Weathering is the best option, just as it is for cedar, pressure treated pine and redwood. Weathered Ipe should be cleaned and allowed to dry before staining.
For those who don’t want to weather their Ipe, sanding with 60 grit sand paper and then solvent wiping is the next best option that we have found. After sanding and removing the dust, wiping the surface with automotive wax and grease remover will remove some of the natural materials filling the pores. Stain should be applied as soon as the solvent evaporates.
Apply as much stain, as the wood will absorb, wiping off any excess that remains on the surface 30 minutes or so after the stain is applied. Sanded and solvent wiped Ipe will typically only take one coat, but if the first coat soaks in, apply another. Weathered Ipe will often take two coats of stain.
The life of TWP stain on Ipe is typically half the life of TWP on cedar, redwood or pressure treated pine. If new Ipe is stained without any preparation, then the life expectancy is cut in half again.
We only recommend using TWP 100 or TWP 1500 Stain on Ipe Hardwood.