Ipe Deck Floor Refinishing Steps & Details
If you’re lucky enough to have Ipe decking, you understand its value and why it’s critical to complete a deck repair or deck restoration in a way that won’t cause long-term damage. Proper cleaning and maintenance promise that a beautiful Ipe hardwood deck will last for more than 50 years.
As experienced deck builders in Raleigh, NC, we understand that porch embellishment and backyard decking layouts can convey a message that helps or hinders an excellent first impression and sense of elegance about your home. Outdoor deck creations offer a place to enjoy the outdoor scenery and are especially appreciated by homebodies that love the outdoors—keeping Brazilian Hardwood in the best shape possible guarantees that you’ll create incredible and lasting memories at the place you cherish most.
Often, painters are unaware of the value and special care a Brazilian hardwood deck or porch floor requires and inadvertently apply conventional deck stain or, worse, bleach. Hopefully, this accident has not already happened. But if it does, fortunately, there is a way to restore the decking to its stunning beauty.
This article explains what Ipe decking is and the rules to follow when maintaining or restoring the wood substrate.
What is Ipe decking?
Ipe is a type of wood valued for its durability. It grows in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, where it withstands the harshest and rainiest weather. Ipe has a natural barrier against mold, rot, early decay, and insect infestation, making it one of the most durable solutions for deck floors and handrails.
Ipe can last even longer than 50 years if the porch is enclosed. That is utterly rare and remarkable.
While composite decking, mainly a hybrid material consisting of wood and plastic, has become popular in recent years, it isn’t necessarily friendly to the environment. Although the material used by some deck manufacturers utilizes recycled plastic, the waste products and scraps from a deck build do not biodegrade due to their synthetic properties. On the other hand, Ipe is 100% natural and doesn’t contain plastic or chemicals.
Brazilian wood costs several times more than traditional treated lumber. The proper perspective is viewing an Ipe home improvement project as a lasting and impactful investment. The typical range for an Ipe decking project is $5,500 to $13,800, with an average cost of $7 to $13 per linear foot. The average price of pressure-treated wood typically runs about $2 to $6 per foot. Of course, with the fluctuation of lumber prices, these numbers will continue to vary.
Penofin Brazilian Hardwood Formula
Penofin is a penetrating, oil-based wood stain and sealer. It does double the work with one step, formulated to protect and enhance the appearance of natural wood. It will shield the wood from water, mold, mildew, and, most importantly, UV damage. It’s easy to apply and maintain and doesn’t require deck sanding or stripping when it’s time to reapply.
The restoration process is straightforward, so you’re likely eager to get started and see how Penofin works to restore your Ipe deck. But first, you will need to be sure you have Ipe wood. Secondly, make sure you purchase the appropriate products. Otherwise, Penofin’s effectiveness and your deck floor will be compromised. Below, we’ll list the proper steps to ensure this restoration project restores and protects its intended way.
Ipe Deck Restoration Introduction
For Penofin coating to be most effective, thorough and accurate preparation is critical. Carefully reading and following the steps listed below are vital to the success and longevity of Penofin wood stain and sealer.
Keep in mind that the way you need to prepare an Ipe deck for cleaning and staining is much different from a traditional pressure treated lumber deck. Rather than coating it with a layer of a bleach mixture and blasting it with a pressure washer, Ipe requires special products and a process unique to this special Brazilian Hardwood.
You will want to read this before doing it yourself or ensure that you don’t hire a company that makes terrible recommendations.
Step 1: Remove Stains
You’ll want to start with the best surface possible to get the most out of your Ipe deck restoration.
You may even need to remove a deep stain like wine or paint. Even if you don’t have visible staining, removing the mill glaze from the wood is critical for the best results. A product like Penofin 1st Step Prep is an easy way to make sure the deck is ready for restoration and open the wood’s pores so the stain will penetrate deeper.
- Plan your project according to the weather. You’ll want to get this done on a day when the temperatures are low enough that the deck is not hot to the touch.
- Start by sweeping the surface with a stiff broom or a blower to remove any debris from the deck.
- Shake the Penofin product well, then apply it to the clean, dry surface where the stain is.
You can brush the product on, use a stain pad, or spray it on with a pump-up sprayer with a plastic tip. Allow it to sit and penetrate the surface for 30 minutes before wiping and removing the excess product.
Step 2: Clean and Rejuvenate Wood
The second step is the most critical for a good outcome. You’ll need to get the wood back to the way it was after freshly cut at the mill, with the proper Ph before staining.
Remember, you should always wear rubber gloves, eye protection, and solid shoes when applying a Penofin product.
- Pour 1 to 2 cups of Penofin’s Pro-Tech Cleaner’s hydrogenated crystals into a gallon of water and combine.
- After misting the entire deck with water, use a brush or mop to apply the Penofin Pro-Tech Cleaner liberally.
- Agitate the solution with a broom or nonmetallic stiff-bristled brush for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with water.
For best results, work quickly. You cannot allow the solution to dry on the surface. To keep it from getting dry, mist it with water occasionally.
Step 3: Apply the Brightener
Now it is time to brighten up the deck.
- Add 1 to 2 cups of Penofin Pro-Tech Brightener into one gallon of clean water and mix depending on your desired result.
- Using a plastic pump-up garden sprayer, apply the solution until it is well coated.
- Wait 20 to 25 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with water. Do not allow the brightening solution to dry on the surface.
Now is the time to wait for the wood to dry. We recommend waiting for at least 24 – 72 hrs. before applying the first coat.
Protecting Ipe with Penofin Oil
Now that cleaning the Ipe wood deck is complete, it’s time to seal and protect the wood. Penofins penetrating oil formula works to deeply penetrate the wood in a way that not only protects but adds deep and rich color and beauty that makes the entire process worth the effort.
The steps here are simple. Apply a generous coat of oil and let it dry. A second coat will possibly be needed for exceptionally weathered Ipe deck floors, although one coat usually does the trick.
Professional Deck Restoration Results
Restoring an Ipe deck can be more complicated because different stains and damages require various methods.
We have a team of licensed professionals who are happy to help repair, build, or restore your deck and provide you with results tailored to your unique situation. We’ll do the work for you so you can relax and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful Ipe hardwood deck and the unforgettable that you will undoubtedly create.
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