IPE Staining Instructions 5/5 (16)

This post was updated on May 2, 2022

IPE Deck Staining Tips

DeckStainHelp.com has become the Internet’s go-to site for all things wood deck restoration related. As with all different types of wood surfaces, we recommend you properly prep your IPE wood before staining with a penetrating exotic hardwood stain. Feel free to leave us a comment with pictures and any questions you may have below.


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 is 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 the 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. Make sure to saturate oil rags in water and lay flat to dry outdoors.

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.

Note: Always follow the directions of the stain manufacturer that you choose as they do differ between brands.

Top IPE and Exotic Hardwood Stain Ratings for 2022

1. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain
2. Armstrong Clark Wood Stain
3. Defy Hardwood/Cedar Stain

IPE and Hardwood Stained Photos

Staining IPE Questions? Ask Below!

The Best IPE Hardwood Deck Stain Video – DeckStainHelp.com


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Jen
Jen
2 months ago

If the desired look is the natural beautiful honey color of the original ipe on a deck, what is the difference in results (or pros/cons) between using Penofin penetrating oil vs Armstrong Clark stain vs TWP natural 1530. Also what is the difference in general between “oil” and “stain” — I feel like they are used interchangeably in the comments. We have a new deck installed 5 months ago not yet treated. It is now summer in seattle, and wondering what we need to do to get this results and the timeframe (it is starting to lighten).

Sarah
Sarah
2 months ago

I purchased 2 gallons of IPE oil but only ended up using a little more than 1 gallon. Can the extra be saved for next year? or should I just dispose of it?

Sharon B
Sharon B
3 months ago

Ack!
I hand sanded my grey, mostly all day sunny, 20yo IPE deck (1200sf) in Northern Virginia, with 120/220 grit paper BEFORE cleaning it, to prevent tiny splinters from getting into kids feet/hands. feels good! I need now to clean and brighten. Has had no stain on it for many years. I was given 2gals IPE Oil.
Do I have to sand again after cleaning/brightening😟? Can i use power washer? Should I use RAD or TWP stains instead? Do not want solid stain. How much do I need of everything?
LOVE LOVE LOVE this site!

Leslie Swartz-Williams
Leslie Swartz-Williams
3 months ago

I am trying to restore a neglected ipe deck. it had 2 different, probably incompatible stains on it. I have several concerns. I used the RAD stripper, followed by RAD neutralizer/brightener. There were “fuzzies” on the wood where it was previously too aggressively power washed. I sanded the wood to remove the fuzzies, with partial success. Do I need to wait and re-brighten before staining? I also have black streaks in some areas that are still notable despite 3 strippings and neutralizing. Is this a black mold? The wood has also cracked. Is there anything I can or should do for this? I live in central MN and the deck is on the north side of the house where mildew is quite a problem. I love the color when it is wet. Recommendations?

PS The RAD neutralizer said to wash down for 20-30 minutes, but didn’t clarify what size area that was for. I did my deck in 4 sections, rinsed each section for about 30 minutes per directions, and then realized that i’d rinsed my 13×13 ft deck for nearly 2 hours!!

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Carrie
Carrie
3 months ago

We have two Ipe decks in the front of our home. After two years, the decks have weathered to a gray color as shown in one of the photos. You can see under the eaves nearest the front door, some of the stain remains. The other photo shows the original stain color before it turned gray. What do you recommend we do to maintain one consistent color, knowing that the exposed part of the deck will weather faster than the decking under the eaves? Do you have recommendations on how best to prep the deck to restain it and keep it that way? What products do you recommend? We live in the Pacific NW so weather may be a factor. I prefer the brownish rosewood color to the gray, but is it easier to maintain by letting it go gray?

Carrie
Carrie
3 months ago

Thank you for the helpful information.

Jay
Jay
4 months ago

We had our deck powerwashed close to the wood a few days ago and plan to stain using either RAD or Armstrong. I have attached 2 photos of the deck + a 3rd photo of the porch ceiling which is the color we’d like to restore to.

A few questions please:
1) Do you think we should use RAD stripper + brightener first based on these photos? Unsure if the deck has been stained in the past.
2) As for the stain, do you have a recommendation on which color for the RAD semi-transparent stain to match picture #3? We were thinking Natural.
3) If we go with Armstrong instead, do you have a color recommendation?

Thanks!

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Kevin Peck
Kevin Peck
4 months ago

Looking for advice on next steps on prepping ipe decking. We are refinishing a neglected section of decking. So far, sprayed and scrubbed with sodium percarbonate, rinsed and 1x treated with oxalic acid. There are a lot of light spots from flower pots along one edge (photo is wet state after acid). Would it be better to apply acid one or two additional times or sand to try and blend light spots?

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Kevin Peck
Kevin Peck
4 months ago

The deck only had it’s mill finish on it and that was 10yrs+ ago. It was weathered and silver colored prior to Sunday’s treatment. This is a photo from today, after it dried.

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Kevin Peck
Kevin Peck
4 months ago

Thanks for the advise. I just want sure if some additional acid (maybe citric) would help help prior to the sanding. I appreciate the input.

Dale
Dale
4 months ago

I have a 250 sq foot IPE deck. One year ago it was installed new and Perofin oil was used. The deck scratches very easily and when it rains it leaves water marks. It has been one year now and my IPE deck looks awful. I kind of wished I put Trex in. I am going to use Deckwise cleaner and maybe brightner. Not sure if I have to sand it with 80 grit. I was told to try Deckwise IPE oil but I am worried it will be the same as the Perofin oil. How can I get that rich IPE look without the scratch marks. It scratches so easily and do I have to do this every single year.

Rebecca Cafferata
Rebecca Cafferata
6 months ago

I am using DeckWise cleaner and brightener followed by Ipe Oil on our ipe deck furniture. It has been awhile since this was done (and a hurricane in between) so it looks like it needs 2 coats. How long should we wait to apply a second coat of ipe oil?

Sunderlin Sam
Sunderlin Sam
8 months ago

Is there anyway to stain IPE to achieve the driftwood gray color it gets when left out in the weather untreated? We have enough IPE to build a small set of stairs in a room with with white oak flooring and are trying to get the color of the IPE to compliment the oak which has a bit of a driftwood colored wash. Thanks!

Bayani
Bayani
1 year ago

Can you share all the steps to get my IPE decking to look exactly like image 4 (semi-transparent) and 11 (IPESidig) you have posted on your site?

Thank you

Lonnie cowart
Lonnie cowart
1 year ago

I applied ipe oil on my 20 year old deck made of Brazilian cherry wood after cleaning. However the are z as number of splotches mostly on area where plant pots were. Can I apply an oil based stain like minwax penetrating stain red mahogany to provide color back and eliminate splotchy areas?

Howard Mantel
Howard Mantel
1 year ago

About 5 days ago my brand new beautiful IPE deck was finished. It looked like it could be in a magazine. I had a painter come to stain it in a clear coat. I didn’t want it to darken that much and he said it wouldn’t. He used TWP 1500 Clear. It’s now 3 days later and the deck is dry and is a very dark color mostly red and the stain didn’t take all the way and you can see wet spots throughout. It now looks like a cheap beat-up deck. This deck was crazy money to build and now it looks terrible. Can something be done to get it back to its original look? Can it be sanded? Will it look the same if I sanded it? I’m lost what to do. Any suggestions is much appreciated. Thanks!

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

Hi – My new and newly stained ipe deck surface scratches if you breathe on it. I followed all your excellent advice, used restore-a-deck to prep it,both bleach and cleaner, had enough dry days to stain, waited for a while to put furniture on it… and it seems every time something is dragged, I get a surface scratch. Some of them big and ugly. I don’t think the ipe itself is scratched, but it’s sure discouraged me from ever staining again. I keep reading you can’t scratch these decks.. but in my case it’s a mess. What did I do wrong? I used Messmer IPE hardwood natural stain.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

Here you go. Some from furniture movement, some from soap with some bleach, the big wear spot I have no idea.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

sorry, pix didn’t load. Will post one at a time

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Bill
Bill
1 year ago

bleach stain

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Bill
Bill
1 year ago

No, I did not use bleach. While pressure washing the house, the lovely gents who are painting the house dripped a little of the soap/solution which i assume includes bleach or a lightener of some kind….. I guess i used the word ‘bleach” inaccurately. This was the result. In another spot like this, prior to staining, I had similarly dripped a little of the restore-a-deck part 2 mixture that lightens the deck. That left a lightened mark like this that never smoothed out when the rest of it was done.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

furniture moved

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Bill
Bill
1 year ago

yes, this was the work of lovely gents who are painting the house.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

thanks! The painters have suggested sanded and patching… but I worry that will look worse. Interesting to hear Messmer’s described as soft. Good to know, thanks!

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

unknown source

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Dale
Dale
4 months ago

The same thing happened to me and yes it was cured. This is just what IPE does. I moved some furniture on it too. Penofin oil was used on my new deck. Furniture was put on the deck one month later. Also when it rained it left water marks. Its been a year now and I have to decide what to do. Someone told me to try Deckwise cleaner and brighter then their IPE oil.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dale
JM 206
JM 206
1 year ago

I have an existing ipe deck. My question is when I am applying the penofin oil stain on the deck again, can I stain the whole deck at 160 square feet all at once and then come back after 30 min to wipe off the excess oil? Will I leave footprints trekking over the stained boards to wipe off the excess oil? Is it a better process to do a couple boards at a time so I can reach to wipe off excess without stepping on stained deck boards? My goal is to be efficient. Thanks in advance.

Curtis in CT
Curtis in CT
1 year ago

I have a mahogany deck that I just stripped and brightened with restore-a-deck product. The wood looks very light after this process. I have the restore-a-deck Natural semi-transparent stain. I’m thinking this will not darken the wood enough to that rich mahogany reddish/brown color. Would the restore-a-deck light walnut or dark walnut be better to use to get that reddish/brown look?

David in Canada
David in Canada
1 year ago

I just had a new IPE deck built. I love the natural color. If I use IPE oil on it, it will darken significantly. If I do nothing, it will weather to grey. How do I keep the original unfinished color?

Alex Coss
Alex Coss
1 year ago

I’m considering using IPE for my rooftop decking and siding. I’ve seem many pictures of IPE siding/decking and the look seems to vary quite a bit. I know IPE wood varies in color but I want a more consistent darker look throughout. Can I use a stain to achieve a more uniform color on IPE or will it still have lots of color variations after staining it? Thanks!

Alex C.
Los Angeles, CA

Alex Coss
Alex Coss
1 year ago

Thanks for your response. Several contractors have told me different things about IPE staining. Mostly that you can’t stain it because the stain won’t penetrate. Which is true? Can you really stain IPE of not really?

Alex Coss
Alex Coss
1 year ago

Got it. Can you tell me which stained was used in the first photo of the article link you posted. That’s the color I like! Thank you.

Andrea
Andrea
1 year ago

My deck is one year old and I would like advice on prepping techniques and stain suggestions. It is a bit stained from water. Wanted to also confirm the steps and get product reco.
1. Powerwash first
2. sand
3. Apply a cleaner
4. Apply a brightener
5. Stain
I am looking for a more golden finish than the original red. Is that possible? Thank you.

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Marie
Marie
2 years ago

We have a 2 year old unstained Ipe deck. I love the grey color but would also like to oil/stain it for longevity (and I believe it helps with wet spots/stains?)
What product should I use?

Lisa
Lisa
2 years ago

Why is the Penofin hardwood stain appearing spotty? If you zoom in you’ll see some spots look dry.

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Lisa
Lisa
2 years ago

We aren’t done staining other side of the deck. Do you suggest re-applying to those areas where it appears to have over absorbed the stain, letting sit a few minutes then wiping?

Zach
Zach
2 years ago

I will be installing new ipe in a month. I am doing as much research as I can but I am curious to know how long to let the Ipe “weather” before adding RAD dark walnut? I’m in PA. I assume weathering is just letting it sit before applying the finish. I plan to clean and brighten after letting it weather. Anything else I should know?

Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago

We have an older IPE deck that we have had various finishes on. I haven’t really liked any of them. I decided to strip the deck down. I used Benjamin Moore Remove. Due to the weather I have not yet applied the Brighten. According to the pictures, what should be done to get it back to the IPE’s original color

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Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago

Do I need to sand the deck to get the power washing marks out?

Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago

Thanks for your help!

Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

Sorry, one more question…. if the stain/finish only will last for 9-12 months, could a fresh coat be applied every 6 months.

Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago

So to prep correctly, is….?
Sorry, I need specifics. Thanks!

Nancy
Nancy
2 years ago

Thanks!

Carrie
Carrie
2 years ago

We have a large IPE deck. We have stained a few times. Getting the right weather in St Louis is tough. The weather now (October ) 50 – 70 degrees and dew in the morning. How dry does the wood have to be to stain ? We need to power wash and let dry but once the dampness in the morning wears off, can we stain ? WE have two decks so one gets sun now and the other really does not. Spring time brings rain and takes longer to get warm so then it happens in summer and then too hot. Looking to sell our home before summer so thinking we should do it now.

Bill Goodwin
Bill Goodwin
2 years ago

Stripped and stained IPE deck with Flood Hardwoods stain tinted with The cedar formula. Apparently This product has been discontinued by PPG. Can I apply a water base hardwood stain by another manufacturer directly over Flood product without re stripping. If so which product?
Bill G . Breezy Point, NY

Michael L
Michael L
2 years ago

I am considering replacing my cedar deck with Ipe. If I install deck in October (in Michigan) should I wait till spring to stain with one of the AC’s? Or should I prep and stain before winter sets in?

Also, in color testing the three AC stains on a piece of ‘new’ Ipe wood in my garage, will the final color be considerably different after proper prep in the field?

Pamela Brown
Pamela Brown
3 years ago

We had a “professional” stain our IPE deck. He used a roller soaked in the stain, left puddles of the stain, did not wipe it off and told us the stain needed to stay for a few days until it dried. He did this also on a very humid and rainy day (the deck is under cover). The deck is now an ice rink so we need to start over and get the slippery and sticky stuff off of the deck. Any suggestions on how to do that? We have tried mineral spirits and other products and nothing is helping.

Barbara
Barbara
3 years ago

I see that you generally recommend applying Restore-A Deck stain to damp wood but this article states one should allow ipe wood to dry for a day or two before applying. I have pressure-treated vertical risers and supporting posts and ironwood decking and rails. Should I let the whole thing dry for a day or two before application or do the uprights first on damp wood and then do the ironwood?

Barbara
Barbara
3 years ago

Let the wood dry before application even if I am following the use of restore-a-deck brightener and using restore-a-deck semitransparent stain? The restore-a-deck site says to apply when the deck is still damp.

John Lamattina
John Lamattina
3 years ago

We just installed our ipe deck in may. And used oil because that’s what I was told was what you do. Now its July and it is dulling up everywhere. is it normal after 2 months for this to happen with oil. And I’m guessing your recommendation is to stain it. Which leads to when can I strain if I oiled it 2 months ago? Or is there no difference in wear time between oil and stain

Judith
Judith
3 years ago

I have Ipe wood decorative siding on my house and it’s very hard to maintain.
I’d like to paint it with Marine paint so that I can hose it down and minimize maintenance.
Can anyone suggest the right process? Products?

John
John
3 years ago

We are looking to stain an ipe deck it is currently a grey color due to pressure washing and not treating for 3 years. What is the best way to treat and fix this??

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raf
raf
3 years ago

Hello,
I am installing brand new ipe wood fence and wall cover. Do I have to prep brand new IPE ? I want to give the cherry color look, I don’t like the dark brown color, I want to have brown cherry look. what is the best way to maintain that color ? please I need help. I am spending around 26k I want to give the gorgeous look which I am looking for.
Once again my goal is to have light and dark cherry ( that’s based on the cut of the IPE wood)
please help
I live California Los Angeles.
can you please let me know the steps that I must take to do the prep and reach the color I am dreaming for.

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

I am about to clean and restain my ipe deck. Last year my grandmother was over with her walker and a pebble was stuck in the leg of it and made a long scratch across the deck spanning about 15 ft from the stairs of the deck to the door. What’s the best way to address this? Can I just spot sand it on the boards were the scratch is? should I use an orbital sander or can I just hand sand the boards in the spot where the scratches are? what grit am I looking at here or does it really matter so long as the scratches come out? Thanks for your help.

Tony Maunus
Tony Maunus
3 years ago

I am in the process of making two large patio tables out of 3 X 8 IPE wood. I put IPE oil on the top of one of the tables and some of the color has come out very brown and some of the boards are more redish brown. While I like both a lot my son and daughter in law like the brown and the redish brown not so much. I am making the tables for them so want them to like the coloring a lot. The tables themselves came out great using IPE wood.

Is it possible to put a brownish stain over recently applied IPE oil?

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

I will be sanding the IPE deck first as it does need it. What chemical should I use first before putting Armstrong Clark stain on. It has been 3 years since last stain with Armstrong stain.

Krisoula S. Natsues
Krisoula S. Natsues
3 years ago

Can you leave a Brazilian Wood deck without stain after powerwashing

Krisoula S. Natsues
Krisoula S. Natsues
3 years ago

What is the best oil based stain to use on a Brazilian Wood deck

Tom Dreher
Tom Dreher
3 years ago

We have a 17 year old pie deck that some moron stained with a water based stain!!!!
Can you suggest a process to refurbish the deck?
Thanks

Tom Dreher
Tom Dreher
3 years ago

Photo from today
Thanks

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Tom Dreher
Tom Dreher
3 years ago

Thanks for the fast response. Sorry I did not respond sooner.
As soon as I find a suitable contractor I will be ordering the stripper and brightner along with theAC stain.
My deck is approximately 500 ft2. How much of each would you estimate?
Thanks
TD

Tom Dreher
Tom Dreher
3 years ago

Did I see a recommendation for a particular stain type and color for use on IPE decking?
If so, I cannot locate,
Thanks

Tom Dreher
Tom Dreher
3 years ago

Photos attached

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Chris
Chris
3 years ago

When cleaning IPE Brazilian hardwood should I also brighten it afterwards like I would a Pressure Treated pine?

Chris
Chris
3 years ago

Ok thank you very much

Laura Kirk
Laura Kirk
3 years ago

We had an ipedeck installed about 1.5 years ago that has frayed and we want to restore the natural wood color. We plan to clean and brighten using the Restore a deck or Messmers product. But don’t know what to use for the restoration. I assume we want to use an oil based product but would appreciate guidance on what to use. Is there a difference between Ipe Oil and the Armstrong Clark stain products? Thank you so much for the guidance.

Laura Kirk
Laura Kirk
3 years ago

One more clarification question. What are the pros/cons of using oil vs. water-based stain on Ipe decking? Thank you so much!

Laura Kirk
Laura Kirk
3 years ago

Yes- it’s worth it for such a beautiful product. Thank you for your assistance!

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

I completely stained my entire Ipe deck last year and now want to apply a maintenance coat to even out some faded areas. I probably need to do a light cleaning to get off some mildew and grime. Any suggestions on how to prep without stripping the stain while having the maintenance coat be absorbed by the wood?

jan
jan
3 years ago

Should you back oil or stain Ipe?

Debbie MacMasters
Debbie MacMasters
3 years ago

I have a large IPE deck that is 10 years old, we sealed/stained it with a dark color (not sure of brand or whether it was oil-based or water-based). We kept it up for a few years, but now we would like to just let it turn grey. What do you recommend to remove all the stain off the deck? Do we need to sand it (we were told not to sand the IPE)? And after removing the stain, would we just leave it alone at that point, or do we need a clear sealer to protect it? Thanks for your help!

Tandra McGhie
Tandra McGhie
3 years ago

I refinished my Ipe deck yesterday and today we ended up with cold overcast skies. I used Wolman F&P, which is the same as 3 years ago. The moisture is graying the finish before its had a chance to dry. Any suggestions? Am I doomed to have to do the entire process all over again? If so, can I switch to the Defy?

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Tandra McGhie
Tandra McGhie
3 years ago

Drats!! Not familiar with sander, but will look it up. Thank you so much for your reply.

Rob
Rob
3 years ago

About to install new Ipe wood on exterior wall (shiplap siding) do i need to install it, let the new wood season for a few months, and then clean and brighten for prep before applying the Ipe oil? also do i apply the oil on top of the Ipe or should i take it down to apply oil and re-install it?

Marsha Phillips
Marsha Phillips
3 years ago

We just installed an Ipe wood porch and used Ipe Oil on it but dirt seems to stick to it! We carefully sanded it and wiped it down before applying the oil. It took the oil several days to dry and we had to eventually wipe it down in a few spots. Our problem is that now the dirt seems to stick to the Ipe. What did we do wrong?

Marsha Phillips
Marsha Phillips
3 years ago

It seasoned for about 3 months before sealing. I know it was sanded and cleaned but don’t know about the brighten step.

Hbcrew
Hbcrew(@hbcrew)
3 years ago

We had a horizontal ipe fence installed and the stain they applied is not lasting very long. They used some over the counter product that is not a hardwood specific stain. What is best process to prepare fence to apply correct stain and what stain is recommended?

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Tom Downing
Tom Downing
4 years ago

We have have a covered porch with about 700 sq ft of ipe and is now four years old. It has been restored twice with a stain manufactured by Woodrich-Brand. The color when restored looks great but we believe it has not lasted as long as it should given that the porch is covered and shaded by oaks. What is the best ipe stain you recommend?

Alice Godec
Alice Godec
4 years ago

We just purchased Tigerwood for the top railing of our deck. The salesman said because it is a hard wood we should seal it right away instead of waiting until next spring. We don’t want it to gray. Is this correct or should we wait. We are thinking of using Messmers UV for hardwood in a natural color. Thank you

Chandra
Chandra
4 years ago

Just installed Ipe on my small covered front porch. I love the variety of tones that it has when it’s just wet. What is the best product to use to achieve this look, but also keep it from turning gray? Are there any truly clear finishes that offer substantial UV protection? Thank you!

Katie
Katie
4 years ago

What a great resource, thank you for these great articles!

I have a covered, screened porch with Ipe flooring that gets exposed to rain and snow around the perimeter and direct sun on two sides.

What will happen if I don’t finish the ipe? Am I cutting it’s life short? If so, how much will I lose by not finishing it?

I Dont mind the grey look and prefer to not use any chemicals as I have a small child that plays and sometimes eats off of the floor.

Would it be an option to wait 4-5 years to apply a finish after my daughter has grown up a bit? Would that extends it’s life or would it either be too little too late or too late to apply a finish at all.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thank you again for this great resource!

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