So what is the best IPE Stain? To better understand what stain or oil finish would work well for your IPE, it is important to understand what IPE is and why stains fail quicker.

Originating from South America and Central America, Ipe has earned its reputation because it is naturally durable, stable, resists checking, and is absolutely gorgeous. With a deep and rich red brown color, Ipe is considered by most lumber experts to be the ultimate choice for high quality decking.

IPE wood has a density of 78 per pounds/cubic foot. This is the highest rating of any decking stain and compared to softwoods like pine and cedar, IPE is 3-4 times denser. Due to this high density, stains for IPE have issues with penetration or lack there of. Since the wood allows minimal penetration of the stain, stains will fade faster.

Less stain absorption = less UV protection.

When choosing an IPE Finish you should look for:

  1. Ability to penetrate into the dense wood
  2. Fades lightly in color, not darken in color
  3. Not prone to peeling
  4. Can be cleaned and reapplied as needed
  5. UV protection

On the chart below we will rank the IPE Stains that  we sell on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest.

  Messmers IPE Oil Armstrong Defy Penofin
Penetration Into IPE 4 4 4 3 5
Fade Lightly (Not Darken) 3 3 4 5 3
Not Prone to Peeling 5 5 5 4 5
Clean and Re-coat Ability 4 4 4 4 3
UV Protection (Retaining Color) 3 4 4 4 2
Average Score 3.8 4 4.2 4 3.8


These scores are indicative to our testing and may vary depending on the age of your IPE and where you are located. Feel free to ask any questions as to which stain would work for you.

The Best IPE Stains

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