Why Should I Oil My New Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa, or Massaranduba Deck?

As our salespeople take care of both our current and potential customers, we get asked the question, “Why should I oil my deck and with what,” very often.  We always explain, as best as possible, why it’s a good idea to do so from the beginning and most of our customers understand the benefits. However, we feel this topic should be explored a little more in-depth.

Hardwood is a natural product that absorbs and releases humidity according to its environment. It adapts. Unlike the typical decking woods like Pine, Cedar, and Redwood, Brazilian hardwoods have a completely different grain density and pattern that won’t allow common finishes to adhere. For these and many other reasons, Brazilian hardwoods such as Ipe need a specific finish and Ipe Oil from DeckWise is the perfect choice.


So what exactly does the oil do? Finishing oils provide multiple benefits to your deck. The biggest and most noticeable benefit is the color enhancement!  Thanks to Ipe Oil’s natural formula, the deck’s grain really begins to surface, making it look like the cover of a home design magazine. Following the beautiful grain enhancement, Ipe Oil provides a U.V. protection that acts as a sunscreen. This UV inhibitor is responsible for stopping the greying of the deck boards. Without the application of finishing oil, your perfect, pristine deck will fade to a “silver patina.” The sun’s UV rays cause fading of all colors in any material, not just wood.

DSC_9891Brazilian hardwoods are saturated with natural oils that provide the amazing properties they’re known for such as termite and water resistance. As the wood moves from the warehouse to the new environment of your backyard, it begins acclimating. This means that oils may start to evaporate form the wood. As this happens, applying Ipe Oil helps to penetrate and substitute the evaporating oils. Through this process, all the benefits of the Ipe Oil begin to seep into and become part of the wood. The most important thing to remember is that your wood continues to adapt to the environment until it stabilizes, which usually takes one to two years. It is during this time that you can see a lot of changes and keeping up the application of Ipe Oil during these crucial times will help your wood in the long run, even if you decide to let the color fade to grey.

9 thoughts on “Why Should I Oil My New Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Garapa, or Massaranduba Deck?”

  1. I will be using Ipe on the decking of a new house in N.C. Should the boards be oiled on both sides before being fastened to the framing? I see one photo where it looks like the boards are down already and then the oil applied..

  2. Hi John,

    Our normal guidelines suggest oiling the face once it’s installed. Oiling both sides isn’t needed unless your salesman specifically recommended it.

    Thanks John

  3. I purchased a townhome with a roof terrace with cumaru wood laid down in individual
    square sections which are two feet square with 8 individual planks 3 inches in width making up the section. The sections are then placed perpendicular to the adjoining section creating a checkerboard look. These sections were applied raised on top of another surface to allow drainage into a central drain in the center of the terrace. The camera wood has been installed for 2 1/2 years. It has not turned gray, but has faded from
    the original light amber finish.

    I would like to know the best way to maintain the deck besides periodic cleaning with a mild solution. What type of oil should I use? What time of the year should apply the oil? What should be the weather conditions?

    Thanks in advance for your advice

  4. We recommend and sell Ipe Oil. Don’t be fooled by the name; it’s specially formulated to work with all exotic hardwoods, including cumaru. I would apply it in the spring just so the deck looks its best during the prime outdoor months, but you can certainly do it in the summer as well, or even the fall. As far as weather goes, you just need a couple rain-free days so the deck has a chance to dry. For more detailed guidance, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions!

  5. what is the whitish sudsy stuff coming out of my massaranduba when I wet and scrub it? some of it was installed last fall and some was installed this spring. can I use just water and a deck brush to clean before I oil it for the first time? If I end up using a pressure washer, what should the setting be at, psi, and how close to the wood should I get?

  6. How do I avoid the stickiness until the IPE oil dries. Even rubbing it on by hand and not leaving residue stays sticky for several days.

  7. If it’s sticky then you likely still have too much applied. You’ll need several clean cotton rags and after 10 minutes you should wipe/buff with a clean cotton rag. Avoid applying in direct sun or if it’s too hot as it can flash cure faster than 10 minutes leaving the surface tacky or sticky.

  8. We live in Connecticut and since it’s been been a mild winter my husband installed our new deck. Unfortunately it’s still too cold to apply the oil. Will our deck be ok until the weather warms up enough to apply the Ipe oil?

  9. Yes, it should be perfectly fine to wait until the weather warms up. The color may fade in the meantime, but it will come right back after you clean and oil the deck. I’d recommend using DeckWise cleaner and brightener on the deck prior to oiling it, just to make sure you have a nice clean surface to work with.

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