Maintaining an exotic hardwood such as Ipe requires a little more patience and the proper deck stain. The vital key to consider when choosing a lasting finish is the density of the wood. This determines how deep the stain will be able to penetrate.
Ipe decking is extremely dense and tough for a deck stain to penetrate. On newer Ipe wood a deck stain may only penetrate as little as a few millimeters. For this reason, any type of deck stain will only last about a year, so regular maintenance definitely comes into play.
Most decks stains are too low in resins and pigment solids to penetrate Ipe wood and wouldn’t last long or be very appealing. Special deck stains specifically designed for Ipe are necessary to get as much protection as possible. Ipe deck stains are designed to give a more lasting and maintainable finish. They are rich in oil alkyd resins that are more effective when dealing with limited penetration from dense wood.
Once the proper exotic hardwood deck stain is found, it’s best to use a stain pad to push the stain into the wood. After the stain sits on the wood for a few minutes it’s important to wipe away any excess stain that has gathered on the surface. Not doing so will result in a poor appearance and conditions that will cause the hardwood stain to fail before it should.
Even with a quality hardwood Ipe deck stain, yearly maintenance is still necessary. That’s just the nature of the beast when dealing with an Ipe deck. Maintenance can be done by lightly washing the deck with a deck cleaner and allowing it to dry. A thin maintenance coat of the same Ipe deck stain can then be applied in the manner mentioned above.
Ipe wood makes for some of the most beautiful decks but they do require a little more maintenance than other types of wood decking. Using the proper hardwood deck stain will give you better lasting results.
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