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IPE Staining Instructions

IPE is a gorgeous Brazilian wood that is coming on strong for use on many exterior wood surfaces. The extremely dense wood is naturally resistant to decay and rot and can last for many years.

To get the full life expectancy and keep the enhanced natural beauty of IPE wood, it is imperative that the wood surface be maintained year after year. IPE wood needs to be cleaned and recoated with a deck stain that is specifically designed for the density of IPE wood.

Measure the wood surface to be stained to calculate the approximate square footage. Check the coverage rates of the IPE Deck Stain product to ensure you buy the proper amount necessary.

There are many colors and tones to choose from. Take into account that the actual color results may vary slightly depending on the age and condition of the IPE wood. Color samples are available for only $6 each.

Never apply deck stain to wood without first prepping the wood. The IPE wood surface should be properly cleaned and prepped before a stain application. Using a product like Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner and Wood Brightener can make prepping your IPE wood surface a breeze. Allow the wood to dry for a day or two after cleaning.

Once the wood surface is clean and dry follow the IPE deck staining instructions depending on the staining product you choose. Open the stain and mix thoroughly with a paint stick. Most of the IPE Deck Stains can be applied using a brush, roller, pump, or airless sprayer. Be sure to cover plants, windows, concrete or any areas that you do not want to get stain on.

Allow the IPE Wood Stain to penetrate the surface for several minutes before wiping away the excess stain. Do not allow any stain to remain puddled up on the surface. All puddles, runs, drips, and excess stain that does not soak into the wood should be wiped up with a dry rag.

Maintaining an IPE wood surface can be made easy with proper IPE staining instructions. A quality IPE Wood Stain will enhance the beauty of your deck or wood surface while giving it lasting protection from the elements.

Staining IPE Questions? Ask Below!

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79 responses to “IPE Staining Instructions”

  1. Linda says:

    Can you apply stain if the IPE wood was treated with oil for years?

  2. Mike B says:

    I have a large IPE deck, 2/3 screened in an 1/3 outside (approx 30ft by 15 ft). It was completed 3-4 yrs ago, and the contractor used Australian timber oil. He didn't know what you noted above, that the oil needs to be wiped away, and had to use steel wool or sand paper to get rid of the excess. It worked well enough I guess.
    The inside still looks pretty good actually. We probably should have stained at least the outisde many times since, but have not. We are looking to do that now. I hired a new painter to do it, who said he will clean and sand (not sure if that is good) the wood and satin with whatever we want to match the insde portion. What would you suggest we use to stain (match) and on the cleaning? Are there any problems with this approach?

  3. ilene says:

    Have an ipe deck coated with One Step and tend to agree with previous comments made about this product(long drying time, covers grain etc.). Now looking to clean and brighten deck and coat it again. Can I move to a new coating if deck is cleaned? I initially chose this one cause the claim was no need to strip in between coatings. Would this be true if I moved to another product?

    • You need to strip if you want to change brands. Brighten as well. Some stains are easy to clean and recoat. The better the stain penetrates, the easier it is to reapply the next coat.

  4. sid says:

    i love the color of ipe when it is wet. will ipe oil give me that finish?

  5. Julio Rodriguez says:

    My IPE is 18 years old and its starting to turn gray. I have never stripped it before. I was going to stripped it with my power washer and apply a clear waterproofing sealer. Will this bring back it's natural color. Suggestions are welcome. The deck only get about 5 hours of sun a day ( 9 AM to 2PM) and we live in new jersey.

  6. Heather says:

    The last four years I have applied Messmer's stain with a brush. This year I am going to try Armstrong Clark's stain and I see everywhere it can be applied with a sponge pad. I'm thinking of trying this. I've also read to wipe any excess off–I haven't had this issue before (I don't think!).

    I'm wondering what I should wipe it with? I'm concerned that a rag would leave "fuzzes" in the wood.
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated :)

  7. Lars says:

    Our IPE deck turns gray in 12 months.
    We've tried Penafin oil.
    What sealer would be best? How long would it last?
    Half-day sun, mold, Hawaii.

  8. Dean says:

    I used Ipe Oil on our deck and have been a little disappointed in the color (fading a fair amount after only a couple months). I am interested in trying Armstrong Clark. Is just cleaning enough or do I need to strip the oil first before applying the new product?

  9. BrandonS says:

    We are installing a new IPE deck and my contractor says we need to finish all four sides before it is installed. I was under the impression that IPE wood needs to be installed with no stain on it and let sit for a few months before stain can be applied? Which is correct?

  10. Pauline says:

    I have an Ipe deck that was finished 7 months ago with Minwax Tung Oil Finish after being sanded down. It does not look good – greying and either dirt or mildew. How would I take the oil off and refinish with Ipe Oil by Deckwise? I live in SC so we have a lot of humidity – is Ipe Oil the right choice? I am open to suggestions. Thank you.

  11. Cork130 says:

    I am still left w/questions. When we purchased Ipe the wood yard said to put a coat of its oil on the wood and it wood be all we would ever need. Not so much the truth. I've had to pressure wash the dirt and mold that built up in the oil off the deck at the end of the first year and then again each year since.

    Now we are looking at staining and sealing the deck. But I'm left undecided as to the best option to choose. I have already pressure washed the deck and just ordered the cleaner and brightener. But what is the best stain/sealent for a pool deck in NE FL. And how long can we expect it to last?


  12. John says:


    I live in southern Ontario Canada and am soon to be building a decent size fence around my yard. The posts and rails are to be 6×6 sienna pt lumber and the vertical boards are to be 1"x10 pine. I want to stain a lite colour like cedar before attaching the boards. Question is which armstong product would you recomend and is staining right away a good idea. The pine is kiln dryed.

  13. Tony D says:

    my pipe was just put down three weeks ago. Is there any issue sealing it now?

  14. Brianna says:

    We had an Ipe deck installed in 2013 and used Ipe Oil. As it faded after just a couple months, we stripped the deck last year and used AC. We didn't like the orange color, so wanted to go back to Ipe Oil. This spring, we stripped it again with Restore A deck and about a week later applied Ipe Oil. It looks awful! Some small areas look nice, but many areas are whitish and there are areas with small spots. What went wrong and how do we fix it? Thanks!

  15. JustInDOzone says:

    Thanks for your helpful review! Regarding prep; I have new Tigerwood that, judging by water beading, has mill glaze. Will the product you recommended (Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner and Wood Brightener) remove this? I had planned to use Penofin 1st Step but it is more difficult to find than expected.

    • It will but you should also let your new Tigerwood weather for 2-3 months first, then use the RAD Kits for the prep.

    • Gerry Butler says:

      Tiger wood trim & railings, Ipe Deck.
      I would also let it sit for 2 months full sun 3 months shaded. I have been thru many of the products talked about here.
      For me I have finally settled on the Penofin products. 1st step & hardwood stain. I love having friends & neighbors tell me how gorges my Deck is. But it took a lot of failed tries & hard, time-consuming work to get here. If there is only one thing you take away from all this. It should be put in the time to get it right the first time & maintain it. Hard wood requires twice a year maintenance. But once you do it a couple of times. It is easy.
      Seven year Old Deck completely striped & redone four times. Good Luck with Yours. Oh also in New York

  16. AZim says:

    I have an IPE deck-about 7 years old-that I power wash every year and re-apply Cabot's Timber Oil. There are some spots that don't get much sun that look like they have "extra" oil that I can't get off either with a cleaner or a power washer or scrub brush. Any thoughts/recommendations? Brand of cleaner?

  17. Jim says:

    How long does it last or how often should this be done?

    • How long does which product last? Typically IPE needs to be reapplied every 6-12 months depending on the stain you use. we find that the Armstrong Clark in Mahogany holds color the longest but it is \”rich\” in color when applied.

  18. Gill D. says:

    Thank you for your post-highly informative.

    just got my deck finished and stained on July 2nd, 2015. In the winter, temp. can get to -40 frequently with over 200 cm of snow. Is there any protection i should use regarding winterizing my deck?

  19. kirby says:

    mold continues to be problem an my brazilian hardwood deck using penifin treatment what is best product to remove mold any ideas to prevent mold

  20. Bailey says:

    Which AC stain color is best for a very dark brown (almost black) on Ipe? Will the same stain color look the same on tigerwood, or would we have to choose a slightly lighter color to get a contrast?

    • AC does not have a very dark brown/black color. Colors will look different on IPE compared to Tigerwood. Not sure though if the contrast will be that different though. Try to get some samples to test.

  21. BestFriends Painting says:

    Is a water based stain or an oil based stain recommended for the Ipe deck wood?

  22. Jevin says:

    What is a good oil to use for a ipe wood deck

  23. Jamie says:

    How long will the treatment last?
    Used Woca before, very expensive and last about 3 months

  24. Laura says:

    Which stain would you recommend for ipe if I want rich brown tones as opposed to red? Thank you

  25. Laura says:

    Thank you for the suggestion on ipe oil. My contractor has messmer's on site, will that also look more brown than red? Thanks again.

  26. elizabeth says:

    Used cabot ato last year. Porch deck appears splotchy in color. Just power washed yesterday. Suggestions for a glossy sheen in a red tone. Previous homeowners had it looking beautiful.

    • You cannot use a gloss finish on exterior wood. It will peel, blister, attack mold, and make it extremely hard for you to remove when it does all this. Try Armstrong Clark in Mahogany after removing all of the Cabot first.

  27. Steve says:

    Just finished a new home with cumaru decking. Two questions: 1) Any specific product you'd suggest that would best enhance the cumaru color? 2) If I want to just let the decking gray, do I need to apply any sealer at all? Thanks.

  28. FoggyCoastCalifornia says:

    In reference to using a hardwood like Cumaru (and ipe?) you advised 'If you want it to gray, a clear sealer will help to prevent mold, etc. "
    Which clear sealers will have the mildecide and not significantly retard the graying?

  29. Nikki says:

    The guy at Dixieline recommended australian timber oil by Cabot. Is that the same or similar to ipe oil? I can't find anyone who sells ipe oil locally but want to use the correct oil . Thanks

  30. Bob G says:

    I've used Ipe Oil on new ipe wood. After 1 month, still beautiful. However, the odor of the ipe oil is very strong, and obnoxious to most people. After 3 weeks the stench got to be tolerable. Is there a stain that does not smell so bad?

  31. Louis says:

    I'm re-staining an IPE deck. I've already stained a small area of the deck a couple of days ago just to see how well it stains. when I begin doing the deck next week should I just start where I left off or should I go over what I already did?

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      Going over will darken those areas so they stand out. Starting where left off should be okay unless you did not leave a very distinct stop, as any overlapping will be noticeable.

  32. Sallyfriedman says:

    We have a deck put in in March 2016. Stain we have for Eli wood is flays seafon ship n shore waterproofing. Is this okay to use

  33. Vicki says:

    We have a brand new IPE ceiling above a covered patio. Live within 2 miles of the coast in San Diego. The ceiling will not get direct sun. Do we need to let it season? Do we need to clean it now or before we finish? Which is best – an oil finish or a stain with a sealer to get the longest life out of the finish. Thanks so much!

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      Use a stain that is designed for your wood type. Ipe Oil or Armstrong Clark in Amber tint. Yes you should clean first.

  34. Dave says:

    I'm build an ipe deck. Checked out the ipe at the local lumber yard. Looks like they had two different batches. The 16ft had a reddish brown color and the 18ft were brown. I'm using both lengths – after staining with a brownish stain – will they look similar?

  35. Tom says:

    Have a new Ipe deck about to be installed. Should it be cleaned/stained before install on all sides?

  36. TLe says:

    Our contractor only used thomasville waterseal waterproofing wood protector on our ipe deck. Will that damage our deck? No oil was used. Also, no end sealer was not used after they cut the ends. Can we apply sealer after a month?

  37. Shane says:

    I have a customer who wants the boards and seams of their Ipe deck to be a noticeably different colour/shade than the interior boards. How can I achieve this and with what stains? I know I have access to Ipe Oil and Messemers.


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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.