IPE Hardwoood Stain Reviews and Pro Tips 2024  4.7/5 (13)

This post was updated on May 14, 2024

Hi, I am Scott Paul, a leading exterior restoration contractor and business owner with over 30 years of experience in exterior IPE wood staining. My IPE reviews, and help tips are based on my history as a wood restoration contractor and actual hands-on testing, all designed to present you with the top product choices. See here for more info about me.

My IPE Hardwood Stain Reviews

Hi, Welcome to my Deckstainhelp.com website, your source for industry insights and tips for the perfect deck stain for Exterior Hardwoods such as IPE, Mahogany, and other Brazilian decking. IPE Hardwood Stains continue to follow the same wear patterns as years before, as they require annual reapplication in most scenarios. Leave me a comment on whether you’ve used IPE hardwood stains, what type of hardwood, and what stain brand you used.

What is IEP Hardwood Decking?

IPE Stained Deck Review

IPE Stained Deck Review

IPE is one of the most common types of wood that professionals use for exterior hardwood decking. Its beautiful nature and durability explain its massive popularity. 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. IPE 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 IPE 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, fading, 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 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 complex nature of these woods, stains will typically not last more than one 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 were 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, such as Restore-A-Deck, TWP Natural Effect Hardwood Stain, and Armstrong Clark Hardwood Colors, are low VOC compliant and can be shipped to all 50 states.

IPE Prep and Stain Tips

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 wood deck cleaner and allowing it to dry. As mentioned above, a thin maintenance coat of the same Ipe deck stain can be applied.

When applying an IPE stain, ensure that only as much of the stain as the wood will absorb. Do not over-apply, as we have found that this will lead to a sticky mess and failure of teh deck stain.

Ipe wood makes for some of the most beautiful decks, but they require a little more maintenance than other types of wood decking. Using the proper hardwood deck stain will give you better lasting results.

IPE and Hardwood Photo Gallery

My Top-Rated IPE Hardwood Stains

1. Restore-A-Deck IPE Stain Rating

Restore A Deck Wood Stain Review

  • My favorite IPE Hardwood stain is it can be prepped and stained on the same day.

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain can be applied to dry or damp wood. Applying it to damp wood allows you 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. It 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:   4.6/5 (50)

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

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

2. Armstrong Clark IPE Stain Rating

Armstrong Clark Wood Stain Rating

  • My favorite IPE and Hardwood oil-based penetrating wood stain.

A high-solid pigmented finish made from heavy and light-bodied oils specially formulated for application on unpainted hardwoods. Heavy-bodied oils provide water repellency. Extra pigments enhance color retention on hardwoods. Light-bodied oils combined with solvent penetrate into the wood. Armstrong’s Semi-Transparent Hardwood Finishes repel water, retain color longer, and reduce the frequency of recoats 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 Rating (On a scale of 1-10): 8.60

See My Review Article Here: Armstrong Clark Hardwood Stain Review

3. TWP Natural Effect IPE Stain Rating

  • My longest-lasting IPE and Hardwood stain!

TWP® Natural Effect utilizes state-of-the-art European waterborne technology and is designed to revolutionize exterior wood maintenance while significantly enhancing performance!

Spend more time enjoying your investment and less time maintaining it with TWP Natural Effect.

Natural Effect is superior to beautifying and protecting your exterior wood investment!

Stain Type: Penetrating Semi-Transparent Water-Based. 6 hardwood colors: Chestnut, Teak, Walnut, Dark Walnut, Black ebony, and Mahogany

Consumer Star Ratings:  4.9/5 (2)

DeckStainHelp.com Rating (On a scale of 1-10): 9.2

See My Review Article Here: TWP Natural Effect Hardwood Stain Review

Please ask me if you have any questions about ipe hardwood deck stains.

My Pro IPE Hardwood Deck Stain Video – DeckStainHelp.com

Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites. All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.

Related Deck Stain Help Articles & Reviews

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
108 Comments
newest
oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fred
Fred
3 months ago

I am looking for the best IPE finish after cleaning and sanding a four year old Ipe deck. These brands mention different types of oils are used without mentioning specifically the names of the oils. I am wondering how a tung oil stain like Nova Exoshield or just tung oil would compare to Armstrong Clark and if Armstrong Clark contains tung or linseed oil.

Fran
Fran
10 months ago

I used your Mahogany stain on my Epi, but too much was used, I wiped off as much off as possible, but it still is not drying & puddles a bit. It is an enclosed screened porch in NC. How can I take more off, what can I use without getting completely frustrated and stained myself. Thank you. Fran on 6-26-23

Lynne Smith
Lynne Smith
11 months ago

I stripped & brightened a portion of my deck today. Do I need to redo the areas that are still blackish? The wood is IPE.

IMG_2294.jpeg
chuck
chuck
11 months ago

i have a mahogany deck and have only used Penofin Brazilian Rosewood Oil to treat and maintain it. i have done it annually for the past 9 years. I too have experienced the darkening of the wood, typically within the summer following the application. I have always used the Penofin restorer and brightener when prepping for the Oil Is there a better option to restoring and then maintaining my deck

LynneS
LynneS
11 months ago

Hello. I have an IPE deck. In the past, we have used Penofin oil on it. It only looks good for about 4 months before turning gray. Seems like too much work for 4 months! I’ve been reading your articles and comments. Is there much difference between the AC & RAD products? The water based RAD sounds nicer to use and the fact I can apply when wet is a plus, so leaning towards that option. I need to strip & brighten before staining, correct? If I want as close to the natural colour as possible, which stain do you recommend?

(Other info: we live in northern Virginia, parts of the deck is mostly shaded while other parts are in the sun about 8 hours a day.)

Thank you so much for your help.

LynneS
LynneS
11 months ago

Thank you!

LynneS
LynneS
11 months ago

May I ask one more question? My deck with steps is about 1140SF. Will one strip / brighten kit be enough (5 gal each)? And, since it is IPE — very dense — how many gallons RAD stain will I need?

Dawn Thomas
Dawn Thomas
1 year ago

I have a mahogany t&g porch floor on my covered front porch. I have used timber oil for years. It always looks dirty and dull and flat. I was the gorgeous look it could offer.

What should I do to change to one of the products you recommend . Should I sand? Which product would be best. Thank you.

Mark P
Mark P
1 year ago

Hi Scott – mahogany deck and have used the attached stain for 10 years – 2 years they stopped making it – any other brand you could recommend and do I have to strip it (hope not) –

DD9095BA-07CC-4E91-9212-4CD76EA1F43B.jpeg
275C1EF2-6F8F-470C-B8AF-0A84C733C098.jpeg
Brian B
Brian B
1 year 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
1 year ago

Thank you for the response.

Zach
Zach
2 years 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!

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 3.44.02 PM.png
Patrick
Patrick
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Sara
Sara
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
2 years 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?

IMG_2125.jpg
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
2 years ago

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

John Bernard
John Bernard
2 years ago

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

Amanda
Amanda
3 years 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
3 years ago

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

Giorgios
Giorgios
3 years 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
3 years 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
3 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
3 years ago

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

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

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

Yana
Yana
3 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
3 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 years ago

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

Charles Pascarelli
Charles Pascarelli
4 years ago

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

ken folkman
ken folkman
4 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

108
0
Questions or leave a review, please comment!x