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Have five gallons of of Bona Traffic HD leftover from doing my ipe hardwood floors (which came out great!). Can't return it. I'm putting in the deck next (already framed), and was considering using the leftover Traffic on it. The deck will also be ipe, so it's pretty finicky as far as finishes, and I know this works (inside anyway...). I have some leftover Bona ClassicSeal, too, so I'd probably hit it with that first.

Official word from Bona is "we wouldn't recommend it", but with no real reason other than they have an outdoor product they'd like to sell me, I'd suspect. The deck is on the north side of the back of the house, so doesn't get beaten by the sun, though it will catch quite a bit of rain as several valleys come together there and there are no gutters on the back.

Thoughts? Anyone done it? Terrible idea? Great idea? Potentially expensive crapshoot? It's only ~400 sq ft, figure worst case I can sand it off in a day and put something else on...
 

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Interior and exterior finishes are formulated differently. I wouldn't expect it to hold up well on the exterior and it might be a bear to remove well enough so the right coating could be applied properly after it fails.
 

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Interior and exterior finishes are formulated differently. I wouldn't expect it to hold up well on the exterior and it might be a bear to remove well enough so the right coating could be applied properly after it fails.
I looked up the SDS of a few interior vs exterior waterbased polys, and the ingredients seem to be pretty similar. I'd think the big difference would be mostly in the UV inhibitors used, no?
 

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MEASURE ONCE, CUT TWICE
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I looked up the SDS of a few interior vs exterior waterbased polys, and the ingredients seem to be pretty similar. I'd think the big difference would be mostly in the UV inhibitors used, no?



Exactly.


Even powder coat finishes come in interior and exterior because of the darn sun.
 

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I've seen some covered decks done in Ipe in the Bhamas, but I've never seen an interior floor done with it. Some pictures would be nice.

You're right, too, in that finishing Ipe is a tricky business due to it's inherently high concentration of natural oils and resins. One of my sons and I have both done some wood turning with it, and it will dull knives and tooling quicker than any other wood I've ever worked with. It does have a beautiful tone and is extremely hard-wearing, though.

As for the finish for outdoors... do your research carefully as it would be a shame to mess up the surface or have to deal with rework because the finish won't adhere in the seasonal climate variations. You've invested heavily enough in the Ipe lumber already, so you should make sure that you don't "cheap out" on the finish by not purchasing the best product for the application (if the Bona you have proves to not be that product).

Here are a a couple of articles which may be of use to you.

https://www.deckmagazine.com/design-construction/finishes-maintenance/ipe-decking-finishes_o

https://topcoatreview.com/2011/06/ipe-deck-finish-5-things-not-to-do/
 

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Thanks for the pics. I wasn't aware of such color variation in Ipe. Everything I've seen is dark dark brown with reddish hues in it. Looks very nice, though. Did you do the install yourself, or have someone do it for you?

Below is a large knob I turned out of a block of ipe as a handle on a custom made mahogany top for one of my wife's antique crocks (12 gallon crock). The ipe doesn't match the mahogany exactly, but it's close enough to where my wife is really happy with it. The ipe was salvaged from a deck build at a home down the road from where my in-law's have a house in the Bahamas, and the mahogany was salvaged from the larger pieces of a broken floor-standing art easel here father made for her when she was 13. In the pictures with the knob sitting on the counter top, there is absolutely no stain or finish applied yet... that's the natural color and finish achieved JUST from polishing the knob on the lathe with steel wool and wood shavings.
 

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Thanks for the pics. I wasn't aware of such color variation in Ipe. Everything I've seen is dark dark brown with reddish hues in it.
I hear you. I had some ipe stair treads made for me by a different supplier, and those pieces are pretty much exclusively dark brown and reddish. What you have to remember is that "ipe" really means any one of 10-12 different South American hardwood species. They're all closely related, but some color variation wouldn't be surprising.

Looks very nice, though. Did you do the install yourself, or have someone do it for you?
I laid down the first 1000 sq ft, then had some hip surgery that had me on crutches for six weeks, so a buddy who's a pro did the last 800 sq ft downstairs, then I jumped back in and did the upstairs ~900 sq ft. Did all the sanding and finishing myself. If I never see a floor sander again it will be too soon.

Below is a large knob I turned out of a block of ipe as a handle on a custom made mahogany top for one of my wife's antique crocks (12 gallon crock). The ipe doesn't match the mahogany exactly, but it's close enough to where my wife is really happy with it. The ipe was salvaged from a deck build at a home down the road from where my in-law's have a house in the Bahamas, and the mahogany was salvaged from the larger pieces of a broken floor-standing art easel here father made for her when she was 13. In the pictures with the knob sitting on the counter top, there is absolutely no stain or finish applied yet... that's the natural color and finish achieved JUST from polishing the knob on the lathe with steel wool and wood shavings.
That's awesome. I think the next thing I'll have to add to my shop is a lathe. The community college near me has classes for like $75 and once I'm done building, I will check it out.
 

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I hear you. I had some ipe stair treads made for me by a different supplier, and those pieces are pretty much exclusively dark brown and reddish. What you have to remember is that "ipe" really means any one of 10-12 different South American hardwood species. They're all closely related, but some color variation wouldn't be surprising.
Good to know. I've not researched the ipe resources enough to be aware of the specie variation. I do know that it is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Walnut, but it's far far harder than any walnut I've ever worked with.



I laid down the first 1000 sq ft, then had some hip surgery that had me on crutches for six weeks, so a buddy who's a pro did the last 800 sq ft downstairs, then I jumped back in and did the upstairs ~900 sq ft. Did all the sanding and finishing myself. If I never see a floor sander again it will be too soon.
I hear you completely on the floor sander deal. It takes a special touch to work the orbital finishing sander. The one time I did that, I would have never imagined that something like that could toss around my 240 lb carcass like a rag doll, but it can certainly throw you completely across the room when it "grabs".

On your install, having done a couple thousand square feet of red and white oak install myself, I have a few more questions.
1) Did you use staples, cleat nails, or some other method (God forbid something like pre-drilling and screwing)?
2) Did you have any trouble with splitting?
3) Where did you source the flooring boards, and how straight were they?



That's awesome. I think the next thing I'll have to add to my shop is a lathe. The community college near me has classes for like $75 and once I'm done building, I will check it out.
I don't do a lot of lathe work, as I "inherited" (purchased) my Nova 1624 from my son when got bit by some financial troubles. It's a good solid performer, and has outboard turning options if I get the outboard tool rest, but that's not cheap option. Also, as purchased by my son, I can't get but something like 32" between centers. I can add another bed extension, but that's not cheap either. On the ipe, though, turning it is a serious challenge. It's almost more of a scraping exercise than one of cutting with the tools.
 

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On your install, having done a couple thousand square feet of red and white oak install myself, I have a few more questions.

1) Did you use staples, cleat nails, or some other method (God forbid something like pre-drilling and screwing)?
Shot 1.75" 18G cleats. Played with the pressures a bit, and 90-95 PSI seemed to be the sweet spot.

2) Did you have any trouble with splitting?
Some, but not enough to be completely annoying.

3) Where did you source the flooring boards, and how straight were they?
Believe it or not, I bought all my stock from Lumber Liquidators. I know they get a lot of heat (and some of it deserved), but I bought a bundle ahead of time and tested the heck out of it. Measured average width, thickness, moisture content, etc., then let them sit for three months and re-did all measurements. I was impressed: minimal bowing, thicknesses were (relatively) consistent, and moisture content sat right around 6-9% the whole way. I wouldn't give a blind recommendation to LL in general, but I'm more than happy with what I got from them for my project (and they were willing to deal on the price at that volume, too, which was nice).
 

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Thanks for those details. I've used the same cleats on both red and white oak, and always had good success with them.

Good to hear about LL as well. I've used LL for all three of my hardwood flooring projects (roughly 120 sq feet of unfinished red oak in Texas, roughly 350 prefinished red oak and then 550 sq feet of unfinished 3-1/2" white oak here in Alabama) - three different stores, and I've always let it acclimate inside the house in loose stacks for 3-6 weeks. Never tested it, but I've always (thus far) had good success with minimal warpage and never had a shrinkage issue generating open joints anywhere.
 
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