Is Your Ipe Decking Grey?

Powerwash Ipe Decking


If you have an Ipe deck that has been neglected or gone grey don’t worry you can quickly make it look new again. Naturally the UV rays of the sun will strip the color out of the surface of wood and many other materials, even composites that claim they won’t fade.

The problem with other materials is that they will eventually fade and there’s nothing you can do to them after that. Fortunately you have an Ipe deck and can quickly bring it back to life.

Here’s a picture of a customer’s deck on their seasonal summer home. This home sits vacant for 8 months out of the year and sees extreme winters and summers. The owners got busy with life as many of us do and let the deck go.

However as you can see in this picture a quick pressure wash with a wide fan tip brings it back to looking like new again. After the ipe decking dries all you need to do is simply roll on some Ipe Oil and you are good to go for awhile.

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8 thoughts on “Is Your Ipe Decking Grey?

  1. Claudia Mai

    My ipe deck and railing was built in 2014. I applied ipe oil to the railing but not to the deck. Now the deck is grey and has spots of mildew. I have tried cleaning it with a cleaner and brightener using a power wash and a scrub brush but it still looks grey. Can you recommend a good cleaner and where I can buy it? I tried a pressure washer, but it left streaks and did not remove the grey color. I have tried a cleaner and brightener and used a scrub brush, but it still looks grey. I want to use IPE oil to protect it from moisture but it is still grey looking. Is the only option to sand it with an orbital sander? What do you recommend? When it is wet it has the red color I like but as it dries, it goes back to grey. What do you recommend to clean it and bring back the natural color?

  2. theipeguy Post author

    If the color still comes back when it gets wet then you should be fine to apply Ipe Oil once the deck is completely dry. Make sure you follow all the directions on the can of Ipe Oil and you should be fine. The only concern is you mentioned streaks from the pressure washer. It should be pretty consistent if you pressure wash it properly make sure you use the widest fan tip in your pressure washer and do it nice and even, if need be they sell attachments that are made for doing driveways that are round and give nice results and make pressure washing decks pretty easy.

  3. Michael Pro

    My deck needs to be done every year. I live in nyc. Is that normal? It’s exhausting. I love the bright wood but maybe ready to give into the grey! Anything that will make it last more then a year?

  4. Mr. Ipe Hardwood

    Once a year is pretty typical for keeping up the color. Putting a roof or awning over the deck to shade it from the sun will make the color last longer, but not indefinitely.

  5. Maura

    I have a 14 year old Ipe deck, approximately 14 x 60 feet. This past Spring I had someone soft wash it and it had a white appearance after that. Last time I had it cleaned it looked more like the original wood color. After the soft wash my tenants complained about frequently getting splinters. Now I’m getting different solutions from every contractor I speak to.
    What is the recommended correct way to handle this situation. And is there a quick fix to curb the splinters until my tenants leave on Labor Day, and do the full monty in the Fall.
    Thank you.

  6. theipeguy Post author

    It’s hard to know what to tell you without knowing exactly what was done to the deck. Splinters like this in Ipe is not very common, neither is the white appearance so we are thinking something was used on it that shouldn’t have been. Given the splinters and white appearance you might have to sand the deck down with 100 grit sand paper, don’t go much more fine then that it’ll close the grain too much and it won’t take as much oil if you plan on oiling it with Ipe Oil.
    Another alternative you could try is power washing it first to see if that helps, make sure you always use the widest fan tip. You don’t want to use the concentrated stream tips as those can even damage concrete. Since pressure washing is less labor intensive maybe try this first if that does not help you’ll need to sand it.

  7. Kristin Koscinski

    Hello.
    We are in the process of constructing a pier (in full south carolina sun) made of IPE. After a long 2 year project ( life got in the way) we are almost complete. Nothing has been oiled and the sections are graying at a different rate. I’d like to have the pier looking new again. Should I wait until the new sections of decking reach the same level of gray as the first sections or will I be able to match the first sections to the new and oil when the last boards are installed.

  8. theipeguy Post author

    If they still turn brown when it rains then you should be fine. You might want to use the DeckWise cleaner and brightener on it and then after it dries apply the Ipe Oil.

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