One of the most striking features about the look of exotic hardwood decking is the wild tropical variations of their graining and colors. Natural hardwood decking species like Machiche, Garapa, Cumaru and Ipe are stunningly beautiful and they last remarkably well over long periods of time. While most domestic hardwoods offer some minor color and grain variations, exotic hardwoods take this distinctive look to a whole new level.
Here is a look at some of the typical color and grain variations you will see with Ipe hardwood decking.
An interesting note about the grain and color variations of hardwood decking is that an oil finish, such as Penofin or similar, will help the colors blend and darken somewhat when it is first applied. As the decking is exposed to outdoor weather conditions and the wood acclimates, the oil finish serves a dual purpose; it looks great and also helps protect the wood decking from UV rays during the critical acclimation period (usually the first 3 to 6 months after installation). Even if you would like your deck to ultimately weather to a driftwood gray color tone, protecting your decking initially with a sealer is the best way to treat your investment.
After the first coat of sealer flashes off, you can either recoat your decking with another coat of sealer or simply allow the decking to weather naturally. Over time the hardwood decking boards will patinate to a silvery grey appearance that is a very low maintenance decking option. When this happens, the grain variations of the boards provide a lively look and feel to the deck.