What is the Best Finish for Hardwood Decking? Find Out Here!

We get this question a lot, and I’m sure it’s one that’s crossed your mind when thinking about anew hardwood deck. It’s simple for us to tell you “product x” and end the conversation, but there many reasons why you can’t just apply paint or stain to hardwood decking.


Brazilian hardwood decking (Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa, and Massaranduba) has a very tight wood grain. This grain gives the wood its strength and durability, but also makes it impervious to liquids and paints.


We recommend DeckWise® Ipe Oil™ for all of our Brazilian hardwoods. Ipe is the densest wood on the market and Ipe Oil™ was formulated to penetrate its tightly packed fibers, making it the perfect option for other hardwoods like Cumaru, Tigerwood, Mahogany, etc. Ipe Oil™’s formula contains transoxides that help enrich the color of any hardwood. In addition, Ipe Oil™ protects the boards against U.V. discoloration, and because the oil penetrates the wood so deeply, it helps retain the color for a longer period of time.

Using paint or a formula not rated for hardwoods will lead to multiple applications within a period of a year. If you want to preserve the color of your wood deck for many years to come, look no further than DeckWise® Ipe Oil™: everything your deck needs in one can.

4 thoughts on “What is the Best Finish for Hardwood Decking? Find Out Here!”

  1. Gentlemen: I have used IPE OIL on my IPE deck and followed instructions on the can. The results have been disappointing since the stain begins to fade after a few months and is nonexistent after about 9 months. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the results or can you recommend an alternate product.



  2. Tom,

    Every job site is different and as long as you are applying the oil finish properly your site might simply be one that requires a more frequent application of oil. In Buffalo NY, they are looking at application every 2-3 years depending on how much sunlight the decking sees during the summer months as our material is covered by snow 4-6 months out of the year. That being said we have a client in Nassau Bahamas who is refinishing an Ipe Deck at a very large resort every 6 months simply due to the intense sunlight the decking sees. Unfortunately no matter what brand of penetrating oil finish you choose to use the result will always be the same. This is due to the amount and intensity of sunlight your application sees. Use of deck cleaners and brighteners may help to extend the longevity of the oil finish by properly prepping the wood but only by a few months.

    – G. Aves

  3. What does the wood look like and how does it affect the longevity of the decking if it is not treated. I am really looking for a more silver gray finished deck like unfinished teak.

  4. Hi John,

    Typically when Ipe is left to weather to a silver patina, the expected lifespan is of about 50 years. This is achieved with good maintenance such as ensuring the deck is clean, there isn’t any debris trapped between boards, etc.

    Having said this, we usually recommend applying an initial coat of Ipe Oil to help the wood acclimate evenly since small changes can still occur throughout the first year. Depending on how much sun the deck will see determines how fast it will patina.

    Thank you for your interest!
    – G. Alves

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