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IPE Deck Refinish

Filed in Decks by on July 1, 2016 • views: 14976

ipe deck

This IPE deck was originally built in October of 2015 and was completely grayed out in the spring of 2016. The homeowners loved the original natural color of the IPE  and wanted it back so they could enjoy the rich colors of the wood.

They had researched the material prior to building the deck and understood what kind of maintenance the IPE would require.

IPE is a very dense wood and requires a different type of care than softwoods.


What products do we use on an IPE deck?

We decided to use a product called Ready Seal in clear to bring back the natural color of the wood, which would be closest to what the wood looked like originally and when wet. Knowing the client’s expectations and knowing that they had a true love for the IPE material made this project even more rewarding to complete.

ipe decks in ChicagoFirst, we had to remove all the grey (or dead) wood fibers. This is done by sanding the surfaces with 80 grit sand paper. Ipe is extremely dense and is so heavy it actually sinks in water. We used Festool sanders and extractors to prep the decking boards and remove the sanding debris. We used a total of 5 different sanders to sand all the surfaces prior to staining. All work was done on our hands and knees to get up close to the surface.

The day we scheduled for the sanding and start of the staining was perfect. It was cooler and we had complete cloud cover, which rarely happens when working on decks in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. The deck has a southern exposure, so we couldn’t have picked a better day. When we started staining, the clear oil brought out the rich and beautiful grain and color of the IPE wood. This is extremely rewarding after sanding. The natural colors and differences in each piece of decking material are highlighted by the oil.

Maintenance planning for an IPE deck

IPE deck finishedWe were also able to coordinate with the homeowner as they were getting their railings re-finished by the builder at the same time as we were re-finishing the decking. This allowed us the perfect exit point in order to work our way from the house to the outside edge of the deck.

The future maintenance plan for this particular southern exposure deck will most likely require a bi-annual service plan to maintain the rich natural beauty of the IPE. We will inspect, clean and reapply in the fall and then do the same in the springtime as needed.


If you have an IPE deck, feel free to contact us to see how to maintain and preserve your investment.

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About the Author ()

Nick is the owner and operations manager at DBK Painting. He has been a professional painter for over 10 years and bought DBK Painting in 2020 after being a longtime employee of the company. Nick has an eye for color and a steady hand. His love of the trade is visible in the work he performs with his team.

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