Staining Exotic Hardwood Decking, Is It a Good Idea?

Decking from Advantage Trim & Lumber
Can You Stain Hardwood Decking? Why Would You Want To?

We often get asked, “Can I stain my exotic hardwood deck?”

Politely, we ask in return, “Do you want to change the color of your existing hardwood deck or do you want to bring back the color of your existing deck?”

You see, what often happens is that people think a hardwood deck is just like one made of Redwood, Cedar, or Douglas fir. These decking materials are stainable because they’re softer and can soak in chemical treatments. Exotic hardwoods are denser, have a tight grain, and are infused with natural oils that give it that extra layer of resilience. They don’t need to be stained in the traditional sense. If you follow this blog, you’ll see that we’ve previously touched on how to “bring back the look of your exotic deck.” It’s really easy to do and should be done routinely at least once a year if you truly desire the lush look of your decking.

Have we had customers adventurous enough to darken their deck? Yes. However, what many found was that the decking we sell is so strong and resilient that stains don’t nearly last as long as they would on softer decking options. Think of it this way. Would you buy a Ferrari and spray paint it? If the immediate reaction to that question is “Heck no!” then you see where we’re coming from.

Natural Brazilian hardwood displays some of the finest color variation you will ever see. From the beautiful mix of golden browns to reddish brown in Cumaru decking to the eye-catching contrast of color in Tigerwood, you’ll feel good knowing you own a deck that looks truly exotic. There’s really no need to improve on something so perfect (maybe that’s why the composite decking companies always boast how their synthetic deck materials “mimic” the look of our natural hardwoods). As they say, “nothing beats the real thing.”

6 thoughts on “Staining Exotic Hardwood Decking, Is It a Good Idea?”

  1. When is the optimum time to stain my tiger wood deck? It has been in place for almost 1 year now. Also what is the best prep method, soap wash with brush or power wash ?

    Thanks Mike

  2. Mike,

    The first cost of oil finish should be applied after installation and the second coat about 6-8 months later. Follow the same time line even though we are looking at a year after installation. I would apply one coat now and then a second 6-8 months later. If you are in a climate that wont allow you to apply the second coat in about 6-8 months simply wait for spring and apply. You will want to use Ipe Oil and apply using a paint roller (3/8″ Nap) allow the oil to sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe the surface will a dry rag to prevent pooling of the finish. This must be done when you have at least 24 hours of 50 degree temperatures with no rain. I hope this helps please let me know if there is anything else we can assist with. Thank you for your time.

  3. Just installed a new ipe deck and noticed some scratches and some small black stain spots from metal shavings that blew off a newly installed metal roof after a rain. Doesn’t look real bad but was wondering if you can sand just those areas? Does sanding open up the ipe and is it a good idea to lightly sand the entire deck prior to the first coat of Ipe Oil?

  4. I am building a sunroom and plan to use Ipe deck boards 5/4 x 6in a harringbone pattern and 5/4 x 4 boards in a diagonal pattern on the interior space on the floor. Living in a colder Canadian climate, I am concerned about expansion and contraction. I want a sealed floor to prevent bugs and spiders invading this new living space. I want to install the boards with a 3/16 inch gap and fill it with 3M – 5200 Deck Sealant Caulking. This would also accent the wood pattern. I have a concern that if the boards are waxed on the ends that the caulking won’t bond. U Tube has some videos on installing caulking on teak deck boards but not sure how to over come the wax ends of the boards. Trying to get some advise before ordering my boards.

  5. After an “extended” period of time of acclimation, I had my Cumaru decking installed and there has been no warping or checking issues. About a month after installation I applied IPE oil as directed and the color looked good. However approximately “4 months” later the Cumaru began turning the silver patina color, so after reaching the 6 month time frame I cleaned the decking as directed and applied a second coat with no issues. The color returned “somewhat” but is once again turning to the silver patina. Soooo…. I’m seriously considering applying an “oil based” product which is slightly tinted. Anyone had a similar experience ?

  6. If your deck gets a lot of sun you will need to apply the oil more often. If it’s a new deck the first year it will take more oil as the virgin wood will only absorb so much when it’s brand new. You are welcome to try other products but be careful with products that leave a top coat like a varnish as they will flake off and leave you with a mess to scrape and clean it off.

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