Posts Tagged ‘penofin’

How do I apply a protective finish to my Ipe Deck?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

How do I apply a protective finish to my Ipe Deck?

                Whether you buy Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa or Tigerwood decking, you need to apply a deck finish if you want to maintain the deep, varied and rich tones of your hardwood deck.  I recommend Penofin Penetrating Oil Finish.  Penofin is easy to install and one coat every 6 months to a year is plenty.  How often Penofin treatment is needed depends on whether your deck receives direct sun, rain and much foot traffic.

How easy is Penofin to install?  All you need is an old T-shirt ripped in half, a pad for your knees, rubber gloves so your hands aren’t stained, and Penofin.  Penofin recommends one gallon for every 400-500 square feet.  I find that about 2 quarts is plenty for 360 square feet.

Wash the deck thoroughly and allow it to dry.  I prefer to wait 24-48 hours after cleaning.  Applying any finish to a wet deck will cause problems.  The Penofin finish cannot penetrate the Ipe decking and the water creates a barrier to penetration.  This can make the surface tacky and will collect dust and dirt.  Shake the Penofin thoroughly.  I fold the T-shirt several times and dip on section into the Penofin can and rub the oil into the Ipe decking boards.  You don’t need a lot of “elbow grease.”  Just be sure to rub the Penofin oil in so that there is no excess.  Once again, the excess will become tacky or sticky and collect dirt and dust.  Applying one coat will take about 45 minutes for 350 square feet.  I usually let the porch dry before I let kids and dogs run across.

Any unused Penofin can be saved.  Just be sure to store the can away from heat.

Why Penofin?  Penofin claims that it offers 99% protection against the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun.  Penofin also offers mold and mildew protection and penetrates dense hardwoods like Ipe, Tigerwood, Cumaru and Garapa.

Below are pictures of a 7 year old Ipe deck before cleaning, after cleaning, and after the Penofin treatment.   The other photo is a Garapa deck that was coated with Penofin.



cleaning and treating Ipe Deck or Porch

cleaning and treating Ipe Deck or Porch


Penofin treated Garapa flooring

Penofin treated Garapa flooring

penofin gallon


What will my Ipe or hardwood deck look like after several years?

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

What will my Ipe or hardwood deck look like after several years?

                Homeowners ask two common questions when they consider buying Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa or Tigerwood   for their new deck.  How much maintenance will I have to do to Ipe decking?  What will Ipe decking look like with little maintenance?  The pictures below are from an Ipe front porch and Ipe back deck and stairs which were built in 2006.  The front Ipe porch faces east and receives direct sun.  The Ipe deck boards are covered but get wet in rainstorms.  The back Ipe deck is on the west side of the house under a large oak tree.  The tree drops a lot of leaves and other debris and the Ipe decking receives afternoon sun through the tree.

The homeowner cleans the front porch annually with a bleach-based cleaner available at any Lowe’s or Home Depot.  After the annual cleaning, he applies one coat of Penofin to protect the Ipe wood against sun and water damage.  He only blows off the porch decking every few weeks the rest of the year.

The back Ipe decking is cleaned about every 2 years with a power washer.  The homeowner uses no cleaning fluids, no brushes and no Penofin.  The homeowner will blow leaves and other debris off the Ipe deck every other week.

You can plainly see the difference in appearance from the two levels of maintenance.  The back porch Ipe color has faded over time.  Notably, however, the Ipe deck boards show no sign of rot and no scratches.  Over these 7 years, two Labrador retrievers and one Wire-haired pointing Griffon called this porch deck home.  While you may notice some paw scratches on the white doors, the Ipe decking shows no sign of dog nail scratches.


Uncleaned 7yr old Ipe Porch

Un-cleaned 7yr old Ipe Porch


Never Treated, Un-Cleaned 7yr old  Ipe Deck

Never Treated, Un-Cleaned 7yr old Ipe Deck

What is Ipe?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

What is Ipe? Ipe, pronounced EEE-PAY, is an extremely dense hardwood from South America. It’s use is growing in popularity rapidly across the United States. Some refer to it as Brazilian Walnut. It is most commonly used for Ipe Decking and Ipe Hardwood Flooring. Ipe furniture is also a high quality product produced from this wood. The Ipe tree more specifically comes from the Brazilian Rainforest. Fortunately, responsible harvesting and forestry management of this product ensures a lasting and reliable supply to the United States. Ipe is now farmed commercially in many parts of South America. Ipe wood is very long lasting and highly resistant to mold, mildew, rot, bugs, scratches, dents and marks. It is low maintenance compared to inferior decking and flooring woods. The grain of the wood is so small and tight that it is ideal for bare feet and provides a safer walking surface than other woods. Consumers choose Ipe over other options because it is a green alternative to synthetics, a renewable resource and outlasts any other species. It has a beautiful rich color, especially when treated with a sealer. The sealer we recommend is Penofin. Penofin is naturally extracted and produced from Brazilian Rosewood Oil. It is environmentally friendly, provides 99% UV protection, is odorless, and has 0 VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds.) Ipe is typically quite expensive in comparison to softwoods; however, it’s extended lifespan lower maintenance cost and time and soundness make Ipe a long-term value and the initial investments pays off in the end. See this blog about Ipe vs Pine to see an example with supporting evidence. Ipe wood is often used on porches, docks, decks, at marinas, as commercial and residential siding, for furniture, pergolas and gazebos. There are other exotic hardwoods growing in popularity with Ipe. Tigerwood, Cumaru, and Garapa are also raising eyebrows. Though Ipe is the most sought-after of the four, the other three retain similar characteristics and uses. More specifics about Ipe ( What is Ipe? ) wood are below.

  • Ipe’s Scientific Name: Handroanthus spp.
  • Ipe Tree Size: 100 ft (30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
  • Specific Gravity @ 12% MC: .91-1.1
  • Janka Hardness: 3,510 lbs
  • Modulus of Rupture: 25,660 lbf/in2
  • Elastic Modulus: 3,200,000 lbf/in2
  • Crushing Strength: 13,600 lbf/in2
  • Shrinkage: Radial= 5.9%, Tangential= 7.2%, Volumetric= 12.4%

What is Ipe? More about What is Ipe? :

Ipe is 3 times harder than Oak. It has similar appearance and qualities to Teak wood. Ipe is superior in Decking applications and structural applications over Teak. Ipe has a class 1 fire rating which is the same rating that concrete and steel fall under! There are few dealers of Ipe, Tigerwood, Cumaru and Garapa in the United States. Overseas Hardwoods Company is the oldest provider with a long track record of responsible lumber purchasing, has the most inventory on site in many sizes and has the most experienced staff in house. OHC is based out of Mobile Alabama. Ipe and other tropical hardwoods should always be purchased from reputable suppliers like Overseas Hardwoods Company to ensure it has been responsibly harvested. This in turn prevents unlawful harvesting and deforestation and creates a sustainable harvesting operation in Brazil and other parts of South and Central America. Consumers often believe that using composite and plastic decking is safer and greener. This is unfortunate because producing these composite materials is irreversible and detrimental to the environment. See a short article on composite decking vs hardwood decking here. Ipe is natural. Ipe is a renewable recourse. Ipe is safe, long lasting, strong and low maintenance. Ipe wood is a fantastic choice for many types of outdoor projects. Overseas Hardwoods Company strongly recommends the use of Ipe for multiple applications, especially decking. To speak with an experienced hardwoods representative that can answer more of your questions like ” What is Ipe? ” call 877-568-7616 or visit OHC sales team on the web.

Pictures of notable characteristics of Ipe when used as Decking, flooring or furniture: