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How to Prep IPE for Stain

How to Prep IPE for Stain

IPE has become increasingly popular with deck owners due to its beautiful appearance. It is a very dense wood that is naturally resistant to rot and decay making it a great choice for many exterior wood projects.

The key to getting IPE to last is regular maintenance. With the right wood stain, IPE can be recoated and maintained very easily. To guarantee lasting protection from an IPE deck stain it is crucial to prep the wood surface correctly prior to stain application.

For new IPE wood or grayed out wood we recommend using IPE Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner. This specially formulated two-step cleaner is ideal for cleaning and prepping IPE wood prior to staining.

For IPE wood surfaces that have an old existing deck stain or sealer on them use IPE Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper. Removing any old stain will allow the new IPE stain to penetrate the dense wood for maximum protection.

For maintenance coats where the same stain product used last time will be applied again, it is possible to use the RAD Wood Cleaner and not have to remove the old stain. Once the surface is clean, the same wood stain should bond to itself to give good protection. More often that not with IPE, most of the deck stain will be gone from the last time it was coated. It is just the nature of the dense wood not to hold stain for more than a year or so.

Follow the manufacturers instructions for using and applying the RAD Wood Cleaner or Stain Stripper. Be sure to perform step two of the RAD kit, which is a Wood Brightener. This ensures the pH level of the wood is correct and ready to accept the new IPE stain coat.

Here are the basic easy to follow steps for using RAD IPE Cleaner or Stripper.

1. Wet the surface and the surrounding area

2. Mix the Cleaner or Stripper according to the directions and apply with pump sprayer, scrub brush, or mop.

3. Allow RAD to sit on surface for 10 minutes then perform a light pressure wash or scrub to remove dirt and graying from wood.

4. Repeat the above steps for stubborn areas.

5. Rinse the wood and surrounding area thoroughly.

6. Apply the IPE RAD Wood Brightener, let sit for 10 minutes, re-rinse.

Once you have prepped IPE be sure to let the wood dry for 1-2 days prior to staining. By cleaning the wood correctly using IPE Wood Cleaner (RAD) and using an IPE Wood Stain your exterior wood surfaces will look good and last for many years.

Any Questions? Ask Below!

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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting walter reid:
Ipe that is 15 years old , one contractor said sanding is necessary the other said use bleach that it? I want it to look great ! What do you recommend?

Pressure washing and this cleaner:
https://www.ipestain.com/ipe-deck-cleaner
opwdecks , May 2nd , 2018
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Ipe that is 15 years old , one contractor said sanding is necessary the other said use bleach that it? I want it to look great ! What do you recommend?
walter reid , May 2nd , 2018
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home owner
I have a ipea deck never stained 15 years old. Some friends who are painter contractors or carpenters suggested bleach, the other suggested sanding then bleach? for some reason i am questioning both? One sounds like a lot of work? The other doesn't seem like it would be-enough? Whats your thoughts , I want to do a great job!
walter reid , May 2nd , 2018
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Dianne:
My ipe deck still looks pretty good after 4 years but I’d like to refresh and blend color of covered and uncovered areas. I plan to use Rad Wood Cleaner and Brightener but not strip the existing stain since same brand, Armstrong Clark and same color will be applied. Will this work as I hope to blend areas?

It should work out for you with this prep and same stain.
opwdecks , April 10th , 2018
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Ms
My ipe deck still looks pretty good after 4 years but I’d like to refresh and blend color of covered and uncovered areas. I plan to use Rad Wood Cleaner and Brightener but not strip the existing stain since same brand, Armstrong Clark and same color will be applied. Will this work as I hope to blend areas?
Dianne , April 10th , 2018
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Steve Birdsey:
I have a new pipe dock...3 weeks old. Do I need to use wood brightener before sealing.

You need to use both a cleaner and a wood brightener for the prep.
opwdecks , July 30th , 2017
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New IPE dock 3 weeks old
I have a new pipe dock...3 weeks old. Do I need to use wood brightener before sealing.
Steve Birdsey , July 30th , 2017
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting JillHare:
I have a ten year old mahogany deck that I have just had sanded. What steps do you recommend for finishing it?

Prep with the Ipe Cleaner after the sanding and a light pressure wash. This will allow the stain to soak in better. Stain with Armstrong Clark or Defy Hardwood Stain.
opwdecks , April 27th , 2017
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
I have a ten year old mahogany deck that I have just had sanded. What steps do you recommend for finishing it?
JillHare , April 27th , 2017
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Andy:
I have a peeling ipe deck I want to remove the old penif in oil that's now peeling up and prepare it to just oil it back to its natural color so tell me what I need stripper brightener and what natural oil you recommend I have used Cabot and Penn of in in the past not too pleased thanks for any help

Yes, you will need to strip and brighten. Try the Defy Hardwood or Armstrong Clark.
opwdecks , April 17th , 2017
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Ipe deck questions
I have a peeling ipe deck I want to remove the old penif in oil that's now peeling up and prepare it to just oil it back to its natural color so tell me what I need stripper brightener and what natural oil you recommend I have used Cabot and Penn of in in the past not too pleased thanks for any help
Andy , April 17th , 2017
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Andrew:
Hello. I've got a huge 1500 sqft Ipe deck that I am staining. It's greyed pretty bad and I'm not sure if I need to sand or buff it or prep it in any way prior to staining.

Prep with our Ipe cleaner and pressure washing. Apply the IPE brightener after.
opwdecks , June 17th , 2016
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Large Ipe project
Hello. I've got a huge 1500 sqft Ipe deck that I am staining. It's greyed pretty bad and I'm not sure if I need to sand or buff it or prep it in any way prior to staining.
Andrew , June 16th , 2016
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Bronson Levin:
We have Brazilian Ironwood flooring on a screened-in porch. As the porch is over top of an inside room, we cannot pressure-wash. Any suggestions on how to prep and apply without pressure-washing?
If you cannot use water then the only way to prep would be sanding.
opwdecks , May 22nd , 2016
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
We have Brazilian Ironwood flooring on a screened-in porch. As the porch is over top of an inside room, we cannot pressure-wash. Any suggestions on how to prep and apply without pressure-washin g?
Bronson Levin , May 21st , 2016
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Barbara Martin:
will cleaner, stripper, brightener harm flowers, bushes or trees?

Cover flowers and bushes to protect. The products may "burn" the leaves some.
opwdecks , April 20th , 2016
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
will cleaner, stripper, brightener harm flowers, bushes or trees?
Barbara Martin , April 20th , 2016
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting John Bonno:
We have prepared the IPE deck using your cleaner and brighter - Parts A & B and have purchased 5 gal of the UV Plus for hardwoods. Problem: we have so much humidity here in TX now, it may be impossible for the deck to completely dry. Any thoughts about applying the UV Plus? We hate to wait until Spring, as we may have to clean deck again. But, we do not want to ruin the IPE wood

It has to be completely dry. You cannot apply the Messmers to visibly damp or wet wood. Moisture content less then 12% is best.
opwdecks , December 11th , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
We have prepared the IPE deck using your cleaner and brighter - Parts A & B and have purchased 5 gal of the UV Plus for hardwoods. Problem: we have so much humidity here in TX now, it may be impossible for the deck to completely dry. Any thoughts about applying the UV Plus? We hate to wait until Spring, as we may have to clean deck again. But, we do not want to ruin the IPE wood
John Bonno , December 10th , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Jack:
What is the natural pH value of Ipe wood? Are there any chemical reactions between Ipe and aluminum?

Not sure on either. Normal neutral pH for most woods is 6 or 7.
opwdecks , June 15th , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
What is the natural pH value of Ipe wood? Are there any chemical reactions between Ipe and aluminum?
Jack , June 15th , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting John:
Just installed an IPE deck and we created blemish that I filled with wood putty that needs to be stained to match the IPE. Prior to putting the deck we treated the wood with IPE oil,,,do you have stain that would match the natural finish with IPE oil. I may have made a mistake in filling the blemish with wood putty.

Your help would be appreciated
John Stenger

Wood putty does not work on outside wood nor will a deck stain stain it to blend.
opwdecks , May 4th , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Just installed an IPE deck and we created blemish that I filled with wood putty that needs to be stained to match the IPE. Prior to putting the deck we treated the wood with IPE oil,,,do you have stain that would match the natural finish with IPE oil. I may have made a mistake in filling the blemish with wood putty.

Your help would be appreciated
John Stenger
John , May 4th , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Only if for some reason the Cabot does not strip off completely.
opwdecks , May 1st , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
No sanding needed?
Jim
Jim , May 1st , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting Jim:
I stripped and pressure washed my IPE deck with Behr stripper, Sanded, Brightened with Sherwin Williams Revive It looked beautiful wet. Dried out looking pretty blanched. Applied Cabot Australian Timber Oil in Honey Teak and the deck looks worn and dry with almost a grey or silvery hue on top. What do I do to get back the IPE rich look. Thanks

Strip off the Cabot first and stain with the Ipe Oil or Amrstrong Clark.
opwdecks , May 1st , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
I stripped and pressure washed my IPE deck with Behr stripper, Sanded, Brightened with Sherwin Williams Revive It looked beautiful wet. Dried out looking pretty blanched. Applied Cabot Australian Timber Oil in Honey Teak and the deck looks worn and dry with almost a grey or silvery hue on top. What do I do to get back the IPE rich look. Thanks
Jim , May 1st , 2015
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Quoting keith scoggins:
Is the stripper safe to use on boat docks. Is harmful to aquatic life.

It is safe
opwdecks , April 25th , 2014
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Is the stripper safe to use on boat docks. Is harmful to aquatic life.
keith scoggins , April 25th , 2014
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RE: How to Prep IPE for Stain
Steve, yes apply the brightener. It is a very easy step and will help the stain penetrate deeper.
opwdecks , April 20th , 2014
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2 yr old grey IPE
procrastination led to a 2 year tiki hut project, 24 x 28, uncluding 4 ft wrap around deck. Wrap around grey, newer undercover deck more original color. Want to prepare for Messmers stain (purchased two years ago). Apply RAD wood cleaner only,or do I have to follow with brightner also?
Thanks
Steve
steve , April 19th , 2014
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