Guide to Maintaining and Preserving Ipe Wood Furniture: Tips and Tricks

Ipe wood, often referred to as Brazilian walnut, is renowned for its durability, rich color, and resistance to weather and pests. While Ipe wood furniture is robust and long-lasting, proper maintenance and preservation are essential to keep it looking its best. This guide provides practical tips and tricks to help you maintain and preserve your Ipe wood furniture for years to come.

Understanding Ipe Wood

Ipe wood is one of the densest and hardest woods available, with a Janka hardness rating of 3,680. Its natural oils provide resistance to moisture, decay, and insects, making it an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor furniture. Despite its resilience, Ipe wood requires specific care to maintain its beauty and longevity.

Initial Care and Setup

  1. Sealing: When you first acquire Ipe wood furniture, it’s essential to seal it. A high-quality penetrating oil sealer will help protect the wood from moisture and UV rays. Apply the sealer following the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring even coverage. This step enhances the wood’s natural color and prevents it from graying over time.
  2. Placement: For outdoor furniture, choose a location that minimizes exposure to direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions. Using furniture covers during harsh weather can provide additional protection.

Regular Cleaning

  1. Dusting: For indoor Ipe furniture, regular dusting with a soft, dry cloth will prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. For outdoor pieces, use a soft brush to remove loose dirt and debris.
  2. Cleaning Solutions: Mix a mild soap with water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the wood’s surface. Wipe the furniture with a soft cloth dipped in the solution, then rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.
  3. Deep Cleaning: For outdoor furniture, periodic deep cleaning is recommended. Use a mixture of water and oxygen bleach (following the manufacturer’s instructions) to remove tough stains and mildew. Apply the solution with a soft brush, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and allow the furniture to dry completely.

Maintenance Tips

  1. Re-sealing: Ipe wood furniture should be re-sealed periodically to maintain its protective layer and vibrant color. Depending on exposure to the elements, re-sealing every 6 to 12 months is typically recommended. Apply a high-quality penetrating oil sealer, ensuring even coverage.
  2. Sanding: If your Ipe furniture begins to show signs of weathering or surface scratches, lightly sand the affected areas with fine-grit sandpaper. Sand in the direction of the grain to avoid creating scratches. After sanding, clean the surface and reapply a sealer.
  3. Addressing Graying: Over time, Ipe wood can develop a natural silver-gray patina due to UV exposure. If you prefer to maintain the original color, use a UV-inhibiting oil or sealer and apply it regularly. For already grayed wood, a specialized wood brightener can restore the original color before re-sealing.

Seasonal Care

  1. Winter Care: For outdoor Ipe furniture, consider moving it to a sheltered area during winter or covering it with weather-resistant covers. This helps protect the wood from extreme cold, snow, and ice, which can cause cracking and splitting.
  2. Summer Care: In the summer, regularly clean and re-seal your outdoor furniture to protect it from intense sunlight and heat. Ensure the furniture is dry before applying any sealer.

Additional Tips

  1. Avoid Harsh Conditions: Protect your Ipe wood furniture from prolonged exposure to moisture, such as placing it in areas with poor drainage or excessive humidity.
  2. Use Coasters and Pads: For indoor furniture, use coasters, placemats, and felt pads to prevent scratches, stains, and heat damage from hot dishes or beverages.
  3. Monitor for Damage: Regularly inspect your Ipe wood furniture for signs of damage, such as cracks, splits, or loose joints. Address any issues promptly to prevent further deterioration.


Maintaining and preserving Ipe wood furniture requires regular care and attention, but the effort is well worth it. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your Ipe furniture remains beautiful, functional, and durable for many years. Proper sealing, cleaning, and periodic maintenance will protect the wood’s natural beauty and enhance its longevity, allowing you to enjoy the elegance and durability of Ipe wood furniture in your home or outdoor space. You can also check here for hardwood suppliers.

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