IPE Exotic Hardwood Stain Review 4.7/5 (12)

This post was updated on June 1, 2022

2022 IPE & Exotic Hardwood Stain Reviews

Welcome to Deckstainhelp.com, your source for industry insights and tips for the perfect deck stain for Exterior Hardwoods such as IPE, Mahogany, and other Brazillian Decking. IPE & Exotic Hardwood Stains continues to follow the same wear patterns as years before. Leave us a comment if you’ve used IPE& Exotic Hardwood Stains and the type of hardwood and the brand of stain used.


What is Exotic Hardwood Decking?

IPE Stained Deck Review

IPE Stained Deck Review

IPE, tigerwood, cumaru, and mahogany are the most common types of wood that professionals use for exterior wood decking. The huge popularity of these types of woods is their beautiful nature and durability. Although fairly expensive compared to cedar or pressure-treated pine, IPE, and other Brazilian hardwood decks are gorgeous when properly maintained and will not rot or decay like softwoods. Exotic hardwoods can last up to a century making them one of the greenest choices available and having the same fire rating as steel and concrete.

Staining Exotic Hardwood Decking

IPE, and other Brazilian hardwoods are stunning when stained with an IPE Exotic Hardwood Stain. The wood grain is naturally highlighted the wood’s beauty is enhanced and the finished result is like no other decking wood. Water repellency and UV protection are a must to keep the exotic hardwood from graying and fading as well as warping or cracking on your exterior decking.

Exotic hardwoods like IPE are extremely dense and hard to penetrate. Common deck stains should not be used on these types of dense hardwoods as they may not be able to soak into the wood grain. Specially formulated exotic hardwood stains are designed to dive into the dense pores of these woods to give maximum protection against UV rays and water damage. Due to the hard nature of these woods, stains will typically not last more than 1 year. In some cases, exotic hardwood surfaces can benefit from being cleaned and recoated every 6 months. This is just the nature of exotic hardwoods.

Preserving these expensive woods is a must to retain their beauty and using a semi-transparent finish will enhance the wood grain as if it is wet. This makes the wood grain pop and makes for an eye-catching wood surface. IPE Exotic Hardwood Stains can be used on decks, fences, wood railings, and any hardwood furniture that is previously untreated.

IPE Exotic Hardwood Stains like the Restore-A-Deck, Defy Hardwood Stain, and the Armstrong Clark Hardwood Colors are low VOC compliant wood stains that can be shipped to all 50 states.

IPE and Hardwood Photo Gallery

Top-Rated Hardwood Deck Stains

1. Restore-A-Deck Hardwood Stain Rating

Restore A Deck Wood Stain Review

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain can be applied to dry or damp wood. Applying to damp wood allows you the ability to prep and stain on the same day, saving you a tremendous amount of time. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain is an advanced, water-based, semi-transparent stain formulation designed to penetrate deep into wood pores for maximum protection and longevity. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain protects the wood from harmful UV rays and damage caused by water penetration.

Stain Type: Penetrating Semi-Transparent Water-Based. Full Curing Damp Application Stain.

Consumer Star Ratings:  4.7/5 (47)

DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a scale of 1-10): 8.625

See Review Article Here: Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Review

2. Armstrong Clark Hardwood Stain Rating

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain RatingA high solids pigmented finish made from heavy and light-bodied oils specially formulated for application on unpainted hardwoods. Heavy-bodied oils provide water repellency. Extra pigments provide enhanced color retention on hardwoods. Light-bodied oils combined with solvent penetrate into the wood. Armstrong’s Semi-Transparent Hardwood Finishes repels water, retains color longer, and reduces the frequency of re-coats on maintenance-intensive hardwoods.

Stain Type: Penetrating Semi-Transparent, Oil-Based. Paraffin and Curing Oil Blend. Full Curing Stain. 3 Exotic Hardwood colors: Amber, Mahogany, and Black Walnut

Consumer Star Ratings: 4.6/5 (14)

DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a scale of 1-10): 8.60

See Review Article Here: Armstrong Clark Hardwood Stain Review

3. Defy Hardwood Stain Rating

Defy Hardwood Stain ReviewsDEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods is formulated with smaller resins that penetrate hardwoods, or oily softwoods better. If you’re looking for the best stain for cedar decks in a water-based product, then look no further. DEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods is a synthetic, semi-transparent deck sealer specifically formulated for use on Teak, IPE, Mahogany, Tigerwood, and other exotic hardwoods.

Stain Type: Penetrating Semi-Transparent Water-Based. 3 hardwood colors: Natural Pine, Light Walnut, and Cedartone

Consumer Star Ratings: 4.2/5 (6)

DeckStainHelp.com Review (On a scale of 1-10): 8.60

See Review Article Here: Defy Hardwood Stain Review

Top IPE and Exotic Hardwood Stain Ratings

If you have any questions about ipe hardwood deck stains, please ask below.

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Brian B
Brian B
5 months ago

Hi, I have a year one deck that I built using Tigerwood. The supplier that I purchased the wood from said I should use Deckwise Ipe oil in natural on it. I cleaned the deck and applied the oil and instead of the stunningly rich color of the tigerwood it made my deck look brown. I have ready about Penofin Architectural Grade Transparent Hardwood Coating but I have not seen too many reviews on it. I just would like to get my deck back to the way it looked when I built it. Any advice would be appreciated.

Brian B
Brian B
5 months ago

Thank you for the response.

Zach
Zach
8 months ago

Hi There –

I recently purchased a home and looking to make improvements to my damaged hardwood outdoor deck. I am looking to bring my hardwood deck back to its original color which is exactly what is shown in the attached image.

What stain should I use to accomplish this?

Thank you in advance for any guidance you can provide!

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Patrick
Patrick
9 months ago

I am about to install Ipe Rainscreen siding and Jatoba decking and have read through everything here. Am I not supposed to apply anything to the IPE or Jatoba until it sits after install? I was going to coat three sides of the decking as I separate the boards and place on 1x material to acclimate and then apply the deck surface coat once it is installed. I was going to coat all of the IPE siding before installing it as well. I’d like the best color retention I can get as well as ease of recoat in the future. I also like the dark and uniform colored IPE siding I see on all these expensive homes when you Google it. What is the process I should use to coat everything? Can I coat before install? Do I need to run a cleaner or brightener before the initial staining. Really trying to get a rich deep color.

Bob Wolf
Bob Wolf
1 year ago

Building a new house in western Massachusetts in the Berkshire mountains. The builder has installed Angelic Wood decking. It is a very hard wood and gets constant direct sun. The structural posts are Doug Fir. The builder initially applied a coat of Australian oil which was recommended. It has already faded out with the sun and the wood looks very dry. What stain would you recommend for this deck?

Bob Wolf
Bob Wolf
1 year ago

Would you use Restore A Deck Cleaner or Stripper or Both to remove/prep the deck and the ATO?

Sara
Sara
1 year ago

We live in Cleveland, Ohio and just had a set of uncovered, Ipe steps built on our back patio (in September). I understand we have to weather the wood before staining, but because of the weather here and time of year that we are starting the weathering process, we won’t be able to clean, brighten and stain realistically until May at the earliest which will be 8-9 months. I’m worried the wood will be very gray by then.

We love the current dark look of the new wood. Will a cleaner/brightener/stain bring it back close to the original color even if we have to wait 9 months before doing it? Also, can you recommend a color that will bring it back close to the original “unweathered” color at that point? We were planing to use AC, unless you recommend something else for our conditions. Thanks!

Sara
Sara
1 year ago
Reply to  Sara

Now husband is considering RAD instead of AC because RAD could also be used on a teak table we have. If you could suggest a RAD color for the ipe that would resemble the original unweathered color as well it would be appreciated.

Sandi
Sandi
1 year ago

We recently installed an IPE deck. I want to oil it so that it keeps its natural color. I was going to buy IPE oil, but i see you don’t have tha5 listed as one of the top items. Can you tell me why?

Jim
Jim
1 year ago

We have a 5 year old ipe deck. We have always used ipe oil as recommended by the supplier of the ipe. We get a lot of sun and the ipe oil does not last long. I worry about using another product that may peel like some stains do. Are any of these products similar to the ipe oil as far as application and initial results? Also, every spring we must pressure wash and scrub. Do any of these products make that process any easier annually? Thank you!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
1 year ago

Hi – I have an IPE deck that was installed and stained in March 2020. I would like to re-stain it but with a different, darker color (thinking of AC black walnut or rustic brown). What’s the process for this? Also, should I stick to the hardwood stains as opposed to semi-transparent?

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Elizabeth
Elizabeth
1 year ago

Thanks! and to confirm, does the original stain need to be removed or can it be applied over it?

John Bernard
John Bernard
1 year ago

Where do I buy a product to do a brand new Mahogany deck? I need it for tomorrow!

Amanda
Amanda
1 year ago

I have wood loungers that are five years old made of Tazalam wood (a Mexican wood similar to mahogany or Ipe I think). They have a water based stain and sealer on them from two years ago, and I’m considering the RAD strip, clean, and stain process. Which color do you recommend to maintain the reddish tones in the wood? The light walnut looks a bit golden. OR would you suggest the Armstrong Clark in Mahogany? Does the Armstrong Clark semi transparent stain allow for a damp application like the RAD process so that I could complete the project in one day? Thank you!

Amanda
Amanda
1 year ago

So so helpful. Thanks very much, and stay well 😉

Giorgios
Giorgios
1 year ago

I’ve used Ready Seal on our Ipe deck three times now: Nov 2019, when new; Apr 2020; Nov 2020. It looked great when stained, but after 6 months it gets very faded. I hand applied the oil base product with a sheep wool type applicator, applying a thin even coat. I had no issues with it not drying. I like that all I need to do is clean. before resealing, or eventually doing a brightener.

I’d like to find something that will hold up longer. We are elevation of 3100′. Very hot 90+ degree summers and cold and some snow in winter. Do you have experience with any of these three products on this page lasting longer, and still being relatively easy to re-apply?
I’m told that the lighter colored stains don’t have much UV protection ability.

Giorgios
Giorgios
1 year ago

I’m confused…. I looked at the User instructions for Armstrong Clark:
“USE:For older unpainted wood surfaces such as: decks, siding, shakes and shingles, fences, and log homes where color retention, water repellency and wood conditioning are the desired goal. NOT for new wood less than 1 year old. NOT for sitting surfaces nor furniture. NOT for exotic hardwoods

paul hurlbut
paul hurlbut
2 years ago

I have ( 2) 3 year old Mahogany decks. It was stained 3 years ago with Behr deck stain(garbage). I redid the deck with the restore-a-deck system, cleaner, brightener and stain. Once it was done with in a few days we noticed all the grain on the wood standing up. I sent restore-a-deck the question and they said its because the wood oxidized.
At the same time I had a brand new piece of mahogany I made a hand rail out of. Didn’t do any prep and used the same stain. It did the same thing to the grain. So I know it was not the cleaning process but the stain.
So 2 questions, how do I get the surface smooth again and what other product should I use on my other deck. I just cleaned the deck with the restore-a-deck cleaner and brightener but scared to use their stain.

Thanks,

Paul

paul hurlbut
paul hurlbut
2 years ago

so whats the problem and answer. If it is oxidation what causes it and how to remedy

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

Well the grain is up high enough to cause splinters. Is there something better to use, like a penetrating oil

Yana
Yana
2 years ago

Armstrong Clark is the only one of your 3 top-rated stains for mahogany that is oil-based; other two are water-based. And Armstrong Clark is only sold online. Is there another comparable OIL-BASED IPE stain that’s sold retail, i.e. so I can go pick it up and not pay $$$ for shipping? Sure hope so. I’m finding your product reviews immensely helpful. Thank!

Matt
Matt
2 years ago

Hello
Have a client with a ironwood deck that has been using Sherwin Williams superdeck exotic stain natural color, they say it’s only lasting one year in the Elements and then gets blotchy some areas lifting and and dull looking
Is this common for this ironwood/ superdeck convo to need yearly applications or is there a better recommended product for this application?

matt
matt
2 years ago

ok thanks for reply and confirmation! do you think i would run into any issues changing to one of the above as deck was previously done in super deck and still has finish on it?

William MacFadyen
William MacFadyen
2 years ago

Thanks for this site! We have a 8 month old mahogany deck and would like to have it cleaned and then put a clear finish on to preserve and enhance the natural mahogany. I would prefer oil-based, as i am old school and believe that would have a chance to soak in rather than be a skin likely to peel off. But it is hard to find a true “Clear” finish, the PPG Proluxe we bought at Ben Moore sold as “Natural” turned out to be hideous orange color we are now stuck with on our cedar rails, I don’t want to do that to my mahogany deck. Is there a good, CLEAR oil that will not turn black and will treat my deck? ( We are aware that a clear oil will darken, that’s fine,but without pigments)

Adam
Adam
2 years ago

Hi
I live in NY (not upstate) I have a large tigerwood deck (1600) sq ft. I am looking for a product that will enhance not change the color too much. I made the mistake in incorrectly using deckwise ipe oil the first time (deck is one yr old). I put it on too thick and didn’t wipe it off. I have let it weather and I am now using TSP to clean and get all the residual off. I used a little wolman deck and fence brightener to see if that would work to get it back to its original appearance but when wet it still seems darker than it was. The TSP seems to be cleaning it but would the IPE oil still be darkening it? I thought about having a floor guy come and screening the whole deck to start over again but I am not sure if that is a good idea. It is a LOT of deck for me to handle alone. I was thinking of using Messmers based on what I have read but still not sure.

So again looking for the following for Northeast conditions

Long lasting
Lighter/natural looking stain
Easy reapplication

Should I have it sanded?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Adam

Adam
Adam
2 years ago

Thanks for the quick response! Should I continue to use the TSP or get something else to strip and brighten? If so what would you recommend? Any preference/differences between Defy and Messemers? Very much appreciated!

Charles Pascarelli
Charles Pascarelli
2 years ago

We have Ipe decking that we would like to clean and stain and then maintain properly. We have not done anything with the deck since moving into our home in 2013. The areas that have been in the sun have greyed while there are some areas that are still brown. How do you recommend that we clean, stain and care for our deck? We would like for it to be returned to the darker brown color if possible. Product recommendations are most appreciated.

Charles Pascarelli
Charles Pascarelli
2 years ago

Fantastic!! Thank you. A deck cleaner and brightener such as “Restore-A-Deck?”

Charles Pascarelli
Charles Pascarelli
2 years ago

Thank you. Last question: Is there a maintenance product we should apply annually?

ken folkman
ken folkman
2 years ago

I have a 18 year old IPE deck. I live in Fla and so it is exposed to sun year round and rainy. I have always used a clear or natural after pressure washing it once a year. Some areas are more gray or brown , by no means the original color. I was thinking of using a solid this year and make it cherry which is closest to the original color. I was recommended to use Superdeck Exotic Hardwood by Duckback ?? Does anyone have any recommendations or thoughts on this product, process, or even a better idea

Thanks

John
John
3 years ago

I have used Messmers UV Natural for my Ipe deck in the past. It seems to work fine. I just pressure washed everything again after a few years and the wood/grain looks great. Is there a more transparent oil that would keep the wood grain more visible? Thank you….

John
John
3 years ago

OK. Thank you. But according to your reviews you prefer RAD, AC or Defy? Which of these would result in the most natural finish?

Jeffrey Bowers
Jeffrey Bowers
3 years ago

I’ve just installed just milled African Mahogany vertical siding to my SoCal home very close to the beach. The single story wall faces south. I am mostly concerned about longevity, though I want to enhance (and not hide) the look of this beautiful wood. Ease of application is not weighted as much for me as I’d rather pay up front to have the better chance of preservation. I have read the articles and wondering, given these conditions, what finish product you’d choose between Restore-A-Deck, Armstrong Clark and Defy? Messmers also had a good review on your site.

Jeffrey Bowers
Jeffrey Bowers
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeffrey Bowers

Also – in reading manufacturer pages they generally advise waiting 3-6 months so hardwood can age, prior to application. Agree?

GuyM
GuyM
4 years ago

I moved into a house that has dark stained ipe wood railings. They need to be cleaned and restained . I would like to keep them the same color. Any idea how i can figure this out. Can i use a product like Armstrong Clark black walnut over the existing similar color stain once I’ve properly prepped the wood?

Guy M
Guy M
4 years ago

Thanks for the quick reply. There is a dark stain on the ipe wood railings now, not sure what it is oil or water, what brand stripper, brightener, stain would work best? I’m thinking about keeping them dark. Thanks

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Guy M
Guy M
4 years ago

Question, i just read the back of RAD stripper label it says “will not remove solid color opaque stain” from the pics i sent isn’t this what i have? Thanks

Deck guy in California
Deck guy in California
4 years ago

If Ipe deck is covered so that it gets little sun, will this be an issue? Just sanded and stained using Armstrong hardwood stain and it the Ipe oils keep coming up. The owner hosed it and it caused spotting. What do you recommend?

Joy Brown
Joy Brown
4 years ago

We are replacing our deck this summer and have made the amazing discover of IOE woods. Reading your article
In staining the IPE wood deck, did I understand you correctly that this deck will need to be restrained every year? This can become quite expensive a deck guy for an annual maintenance or sanding and staining right?
Could you please give me a short list of the best and acceptable stains for this particular wood. Maybe I can find the stain locally.
Is there a finish that needs to be applied also?

John Knudson
John Knudson
5 years ago

I have a 10 year old massarunaba(sp?) deck in upstate NY. I have used Messmers UV Plus Natural for Hardwoods every 2-3 years. Part of the deck is exposed to sun and turns grey quickly, sheltered portion less so. I want to return the deck to its original color. I’m considering RAD Stripper/Brightener, then Armstrong Clark semi transparent Mahogany stain. Comments or suggestions please!

John
John
5 years ago

Thank you for the prompt response.

Ankoor
Ankoor
5 years ago

Have an ipe deck that the previous homeowner used a solid brown stain on. Pealing throughout and looks terrible. Want to get solid stain removed but none of contractors that gave prices seem to agree on method. Any suggestions? One suggested using deck stain stripper, sanding and power washing. Will that damage wood? Thinking of using penofin after.

Ankoor
Ankoor
5 years ago

Shpupd install the contractor to sand a certain. Way or use a type of sander? Also, what grit sandpaper should he use?

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Dave M
5 years ago

I have a hardwood deck that has a stain in decent shape. A bit of peeling. My plan is to clean the deck than stain. Just not sure because I do not know brand of stain on deck if it should be stripped. I can down load pics if that would help

Dave M
Dave M
5 years ago

Here are pics Clearly not a photographer. Thankful for any thoughts. Deck on Long Island

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Dave M
Dave M
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave M

Trying on pics. Lol

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Gill D
Gill D
5 years ago

Hi there-not sure if my post was submitted. Built an ipe deck in july 2015, and it was stained a few days later (temp 85 deg when stained)-stunning deck. By Sept the stain was fading and in April 2016 stain was gone. We restain it that month, temp about 50 degrees. Again, by Sept stain was fading. We get about 8 hrs of sun on the deck from Jun-end Aug, snow from end Nov-Apr. Now that the snow is melting, we see the stain has vanished. Not sure of the product the guys used. But we live in Montreal-would the weather-heat and snow (-20deg in winter)- have anything to do with it? Our summers ave around 80-85deg, of course it’s much hotter on the deck. I’ve heard that sometimes you have to let the deck dry for over a week after power washing, and to sand and oil a few times before when staining it. Do we have to do this process twice a year for the rest of our deck life? I had no idea that this would be so difficult to maintain. When i had the deck built, i was looking forward to LESS maintenanc, guess that’s NOT gonna happen. The IPE wood and stain is absolutely gorgeous!!! But when the stain fades-well-not so pretty on the eyss.
I will submit some pics.
Thanks for your help and your wonderful site.

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scott
scott
5 years ago

That is a beautiful deck in the picture. What stain was used? I have a 3 year old IPE deck. What should I use?

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