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
    Karen · 09/07/2022
    Since it’s September. Is it ok to just strip and oil next spring rather than now

    also, we have applied with a roller then wiped down but the silver color shower thru so we reapplied.  To get uniform color.  What’s a better application?
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      The Sealer Store · 09/08/2022
      No. Do the prep just before staining. Using a better brand and following their application directions will get you the proper appearance. The Key is to remove all of your over applied stain.
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    Karen · 09/07/2022
    These are pics from my recent cleaning process and the oil I used in June 
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    Karen · 09/07/2022
    My ipe deck is 20 years old.  I clean and oil it every year. This passed spring. I stripped it, brightened and then oiled. I’m so frustrated, my wood takes on a tan to brown color. Almost like a film of grime. 

    I just re-cleaned it.  Wondering if I should let it go the fall/winter before I oil again.  I’m thinking my application of oil is not right or my oil is problem.  

    Help!  Super frustrated,
    karen 
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      The Sealer Store · 09/07/2022
      Post some pics in the comments and what stain was used prior?
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    Dee · 07/21/2022
    I have an Ipe deck and I stained it last year and the color came out to a beautiful dark red. I stained it again this year and the color is now Orange.  I cleaned it and used penofin oil. I've used multiple colors by Penofin to try to get the red color back, but to no avail.What am I doing wrong?
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    KB · 05/31/2022
    Can you recommend a product? Tried Penofin years ago and that caused mold. In last 4 years switched to a water based stain but wood is so hard it really doesn't penetrate.
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    Christopher Reid · 05/31/2022
    Hi, I am want to stain my ipe exterior handrails that were installed four years ago.  We would like the color to be a weathered gray look.  What do recommend for us to use..?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      The Sealer Store · 05/31/2022
      We do not have or know of any deck stains for IPE wood that come in a gray color.
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    Mike · 05/19/2022
    Hi, I'm getting ready to stain my IPE deck and patio that was installed Mar 2020.  1/2 of deck uncovered, other half covered patio.  I stained the outdoor deck using Ipe Oil (Deckwise) for the first time last year in 2021.  I did not stain or clean the covered patio.  I have considered using TPW 100 Rustic based on the reviews but it was recommended to strip the floor for possible incompatibility with Ipe Oil. I still do not understand why I need to strip anything.  I am really confused about what I should do to "prepare" the deck and patio.  I do have water and dirt stains to address.  I had planned to use a cleaner but sure if I need to use brighter and/or stripper.  Any recommendations on whether to use brighter?  Stripper if I want to change the brand of stain?  Lastly, what is the recommend stain brand if I do not want the Ipe too dark or red in order to present the various lighter hues in the wood?  
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      The Sealer Store · 05/19/2022
      You always have to remove the prior coating when switching brands of deck stain. Stripping is no harder than cleaning, just removes the IPE Oil fully. 

      Look at Amber color in the Armstrong Clark Stain: https://www.opwdecks.com/armstrong-clark-wood-stains/?custom_f_10[0]=45786f7469632048617264776f6f64732f497065
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        Michael · 05/24/2022
        Ok, I have decided on the AC Amber Stain.  Now...to make it just a little more complex.  I have two sections--one patio (covered) that has never been stained and one deck (uncovered).  For the patio flooring thats 2 yrs old, I'm thinking just a cleaner.  There are some water stains from the weather and lighting on the edges from where the suns hits through the screen, but even after 2 yrs, the natural Ipe reddish tones are still there.  It looks better than the deck flooring that was stained last year with Ipe Oil.  For the deck, with SO MANY strippers out there, would you still recommend the RAD brand along with the brightener?      
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          The Sealer Store · 05/24/2022
          You need the brightener after using the cleaner for unstained wood. Stripper and brightener for the stained wood. Use the RAD prep products.
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        Michael · 05/19/2022
        Thank you for the response and verification.  I will look into the AC amber.  
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 05/16/2022
    Hi, I have a rooftop Ipe deck, I think 10 years old.  The frame was poorly built so a deck guy rebuilt that, and reinstalled the planks flipped over.  He stained it but didn’t check with us on the color.  Our deck is now quite red and my wife hates it.  Should I sand and restrain or is there a product I can try first to get rid of the red?  Also what stain would you recommend?  Don’t mind natural wood color or something darkish but nothing bordering on black or red.  Our deck before we redid it ended up looking grayish because of sun exposure and city dirt (Brooklyn) which my wife didn’t mind.  Thanks.
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    Andrzej · 03/21/2022
    It’s any way to stain ipa wood to lighter color like ash ?What stain and sealer I should use ?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      The Sealer Store · 03/21/2022
      No, that is not possible to stain IPE lighter in color.
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    Andrzej · 03/21/2022
    It’s any way to stain ipa wood to lighter color like ash ?
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    Ken · 09/15/2021
    The photos below show the condition of our IPE deck attached to our home in northwestern Montana. The deck was installed in 2007. According to notes left by a previous homeowner, the stain used was 'Cabot Timber Oil in Jarrah Brown', and was applied in 2015. There are no leftover cans of stain available and so I am unable to determine what actually was done to the deck.
    What do you recommend to begin the restoration? Sand? Apply RAD stripper and brightener? Pressure wash?
    After reading previous comments under 'How to Stain IPE', I am leaning toward either Armstrong Clark in amber or Defy in light walnut, since I would like to enhance the grain of the wood. What you recommend for our location? Most of our deck is open to the elements.
    Thank you. The previous comments and your responses have been very informative.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      The Sealer Store · 09/15/2021
      Best to use the restore deck stain stripper with both additives. Let dry and then follow up with any sanding if needed to remove any excess stain that is not stripped. Brightener is last. Either brand of stain would work very well.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Ken · 09/15/2021
        Wow-thanks for replying so quickly!
        I would appreciate your recommendation re: pressure washing - PW after applying the stripper? PW each time after the stripper and the brightener? Or no PW at all?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          The Sealer Store · 09/15/2021
          Pressure wash after stripper is applied. Pressure wash rinse after the brightener.
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            Ken · 09/16/2021
            Thank you!
            Just letting you know that, today, I acted on your recommendations, and ordered the RAD stripper/brightener kit, plus the two additives. Also ordered samples of the stains that I listed earlier today.
            Looking forward to begin the restoration process on our badly-neglected deck.
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    Jeff · 09/08/2021
    Thanks for the quick reply.  Is there anything I can do to make it less dark?
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    Jeff · 09/08/2021
    Ipe deck is about 9 months old.  Used RAD cleaner and brightener yesterday.  It looks cleaner and there's a bit of brownish color in some of the boards, but it's still mostly gray.  I was hoping to stain it to look like it did when it was fairly new and would get wet.  It was a beautiful color then.  Now, even after the cleaner and brightener, when it's wet, the color is very dark-- much darker than when the deck was new and wet. I was going to use AC Mahogany stain, but I'm afraid it will be very dark.  Is there anything I can do to make it look like it did when it was fairly new and wet?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      The Sealer Store · 09/08/2021
      No, it is the way the wood ages. No way to make it look like brand new wood. It should be ready to stain as long as the wood is clean and free of oxidation.
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    Guzica · 08/24/2021
    I have a 15 y/o IPE deck.  Which has been treated by the same "Professional " for 15 yrs.  He was using Penofin. Last yr, he stripped and I think cleaned the deck, then applied Penofin after.   He did it when it was sunny and 92º , the deck was hot...  He applied 2 coats  and not wiping down after either of the coats.  Needless to say we had problems.  it was sticky in spots...the deck chairs would show scratching marks, when moved.  He "didn't know why" !!! He reapplied after cleaning deck again about a month or so after.   No change..  He said he though problem was the Penofins and he would contact the Co.  But alas, we have not heard from him this yr.   SO I AM gonna strip and brighten the deck with the RAD products.    Which stain is recommended ?  I have seen there have been problems with the Penofin stain with IPE decks, even tho we liked the colors brought out on our deck.  Wanting to keep this colors coming thru, which stain, is water based better than oil??  Im thinking Oil based stain.   Any help would be so very appreciated...  Thanks
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    John · 07/22/2021
    We are installing an Ipe deck and the layout picture frames the field...can we stain the frame part darker to get a contrast with the field
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    mowens · 07/18/2021
    New Ipe deck install May 2020, with 2 coats of Penofin. Now, the boards are experiencing cupping, screw cracking, end checking and water marks are leaving stains in the deck after just watering plants. Our contractor has no idea if they applied seal to ends of cut boards, does not know if it was pre-drilled, nor if kiln-dried. They used screws, not hidden fasteners, but placed very near end of the board. The wood was brought straight to our home and installed over a few days, w/o any time to acclimate. They do not know how/if their supplier stored/treated the Ipe. They placed part of the ipe over a pond-liner to create a dry patio space below the deck, and left 1/4" between the boards for extra ventilation. The contractor wants to sand and then apply a sealant.
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    Maura · 06/29/2021
    I have a 14 year old Ipe deck, approximately 14 x 60. it was soft washed this Spring and tenants are now complaining about splinters from the uncovered portion of the deck. What is the best way to deal with this? 
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    Hanna Vazquez · 05/19/2021
    Should you sand an ipe deck . 
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    Josh M. · 05/03/2021
    I've been using Ipe Oil in my cumaru deck, and it repeatedly turns into an opaque brown film after a couple months (attached picture shows the dirty boards on the left and cleaned boards on the right, prior to restaining). The film is really hard to remove - cleaning it off with a sodium percarbonate cleaner still takes hours of scrubbing. Any suggestions of what's going wrong with the stain? It doesn't seem like mildew, since it's so consistent across the entire deck. I cleaned the deck before staining in October 2020 (similar to the boards on the right in the picture), so I don't think it's pre-existing dirt. There's a part of the deck with a slight overhang that blocks a little sun and most rain, and it looks much better.
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    Rick Brown · 03/27/2021
    Six months ago a painter stained my ipe wood deck. He added Thompson Water seal to the stain. The stain is already peeling. What steps should be done to correct and properly apply stain?