Grain and Color Variations of Hardwood Decking and Siding

Written by on

All wood species have unique color and grain variations. Each piece of wood has its natural differences. Tropical hardwoods show a very wide amount of color variations and grain variations. Let’s look at the amazing array of colors, grain variations and exotic figuring commonly found in tropical hardwood decking and siding species such as Ipe, Cumaru, Machiche, Garapa, Jatoba and others.  

Personally, I absolutely love the tropical graining, quarter sawn look, ribbon effect and color variations found in hardwood decking and siding. To me, an unabashed wood lover, these incredible differences are remarkable and unique natural beauty marks.  As a colleague of mine once said, "It's wood. Get over it."  It is also important to understand that these beautiful exterior hardwoods are going to change color over time. During the aging gracefully in place process they tend to blend out as they season in place.


Ipe Wood Decking and Siding Color and Grain Variations


Ipe hardwood graining variations run the whole gamut of wide color range from light brown to nearly black, with olive brown colors and various chocolate browns mixed in for good measure. The graining can range from fine grained to medium grained and, depending on the piece and the way the board was cut, can show some beautiful striping, quarter sawn figuring, and burls and more. 


Ipe hardwood decking showing typical color and grain variations

The best way to artistically arrange Ipe decking or siding boards are to work with each board like a puzzle piece; mix and match the pieces for color and graining and blend them to create a unique work of art that is yours and yours alone.  

Ipe rainscreen siding with vertical outside corners

Ipe wood rainscreen siding with typical grain and color variations

For more pictures of Ipe hardwood decking and siding color variations, visit the decking and siding project picture galleries for a better look at the natural beauty.

Ipe Wood Decking Picture Gallery

Ipe Wood Siding Picture Gallery


Cumaru Wood Decking and Siding Color and Grain Variations


Cumaru hardwood is another wildly grained tropical hardwood decking and siding option.  Cumaru has some coarse and very pronounced graining and varies in color from pale yellowy brown to reddish brown to an almost purplish brown color.  Cumaru decking and siding has a lively, exotic appearance.  Like Ipe decking, Cumaru should also be arranged artistically to mix and match and the blend the various color tones and figuring.  Embrace its uniqueness and natural beauty.

file-29862871Cumaru hardwood decking exhibiting typical color and grain variations when it is first installed

Cumaru siding on angled exterior

Typical grain and color variations in Cumaru hardwood siding when first installed.  The UV rays will help the colors to blend as the wood seasons.


For more pictures of Cumaru hardwood decking and siding and its lively color and grain variations, visit the project picture galleries for a better look.  Embrace the wild side with Cumaru.

Cumaru Wood Decking Picture Gallery

Cumaru Wood Siding Picture Gallery

Garapa Wood Decking and Siding Color and Grain Variations


Garapa hardwood decking and siding varies in color and graining too, but it is usually a lot more subtle variations than many other hardwood species. Garapa ranges in color from soft yellows, blondes, amber tones and honey coloring and will continue to darken towards medium brown tones as it is exposed to UV rays.

Garapa decking, railing soffits and vertical siding at Lasalle University-1

Garapa decking, siding and soffits showing an embracing variety of grain and color variations

The graining is beautiful and you may find some pieces of Garapa with spectacular striping and opalescent type of figuring. You will definitely want to showcase those pieces for bragging rights at dinner parties on your deck so every knows just exactly how cool you really are.

FSC Garapa rainscreen siding high quality craftsmanshipFSC Garapa wood rainscreen siding and soffits showing off their lively tropical colors and exotic grain figuring


To look at more pictures of Garapa hardwood decking and siding color variations, visit the project picture galleries for a closer look at actual projects.

Garapa Wood Decking Picture Gallery

Garapa Wood Siding Picture Gallery


Machiche Wood Decking and Siding Color and Grain Variations


Machiche hardwood decking and siding is another impressively grained species that looks somewhat like Cumaru but is usually a little browner in appearance.  The coarse graining in FSC Certified Machiche hardwood is mostly linear with some darker streaks and striped appearance which tend to even out as the UV rays work their magic and darken the boards to more chocolate brown tones. 

FSC Machiche hardwood deck with dining and entertainment space-1

Machiche hardwood decking showing some typical grain and color variations. Here the Machiche wood decking is coated with Penofin Hardwood Formula sealer to help the colors blend immediately.

Although all the Mataverde® Premium Hardwood species are sustainably harvested, many aficionados really appreciate the fact that Machiche decking and siding is an FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified hardwood.  Mataverde Machiche wood is also harvested under the sustainability guidelines of the Rainforest Alliance.



Machiche hardwood siding showing some typical color and grain variations

Check out additional pictures of Machiche hardwood decking and siding color variations. Visit the Machiche siding and decking project picture galleries for a better look at the grain and color ranges in real world projects.

Machiche Wood Decking Picture Gallery

Machiche Wood Siding Picture Gallery

Jatoba Wood Decking and Siding Color and Grain Variations


Jatoba hardwood decking and siding, also known as Brazilian Cherry, has some impressive color and grain variations.   Jatoba wood ranges in color from light tans, to medium browns and light cherry pink and red tones. The grain of Jatoba varies a lot, with some darker brown streaks that add character.  And like all tropical hardwood decking, Jatoba can be left to weather naturally to a silvery gray patina.

Mataverde Jatoba hardwood decking with Penofin Hardwood formula sealer

Jatoba hardwood decking with a coat of Penofin Hardwood Formula sealer to enrich the colors.


Jatoba rainscreen siding on storefront-1

Jatoba wood rainscreen siding with Seal Once with Bronze Cedar tint helps to blend the color and graining


To see more pictures of Jatoba hardwood decking and siding color variations, visit the Jatoba siding and decking project picture galleries for a better look.

Jatoba Wood Decking Picture Gallery

Jatoba Wood Siding Picture Gallery


A few final points about all the high density hardwood decking and siding grain and color variations (and I’ll be off to my own deck for some family fun):

  • UV rays will darken all of the hardwood species listed above and will help mellow the grainy textures over a fairly short period of time.
  • All woods will adjust somewhat in color and size as they acclimate – make sure you plan your decking layout and installation accordingly.
  • You will need to protect the surface of the decking or wood siding when you first install it to help it adjust and acclimate (even if you want to let the decking or siding naturally weather to a silvery patina over time).
  • As the hardwood decking ages and matures and silvers out, the more heavily grained and highly figured pieces are the boards that will continue to add character for many years. Download the FREE "How Woods Weather" guide today.

 Please visit our website for more information about hardwood decks, hardwood siding, Mataverde decking, rain screen siding and more.

Hardwood Decking Options

Hardwood Siding Options


Related Posts

Back to top