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
    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
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    Lynda Hirose · 10/17/2018
    Ive decided to not do anything and let the deck go gray. I don’t mind the way it looks but i have 2 questions:
    1. Im thinking that it will simply get grayer over the years. Is there anything else that could happen to it?
    2. Id like to at least try to prevent mold/mildew from forming. What is the simplest way to do that?
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      The Sealer Store · 10/17/2018
      1. It will crack and splinter eventually.
      2. You cannot do this without stripping and adding a new coating.
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    Rickhollifield · 10/17/2018
    Is this a petroleum based products
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    Lynda Hirose · 09/23/2018
    I just read the instructions. Will the sprayer and stiff brush work just as well?
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      The Sealer Store · 09/23/2018
      No not for your deck. You need a pressure washer with the stripper.
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    Lynda Hirose · 09/22/2018
    Oh no...The pressure washing is done and they are gone. Is there another way to finish the prep without the power washer?
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    Lynda Hirose · 09/21/2018
    I had a small deck, 30 ft.², installed six years ago and had it stained with Mesmer UV plus red mahogany. I did nothing to maintain it since then but had it power washed two days ago and it now has gray streaks. I was told to do a light sanding And put penotin on. Will that bring it back to the beautiful wood I had before?
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    Alison · 09/13/2018
    I am having a dock built in Florida and am using ipe as my decking material. It is premium ipe. How soon after installation should a penetrating oil be applied? What product do you believe gives the best looking result? This time of year we are getting afternoon showers almost everyday. Should I wait to stain til weather changes? Thank you
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    Scott · 07/28/2018
    I have a tropical hardwood deck that is about 15 years old and may have been stained before. After power washing, some of the old stain now appear darker than the rest of the wood (photo 1). There are also some marks from vases that were left for some time (photo 2). What should I do now - sand, brighten, or stain (or any combination)?
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      The Sealer Store · 07/29/2018
      Strip and pressure wash again. Brighten all the wood after. The watermarks from the plants will not come out though. Too deep in the wood.
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    antoine · 07/22/2018
    is there a sealant that can be used either combined with the stain or applied afterwards.

    we live here in the Seattle area and the winter rains and icing really do a job on the stains

    and had heard from a carpenter friend that sealers can be used effectively.
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    Ruth · 07/08/2018
    This the top of ipe wood railing which has developed white spots. Any advice on how to remove.
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      The Sealer Store · 07/08/2018
      Strip it all off and start over.
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        Rob · 05/06/2019
        My Ipe deck is doing the same thing. What is causing this?
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    Tricia · 07/04/2018
    I had my ipe powerwashed. Do I need to use a cleaner on it before staining or is the powerwashing sufficient?
    Thank you.