IPE Oil Hardwood Stain Review

IPE Oil Finish

IPE Oil Finish

Ipe Oil™ Hardwood Deck Finish is designed specifically for IPE and other Brazilian Hardwoods. Ipe Oil™ Hardwood Deck Finish offers deep penetration into dense exotic woods protecting the wood from water and UV damage.

Ipe Oil™ can be used on all types of wood including ipe, tigerwood, cumaru, or and hardwood decking and wood siding, preserving the natural grain while enhancing at the same time. Ipe Oil™ Deck Finish is a 250 VOC compliant oil-based finish that can be used in all 50 states.

Important Note: Testing for Exotic Hardwood Deck Stains

Exotic hardwoods such as IPE are extremely dense and difficult to penetrate. These wood types when stained will always fade faster the other woods such as Cedar, Redwood, and Pine. Testing will be changed to 1 year instead of 2 years for exotic hardwoods.

IPE Oil Hardwood Stain Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 9

- IPE Oil comes in only a Natural Finish. This is a transparent but pigmented color that really enhance the natural grain of the wood. The finished look after drying was a beautiful rich tones of brown with a hint of red throughout our IPE wood.

Preventing UV Graying at 1 Year Mark: 7

- We only test exotic hardwoods for 1 year. IPE oil had retained most of it’s color. Only about 30% of the color has faded from the wood. The was still a decent amount of color left.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9

- IPE Oil penetrates very well into exotic hardwoods. There wasn’t any peeling of the stain from the wood, even in the high traffic areas.

IPE Oil Finish Review

IPE Oil Finish Review

Cost Per Square Foot: 8

- IPE Oil Finish retails for an expensive $51.99 per gallon. Fortunately the IPE Oil spreads extremely well. Coverage per gallon was over 300 feet per gallon. This is double the coverage on a soft wood such as Cedar or Pressure Treated Pine. We only used 2.5 gallons for the 800 sq. foot test deck.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 8

- Small amounts of algae was present after 2 year around the outside railings and in corners We did not find any mold growing in or on the IPE Oil Stain.

Ease of Application: 8.5

- Coverage is excellent. We applied with a pad applicator, waited 20 minutes and back wiped the excess stain residue. Entire project was completed in about 3 hours.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8.5

- The IPE Oil did not color shift/darken noticeably. No mold/mildew and very little dirt accumulation.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

- Future maintenance would require a wood deck cleaner and some scrubbing to alleviate the wood of dirt. This would be enough prep prior to applying a maintenance coat of stain.

Overall Score IPE Oil Hardwood Stain at 1 Year Period: 8.25

- We liked the IPE Oil overall. Very easy to apply, coverage per gallon was excellent, and the finished look was stunning. This would be a good product for any exotic hardwood that requires annual maintenance.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Mostly Online with a few retail stores: IPE Oil Stain
Cost: $51.99 per Gallon
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Oil Based for Hardwoods
Available Colors: Natural Finish
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1 coat for most hardwood decking surfaces
Coverage Per Gallon: 300+ sq. ft for Exotic Hardwoods
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 4-12 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
Manufacturer: IPE Clip

Test Deck Stats:

Location of Deck: Commerce TWP, MI
When Tested: May 2010
Deck Wood Type: IPE Exotic Wood
Deck Square Footage: 800 Square feet
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 1 Year
Stain Color Used:
Natural Finish


*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

101 Responses to “IPE Oil Hardwood Stain Review”

  1. steve says:

    I have 1500 sq. ft. of ipe decking and have tried at least 5 different brands and types of oils/stains and nothing has lasted even a year. Presently the deck is totally grey. If I use this product do I need to sand to fresh wood to get the great red/brown color or will this oil bring out the natural color as is? I've sanded this deck twice and really, really don't want to do it again unless I know this product works and will last at least a few (3?) years.

    • I would not sand to prep but clean and brighten. This and the stain will restore the color. On exotic hardwoods such as IPE you will need to reapply annually. Nothing will last more then a year on IPE.

    • Gene says:

      I have a deck that is one year old in Florida and has been redone 3X already. It was completely done according to specs. Looks beautiful for a month then within 60 days it deteriorates. I understand the Florida UV is a big problem but this is a complete waste of time.

      • Gene, What type of wood do you have? Certain woods like IPE are extremely dense and they will require a new coat of stain every 6-12 months. This is a result of the wood, not the stain.

        • Gene says:

          It is Abaco wood. Are you saying that IPE oil is the best I can buy? If so then I'll have to think about using some type of 2 part clear coat that will last a few years. The folks I bought the wood from told me that it would not need oiled but every 2-3 years so obvioulsy that's not true. I would encourage anyone building a new deck to not use any of the hardwoods such as Abaco or IPE. I sure wish I had gone with composites/pvc, etc.

          • Gene, I would not use a two part clear coat system. It will peel and be an issue to fix. All exotic hardwoods are difficult to maintain because they are so dense. I am sorry that the dealer lied to you.

    • Jeff says:

      I have an Ipe deck with a Western exposure located in humid, Atlanta GA. It gets full sun from about 1pm on… I know that Cabots wasnt tested here (wondering why??); however 3 years ago, I cleaned the deck with a stiff scrub brush and Cabots Cleaner product; very, very lightly sprayed it off with a pressure sprayer (can seriously damage the wood cells and, therefore, finish integrity if you rely on a pressure washer or hold it too close… especially with Ipe); then, followed it up with a single generous coat of Cabots Australian Timber Oil. This finish seemed to do very well for the first year, faded some in the 2nd, and has been acceptable for the 3rd year… I now need to refinish it, not because of graying, but because I know it should look better… Color is still there from original application, just needs a light cleaning and recoat…. recommend the Mahogany, but there are several color options…. Whatever you choose, use the recommended cleaner to "rediscover" the wood and get good penetration of the oil…. stay away from a pressure washer unless you plan on keeping the tip at least 12 inches away at all times with a low speed nozzle…. good luck

    • Joanne says:

      I am installing a new ipe deck in Atlanta, Ga. We just got delivery of the ipe and it looks like when the manufacturer sealed the end some of that sealer covered about 1 1/2 inch of each side on the top of the board. I am told this will fade, however, I read it could be 2 yrs? Most importantly, my contractor wants to install prior to sealing/oiling all the boards….is this ok? Do we use a oil based or water base sealer?

      • Joanne, best to use an oil based sealer. I would wait and not seal right away. I would also do a test spot over the sealed ends to make sure it blends and looks okay. Many times they use a wax for the ends and it will not blend with the sealer.

  2. Dave says:

    I have a 1000 sf IPE deck, 12 years old. Have tried many cleaning methods. Best is spray applied mixture of Mold Armor and bleach diluted 1 to 1, then pressure wash. IPE oil is the best product I have used; starts to fade after three months on Cape Cod.

    Requires a thorough cleaning each Spring. Looks great when refurbished, but too much work. Wouldn't use IPE in this application again.

  3. Don says:

    Thanks for the information. I was surprised to see your deck is in Commerce MI….that is where I live. I would like to talk to you a little more or if possible actually see your deck now that it is 2012. I'll bring the refreshment of your choice. If possible please contact me Thanks

    • Don, we had to remove your email as it will get picked up from spammers and you will get a bunch of spam. As for the deck, we would need to get permission from the homeowner if it is okay to give out their info. It was also redone I believe last year but I would need to talk to the contractor who helped us with the review to see.

  4. tina shahroody says:

    we are about to use ipe for our decking and are trying to find the best deck treatment to maintain the original look. we do not like the grey weathered look. we can not find comparisons of different treatments. should we stain first?
    penofin has been recommended. this is the best site we have found. thank tou

    • Tina, I would look at one of these three for IPE:

      IPE Oil
      Defy Hardwood Stain
      Armstrong Clark in Mahogany color

      • GLENN RYAN says:

        Just had my deck completed about 3 weeks ago using ipe and have not had the chance to coat it with the ipe oil I purchased. Needless to say I already have a few stains on it from salad dressing and some darkening spots from where the deck chairs are.
        What do you recommend for cleaning and how long to dry prior to apply the ipe oil?

    • Gene says:

      You better reconsider using IPE or any "exotic" hardwood.

  5. John says:

    I installed 1,000sf IPE deck about 7 years ago and the upkeep must be similar to having a boat. I have tired so many different products and every year I find myself pressure washing the deck and trying another product. The pressure washer has done a good job of removing the old product and gray but it tends to leave some splinters. This year I am going to give IPE Oil or Penofin a Try.

    • John, IPE requires annual maintenance due to the extreme density of the wood. Best to use a stain that can be lightly cleaned and re coated as needed.

    • Monti says:

      Don't use penofin, I have 5 gal left in the garage, I used one on the lower part of my deck to see if it would hold up, I made it about 3 months and looked like crap. (Cincinnati summer so not to be of weather) I have tried all kinds of oils and stains with zero luck of looking good for even a spring summer, I'm going to give this Ipe oil a try, I have a 2200 ft deck so it's a big job, I sure hope it works, I'm getting tired of this crap every spring.

      • Monti, IPE requires annual maintenance. The key is finding a stain the will last the season and can be easily cleaned and reapplied.

      • scott says:

        Monti I have a similar size deck in Kansas City, MO. I am in the same situation, I am considering sanding the entire deck to remove all of the different appliacations over the years. Did you sand and have you tried the ipe oil yet?
        scott

        • Charles Douglas says:

          Scott, I was in the same predicament as you. I tried sanding with an industrial unit and the results were not good. I called IPE and they recommended using Benjamine Moore REMOVE stripper. You can adjust the strength by adding more water. It was easy to apply and the results were PERFECT. I sanded afterwards and used IPE Oil for the finish……looks like new.
          Hope this helps. Wish I could add a pic to show you.

  6. Mark says:

    I have a deck that is on the 2nd story of a house. Beneath the deck is a waterproof tpo membrane. I have looked into cleaning / enhancer options … but all have chemicals that I worry will dry out the waterproof membrane underneath the deck. What would you suggest I use to prepare the deck before treating with IPE Oil? I've been thinking of just scrubbing it with a stiff bristle broom – which seems to work well is some test areas, and rinsing with water as there isn't much mold/mildew. Deck is around 4 years old and grey throughout. It was actually installed in two phases – over a few months, by the previous owner and there is a noticeable color difference between the two areas. Was hoping that IPE Oil would even out the color differences. Thoughts?

    • Mark, I do not think a deck cleaner such as Defy or Restore-A-Deck will harm the membrane. As long as the wood is cleaned well then the IPE Oil should even out the color.

  7. Mark says:

    Thanks. I checked with a similar manufacturer and they said that sodium percarbonate is likely to dry the membrane out and recommended not using it and only scrub with a stiff bristle brush. thoughts?

  8. David says:

    Why are some of these reviews done after one year and others after two?

  9. Yoli says:

    Will Ipe oil work on the rough side of a cedar fence (Austin, TX horizontal fence isntalled 2 weeks ago)? I have IPE siding and decks ont he property and trying to match the color of the fence as much as possible and trying to keep things simple. Have tried a couple of stains on the rough side of the cedar and they just don't look natural..any other suggestions?

  10. Bill says:

    I have a customer considering the use of Ipe. They have a concern that any and all of the stain products will turn the deck surface a dark color as opposed to a lighter cedar look. Are there any products that can provide a lighter hue to the deck surface?

  11. Paul says:

    I'm trying to contract a guy to clean my porch/patio (IPE). He said he would pressure wash it, but I thought I was told that would splinter the IPE. I know the pressure can be regulated up or down. Is there an appropriate setting for IPE so the water doesn't harm the wood? Also, how important is it to use a brightner every year? Is it necessary to go over the entire porch/patio w/ IPE Oil or only the faded portions?

    Thx!

    Paul – Dallas, TX

    • Paul, using a deck cleaner or stain stripper while pressure washing is the way to go. Pressure varies depending on how close you are to the wood. If you use a cleaner then you can back off on the pressure and it will not harm the wood. When re applying you should always prep first with a deck cleaner. Best to apply the stain to entire deck.

  12. Paul says:

    Do you know of a professional in Dallas who is skilled w/ cleaning and staining IPE?

  13. John says:

    I am installing an IPE deck in November in Michigan. Can I apply IPE Oil in temps below freezing or should I wait until spring to use IPE Oil?

    • John, definitely wait until Spring. Make sure to clean and brighten before staining.

      • John says:

        Thanks for the advice! What do you recommend I use in the fall – Restore-a-Deck or Defy? Do you sell any of these products? Can I cover the deck this winter with plastic to minimize dirt? The IPE deck will surround a Koi pond and I will need to be concerned about the health of the fish as I wash and brighten the IPE deck in the future. Can I apply and rinse these products by hand near the edge of the Koi pond or do I need to flush the chemicals off the wood after applying (making it problematic with the design of the Koi pond)? Will these chemicals harm Koi? Since you seem knowledgeable about IPE and are offering excellant free advice I would like to speak with you. I am in Ann Arbor…can we speak by phone or can I visit you? If possible, please send contact info to my email address.

        • John, we are deck restoration contractors who offer our own experiences with products. I would try contacting the companies directly on where to buy. We have used the RAD products for prepping around ponds and such. They are relatively safe but you will need to rinse well after application and scrubbing.

  14. IpeDeckOwner says:

    What deck cleaner would you recommend before re-application of Ipe Oil?

  15. Michael Sands says:

    I have an ipe deck and some ipe siding on front of terraces. I like twp 1500 California redwood and want to know what wouould last longer, that or ipe oil?

    • Michael, nothing lasts long on IPE. It will need to be done annually no matter what. TWP though is not designed for exotic hardwoods such as IPE so you may have issues with penetration into your extremely dense wood.

  16. Jeff says:

    I have a client who recenty had their IPE deck sanded, cleaned and stained. A short time after (one week) they had a mason come in to put down a patio. Some of the dust from the stone cutting made its way onto the deck and now the homeowner is having a tough time removing it. She is afraid to use anything other than water and a sponge. Do you think the stain could have still bet tacky and the dust dried into it or does she need to use something more than water? If so can you recommend a cleaner that will take care of the problem?

  17. Dawn says:

    We had a Tigerwood Deck installed two years ago and we've had it stainend with Messmer's UV Protection. I've been doing some research and it seems to me that Ipe Oil may be the superior product. The Messmer's was okay, but looked dull by fall. Would I get any better penetration with Ipe Oil? Would you be able to give me a recommendation of one product over the other? We live in Southern Ontario in Canada. Thanks.

  18. R.L. says:

    I have three medium-sized decks in western Oregon (moderate climate with lots of rain). I can't decide between Messmer's and IPE Oil. I realize that I will need to maintain my ipe once or twice a year to keep up the appearance, but I think the gorgeous look of new ipe is worth the trouble. (After carefully searching suppliers, I ended up with indoor floor-quality decks; stunning!) My decks were installed late last fall in the rain and the rainy and cold weather persisted and prevented a fall application. It is now somewhat grayed-out, but still very nice. My concern about Messmers is that stripping it each year would be more of a hassle than the IPE oil. What do you think? Also, given my situation, what cleaner/brightener product or products would you recommend. I do have a 3100 psi power washer, but worry about using it on my precious ipe. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • R.L, IPE and Messmers perform the same and is reapplied the same way. I would prep with the Restore A Deck Kits then stain with either. Might also want to consider the Armstrong Clark in Mahogany.

  19. PaulinChicago says:

    Splattered some Ipe Oil on my stone patio, tried Mineral Spirits to remove. Didn't work very well. Any ideas on what can clean this product off of stone, or is it too late and I should put my barbeque over the tain so people won't see it???? By the way, my Ipe deck was put in last December and by June it had greyed out. Lot of work to oil it again, but totally worth it. Ipe is a fantastic looking hardwood.

  20. Andrew McLaughlin says:

    I have a 1500' sq/ft IPE Tile Deck (mounted on top of a huge concrete slab) and have been going through the IPE Oil like candy. Easily two-three gallons every six months. It look great oiled and last for about 2-3 months looking stunning and 2-3 months looking ok. It starts greying within 6 months (NE Climate of Washington DC). I hand wash the IPE wood prior to an oil application with powdered laundry detergent, hot water, cotton towels, lots of elbow grease, and spray it off quickly with a high pressure hose (not a pressure washer!). This is followed by a week of drying, followed by a medium coat application of IPE Oil using a micro fiber (cloth) roller. I let the oil soak in for 2-3 days and wipe off the excess (which is not much! Only a few tiles). It works great and takes about 6 hours total (4 hours to clean and two hours to oil). My question is: Where can I get 5 gallon cans of this stuff or 5 one gallon cans at wholesale or discount prices? Do they have 5 gallon cans? I order every year and with shipping, it runs over $300 a year! About $50 a gallon! Thanks, Andrew

  21. Kirk says:

    Installed a Tigerwood deck last year. Stained with what was recommended at the time (McFarland Cascade extreme finish), which I don't like (it was cloudy), and want to redo since it's quite weathered now. A few questions…
    Should I sand and refinish with oil or do a clean and brighten incl pressure wash? Initially thinking of sanding due to slight warpage (I live in the Seattle area and get a lot of rain) but don't really want to sand if I don't have to. If sand….grit size to finish??
    Thinking of either the Ipe oil or was told Penofinf for the finish….thoughts?
    Any overall thoughts on how I should get it back to a bright finish then coat every summer?

  22. Jim says:

    I live in Minnesota and have a cumaru deck. I've sealed my deck with ipe oil and certain sections/boards are still "tacky" and don't seem to want to dry. Does anyone know a solution?

  23. Lydlil says:

    HI, I live in LA and have an Ipe deck which was treated every 6-8 months with Penofin since installation 2 years ago.. We noticed that the beautiful wood grain was still evident on the covered portions of the deck which are dry and have less sun exposure; the areas of sun and rain are now so dark you cannot see the grain, even after a deck wash and retreatment with Penofin.. What is the cause of the poor result after the retreatment (and will it recur with the Ipe oil if I try it?), and is there anything special to do to change to Ipe oil after Penofin?.

  24. Don says:

    We have newly installed ipe deck and exterior wall. To color match the trim, I would like the ipe to be darker, almost espresso dark. Do you have any brand of stain recommendations? Can the stain be added to the Ipe Oil for a single application, or done in two stages? Finally, in subsequent years, will the unstained oil be sufficient, or will I need to stain each time?

    • Don, Ipe Oil is not a dark espresso color. Not sure what hardwood stain will work for you as they are not that dark. IPE Oil is already pre-tinted and you cannot add more color to it.

    • Tish says:

      Don, I see that your post was from 8 weeks ago. Were you able to find a dark brown stain for your IPE? If so, please let me know what brand and color you used…and how it's holding up. Thanks.

  25. Andrew toth says:

    how do you rate cabbots austrialian timber oil on new IPE decking?

  26. Dan says:

    Installing an Ipe deck in Northern Virginia (DC burbs) with curved fascia, which will be made of planed cedar. Do you suggest I stain the cedar with a tinted product to try to match the Ipe Oil finish I plan for the decking/posts?

  27. Jamie says:

    Ii just purchased the ipe oil, brightener, cleaner ands stain remover. I have a dark stain in one spot that I need to remove. Do I start with the cleaner, then stain remover, then brightener, the stain? Is that the order? There is some residual stain from last year

  28. Tom says:

    I am going to install a new ipe deck in the spring. There is a guy over on ipe-deck.com that is selling a product called "Super Shield" that is a fluoropolymer coating designed to last many, many years without chalking, fading, cracking, peeling or allowing oxidation or discoloration or ultraviolet radiation damage of any kind to whatever it is applied to. They claim this will keep Ipe looking new with one application for 20 years. Does anybody know anything about this stuff? Is this real or a load of crap?

  29. Dan says:

    We just had Ipe Oil applied to our new ipe deck. The color is gorgeous, but the finish looks a bit flat/matte. I would not say its anywhere near semi-gloss. Is this normal for ipe oil? The person applying it followed the instructions to a "T", identical to what you have listed here. We're in Virginia, and because the building phase took longer than anticipated, the stain was only applied in November, with 50-55 degree days. Is this the finish we can expect with this product, or can it be shined up to show the beautiful grain. We do plan another application in late Spring, want to know if there's something we should do differently.

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      Dan, yes that is normal and you should never put a “shiny” type finish on outdoor horizontal wood. It will peel, blister and become a huge issue for you to fix down the road.

  30. Fred says:

    I'm building some outdoor cabinets for a covered porch using Ipe. Would Ipe oil be a good choice for a finish on the cabinets? suggestions? Maybe I should have done my research on Ipe before selling the customer on it.

  31. Jeff says:

    Just put in a good sized screened in porch and the flooring and railings are ipe. We live in Northern Virginia and the temperatures are now in the 30-40's. Should we apply a light coat of the oil once we get a day or two of 50 degrees or wait until spring? If we wait until spring, won't the color turn grey/silver? We strongly prefer the present natural brown wood color. We have also installed ipe for the railings on the new deck.

  32. Joe says:

    i have a 10 month old Tigerwood Deck in the Outerbanks of Nc. It has turned silver gray. Willa sealer bring the rich red/brown color back?

    • Joe, the deck cleaner and wood brightener will remove the gray and restore the look. The stains will enhance color and prolong the graying. We like the Armstrong Clark in the Amber tint for Tigerwood hardwood decking.

  33. Chris says:

    What are the differences between IPE Oil and Armstrong Clark in the Amber?
    On an IPE deck in Portland, OR what would be the advantages of one over the other

  34. loren says:

    Thanks for the answers to other's questions. This is probably the easiest to understand, best written q&a. Definitely answered my quesrions. You are very helpful. Patient, too. Hope somehow it makes you money!

  35. Darren says:

    I had a three decks, and two large shade structure built twelve years ago, all made of Ipe hardwood. Finished with Penofin the following years and again seven years ago. We live on the lake in Southern Ontario, the wood takes a real beating; direct sun, wind snow and rain. The entire project still looks great, has required no maintenance but needs a little TLC. I recently power washed the deck and it looks incredible again, my nine year old likes to take the hose to it to marvel at the beauty.

    I don't want to make a huge project out of this, but want to have the "when wet look all the time". What is the best product on the market to oil the wood for maximum beauty and protection?

  36. Marcus says:

    I am thinking of using Fijian Genuine Mahogany decking offered through Green World Lumber in Toronto Ontario. They recommended I try Messmers UV plus. I tested it out on a sample and I don't like the colour – its got an orangy/red tint to it.

    I like the way Linseed oil makes the Genuine mahogany decking look, but it doesn't have UV protection i need.
    Can you recommend a UV/weather protective oil? are their oils with a brownish tone?

    Thanks

    M

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