We tried out five different techniques for staining wood using products. You might already have in your household .
We're going to create two samples for each one. One pine and one on red oak. You need to make a very concentrated brew by pouring boiling water over the coffee grounds and let it sit for a couple of hours.
Then filter out the grounds using your homemade drip coffee maker. We applied this using a soft cloth. All of these techniques will probably require more than one application to make them darker. We made the tea stain basically the same way by pouring boiling water over a few tea bags. It needs to be left like this overnight and the tea bags are perfect. Applicators the tea seems to go on a little thinner than the coffee, but the color seems almost the same. Let these dry and put a couple more coats on and see what it looks like. Redwine seems to certainly stain furniture carpeting. Let's see how it does on wood to make the beat stain. We cut a couple of beats in half and boil them in water for about an hour and a half after cooling them off. Drop them into a blender with a tiny bit of water. The beads seem to work best as a thick puree.
We tried thinning it down to a beet juice and it didn't have the same effect. If you've ever made Indian foods you know that turmeric will stain everything. It looks pretty good on wood too(especially DIY photo frames). Turmeric seems to work best in a high concentration without a lot of water, while the results of these all-natural stains really surprises me. These are all viable options for coloring wood. It takes a little patience. Most of these required several applications to build up the color, letting them dry in between coats, coffee and tea were similar and went on the weakest. The first couple of applications had very little effect on the wood, but the end results are great. The coffee darken up the most and almost looks like store-bought walnut stain.
We thought the wine would make a bigger impact, but the pale reddish color it left on the wood it is actually very nice. However, the biggest winners were the beets and the turmeric. Both made a bold color statement with just two applications, and really the turmeric only needed one application. It's stunning how vibrant those colors came out. You'll have to decide yourself if these natural stains are really worth the trouble from a cost standpoint. All of these techniques, except for the turmeric, are less expensive than commercial wood stains. The beets in particular go a long way. You could stain an entire dresser with just three beats.
Turmeric is definitely the most expensive, but for small projects, boxes or picture frames, it would work out great coffee and tea will take the most patience just because they require multiple applications to make any noticeable change in the color. But it's very pleasant working with these and quite refreshing. You will need a respirator to avoid breathing chemical fumes plus it adds one more element of homemade to your projects. Things to do this morning, one drink coffee (make sure to use wood coaster).
Thanks for joining us on woodworking for mere mortals. We hope you enjoyed this, We're going to revisit this topic again and if you have tried any unusual wood staining techniques or if you have any you'd like us to try... send us an email.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the wooden crafts and 3D product design space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.