IPE Staining Instructions 5/5 (14)

by Deck Stain Help

Update 2019 for IPE Staining Instructions

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

Staining IPE Questions? Ask Below!


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

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Carrie
Carrie

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

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

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

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

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?

John Lamattina
John Lamattina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you leave a Brazilian Wood deck without stain after powerwashing

Krisoula S. Natsues
Krisoula S. Natsues

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

Tom Dreher
Tom Dreher

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

Chris
Chris

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

Laura Kirk
Laura Kirk

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.

Tom
Tom

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

Should you back oil or stain Ipe?

Debbie MacMasters
Debbie MacMasters

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

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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Rob
Rob

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

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?

Hbcrew
Hbcrew

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

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

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

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

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!

pamela webb
pamela webb

what is the best stain for redwood railings?

Randy Hagen
Randy Hagen

I am installing brand new Ipe tiles (2′ by 2′) soon and want to stain some of them using a semitransparent black stain (Armstrong Clark black walnut) to create a pattern in the deck. How long do I wait to apply Ipe oil over the stained tiles? Also, how many days after installation should I wait to apply Ipe oil to the unstained Ipe tiles? Do they need to “age” first? Thank you – this forum is a great resource.

Kim
Kim

STEPS SO FAR
1. Used Sherwin Williams Stain and Sealer Remover….It did “pretty well” but just a little blotchy and there was some pressure washing damage so I decided to sand it.
2. Sanded with 120 Grit

QUESTIONS NOW
1. I resanded a couple of areas with 80 grit where I had previously sanded with 120. I am no difference in how it takes the stain at all. And am thinking that maybe I am okay. Thoughts?
2. SW Stain and Sealer Remover says that you MUST USE REVIVE PRODUCT TO BRIGHTEN AND NEUTRALIZE after using REMOVAL. I tested REVIVE product and I think it lightens the wood too much and prefer the way the wood looks without it. Is it bad if I skip this step to keep the wood darker looking?

Thank you, I am hoping to work on deck today….hoping for quick response, but realize that is a lot to hope for.

Kim
Kim

Oops, should have checked here first. Just sanded my HUGE IPE (not pipe) deck with 120 grit. Do I need to resand it with 80 grit??? Arghhh, not sure knees and back can take it.

Donna
Donna

Hello, We had an Ipe wood deck installed in July. It is in full exposure to everything – all day sun, rain and snow. I would like it not to turn grey – I really like the rich color (especially when it is wet). Nothing has been applied to the wood. I have read here that I should wait 4 – 12 months before doing anything. Due to weather here, I may not be able to do anything till next Spring/Summer. I think I’ve already noticed some greying from the sun. So here are my questions:

1) If I wait that long, will I lose the rich color I want to maintain?
2) Do I need to do anything to the deck/wood before applying a coating?
3) Would the Deckwise Ipe Oil or Olympic Maximum clear waterproofing sealant (what I can easily pick up locally) be good or do you recommend something else? One with a color stain?
4) I’ve read that the oil should be applied and then any excess wiped off. How do you do this? Can you walk over the wet deck or do you apply foot by foot (roll/paint on, wipe, roll/paint on wipe, etc.)?

I’m sorry if these are really dumb questions. I just don’t have a clue and want to protect my new deck.
Thank you

Jack
Jack

My deck is made of IPE and is over 20 years old with no issues except when I stained last year with Penofin red label, it turned very dark using a red cedar color. Any thoughts why and how to avoid this the next time I stain? I stain every two years after power washing and light sanding

Kalani Garces
Kalani Garces

Hi there!

I have a realist my small porch and the builder used IPE for the flooring. I pressure washed it the other day and left some pressure marks in some areas (Whoops). Can I sand the flooring to get the marks out before I restain? If so what grit would you recommend?

Beth
Beth

builder put a coat of helmsman varnish on my IPE railing already. How do I remove this so that I can then apply a penetrating oil finish?

Jackson Myers
Jackson Myers

Sand it down. Do not use chemicals such as paint strippers. They can change the natural colors of ipe and remove some of the resins that make it such a great outdoor wood.

Beth
Beth

what is the best way to finish ipe railings? Oil or Spar Varnish? Which one?

Karen porter
Karen porter

Best temperature to oil stain an Pie deck

Ted
Ted

Should the wood be sanded after cleaning and before staining

Lynn
Lynn

Have a relatively small IPE deck (8 x13) with railings and 12 steps with some exterior IPE trim. It has never been treated. I want to make sure it is done right and relatively easily. It is excessively gray with some mold. I was thinking of pressure washing, using Restore-a-deck (wondering if I need to use brightener as well), sanding flat surfaces, and then using AC mahogany stain.

Questions:
1) Would you recommend using brightener?
2) What grit sandpaper would I use?
3) Do I need to do anything between sanding and staining?
3) Would you recommend AC or another stain?

Thanks
Lynn

Bill
Bill

Hi – I have about 2,000 sqft of hardwood decking. Most of the decks are IPE but we have a large Tigerwood deck around the pool. I have been using Penofin Brazilian Rosewood for the past four years, cleaning and applying oil every year. Looks great after it’s done but quickly loses its luster. After reading your site (great job, btw) I am thinking of changing to the Anderson Clark product in Mahogany. Also, the site is located in the Cascade mountains and gets everything from hot sun to snow sitting on the deck for 3-4 months a year.

Three questions:
1) Do you think it’s worth it to change from Penofin to AC?
2) Is AC the product you’d recommend?
3) If I move from Penofin to AC (or some other product) do I need to strip the decks or just clean them? And if I do need to strip, what do you recommend?

Thanks for the site. It’s super helpful.

Deepak Kaushik
Deepak Kaushik

We have an Epay wood deck (not sure if its same as IPE). I am planning to stain it this summer. Any recommendation on the brand name to use for the stains?

SuperDeck (Sherwin Williams) stains has decent reviews (6.8 overall) but not sure if there is a brand that works well with Epay wood. I am thinking of either going with natural or walnut.

Mike
Mike

We have a Cedar deck and not happy with the finish previously applied. We want to refinish it & use IPE oil, question being how well will the IPE oil work on a cedar deck, live in the Chicago IL area. Any help would be appreciated…

borisaf
borisaf

I have an Ipe deck that I’ve been treating annually with DEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods Light Walnut. I am thinking of switching to Armstrong Clark Mahogany this year. Will this kind of switch work and what kind of prep do I need to do,
Thanks

patrick
patrick

I’m thinking of using Ipe as a countertop in my bathroom. Is that a crazy idea? If not, are there particular concerns you recommend I look out for?

Mike
Mike

Can I use ipe oil on a cedar table top

lkenly
lkenly

My contractors sanded my new ipe before installing it in the interior wall. They have not sanded the exterior wall yet, but have completed that install. I read in one of your comments not to sand ipe. Sanding it blocks the absorption. I am also grateful to have read to let it rest for two months before staining it. Do I sand the other wall? The walls are next to each other with the entrance door separating the two. I want them to match, but definitely want the exterior wall to absorb the protection. This a great site. Thank you so much!

Noah
Noah

Installed a 1500sqft tigerwood deck with ipe boarder. Used ipe oil. We did sand with a quick pass with 120 grit the entire deck to clean some rough spots and plugs. We have oiled it 2 times in 4 mth per wood supplier because it started graying in a month. And is now graying again. They said first coat takes a couple applications. Any tips would be appreciated.

Andy
Andy

Are the Sickens products suitable for ipe ?

JP F
JP F

Hi. We had a new ipe deck put in a little over two years ago but the builder never treated it, so now is looks gray and weathered. Do I need to sand it before staining it to restore the luster or will just washing it before staining suffice?

Chica H
Chica H

Thank you for a great site! I recently moved into a house which has a new, tall IPE fence around a large trex deck. I’m planning to treat the fence. What prep and product would you recommend for a large vertical surface with some exposure to sun (7-8 feet tall, facing NW in MA)? I’ve seen some sites recommend different products for vertical structures but was hoping to use Armstrong Clark Amber. Would that work and be easy to maintain? The house also has two IPE porches with solid stain that is peeling. Is it correct that I need to sand off the solid stain before re-treating these or can I strip and brighten?