Walnut, Brazilian

Ipé, Tabebuia spp


Walnut Brazilian

Shown with water-based finish (top), and oil-based finish (bottom)

Color: Can vary from light yellowish tan with green overtones to almost blackish brown; exhibits a large range of coloration when freshly milled; darkens over time to medium to dark brown.

Grain: Fine to medium, straight to very irregular.

Species & Grade Variations: Fine to medium, straight to very irregular.


Hardness (Janka): 3680 (185% harder than Northern red oak).

Dimensional Stability: Average (8.0; 7% more stable than Northern red oak).


Sawing/Machining: Difficult, especially with hand tools.

Sanding:Difficult. The wood is dense and oily. Scratches are easily seen—each sanding must carefully remove the scratches from the previous cut, or sanding marks will be visible in the finish.
Suggested Sequence:

  • First Cut: 40 or 50 at a 7-15 degree angle with the grain
  • Second Cut: 60 or 80 straight with the grain
  • Third Cut: 80 or 100
  • Hard Plate: 100 or 120
  • First Screen: 100
  • Second Screen: 120 or 150

Nailing: Predrilling and hand-nailing may be preferred.

Finishing: Test all products before using them on the actual floor. Oil-modified finish will require a lengthy dry time. Successful techniques include using a moisture-cure urethane sealer and a waterborne topcoat, or burnishing and sealing with a shellac-based sealer, then applying wax or oil and wax.

Comments: Often used as a decking material. Has been known to cause contact dermatitis.


South America.


Readily available.