidity changes all year long) My Ipe deck is leeching a grey color out of the cut ends. What could be causing this and how can I correct this?
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      The Sealer Store · 01/17/2020
      Not sure what it is. You can strip and brighten all wood and then stain it again. Hopefully it does not come back.
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        Hugh · 05/16/2020
        I believe that is a function of the board ends not being properly sealed at time of installation.
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    Michael Stettinius · 12/20/2019
    I have a customer with a lot of Epi decking and a large dock in Florida, I have been using
    Epi Oil from deckwise. I needs to be pressure washed and re oiled at least every 5-6 months, is there a better product you would recommend ?
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    David · 10/23/2019
    Just installing an ipe deck now. Brand new. Do I still need to use a wood deck cleaner before applying a decking stain? Thanks for the response.
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    Sandy · 10/18/2019
    My new IPE deck is being installed this week. How long should I wait before staining it with an oil to preserve the original color? We live in New England so are heading into fall/winter weather.
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    Michelle · 10/13/2019
    We have a deck made with jatoba. When it comes to cleaning and staining do I treat it like an IPE deck or do I use a different type of stain?
    Thanks
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    Michelle · 10/13/2019
    In the picture you have posted for the article "How to Stain IPE", what stain and color was used? I like the color and variations seen there.

    Thanks
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    Ted fetter · 09/28/2019
    I am putting in a new ipe wood deck and I want to seal it I'm thinking about using messmer's hardwood UV Plus but there's hardwood oils and stain and sealers do I need all of these or just one or two I am completely confused
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      The Sealer Store · 09/29/2019
      You need just one. The Messmers UV Plus for Hardwoods. It is a stain for IPE.
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    Raquel · 09/06/2019
    It is necessary to do the Ipe End grain sealer
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    Raquel · 09/06/2019
    Is this is necessary?
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    Raquel · 09/03/2019
    Hi we installed our Ipe deck 4 months ago some of them are under a pavilion and the other under direct sun . We already wash it and pressure wash it .but 2 two areas look a little diferente . Is any thing we should do before apply messmers u.v. Plus .thanks
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    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