Staining a wood surface is simply the process of altering the color of the wood. It differs from painting in that painting completely masks the wood grain. Staining simply adds transparent color to the wood grain, giving an appearance that more closely resembles natural wood.
There is a wide variety of commercially-manufactured wood stain products on the market that can be purchased from discount and home improvement stores. However, these products are manufactured with strong chemicals, as evidenced by the warning labels.
These chemicals can be dangerous if used with insufficient ventilation, and can be irritating if they come into contact with eyes and/or skin. Additionally, these products can be expensive.
Beautify Your Wood With Coffee
Have you ever noticed what happens to your teeth when you drink a lot of coffee? If not, your dental hygienist probably has. And, just as coffee can stain your teeth, it can stain your wood furniture. And, it can do the job beautifully and safely – with no harsh chemicals.
1. Brew a full pot of coffee (the stronger the coffee, the darker the stain). Allow the coffee to cool.
2. Using a coarse sandpaper, thoroughly sand the surface of the wood to be stained. Use a
duster, preferably one with microfiber, to remove the dust.
3. Using a fine sandpaper, thoroughly sand the surface of the wood again. Follow with the
duster again, to remove the dust. Be as thorough as possible to remove all traces of loose
dust from the sanding.
4. Pour the cooled coffee into the desired container for the project. A large, empty, plastic
container works well for this purpose.
5. Add ½ teaspoon of alum to the coffee, and stir well. This helps the stain to adhere to the
6. Dip a sponge, rag, or other cloth into the coffee and spread liberally over the surface of the wood, taking care to cover all parts of the wood (including the underside, if it could be visible). Do not be sparing with the coffee. It is fine if the coffee “puddles” because it will be absorbed.
7. After the wood is completely covered, allow it to “set” for ten to fifteen minutes, then, using a clean, dry cloth, wipe away the excess from a small area of the wood to determine if the color is dark enough.
8. If a darker color is preferred, simply wait another ten minutes, and check again. Once the desired color has been reached, wipe down the remainder of the wood and let it dry completely.
Additional Tips on How To Stain Wood With Coffee:
*For an even darker stain, instead of brewing a pot of coffee, steep coffee grounds in a large jar in hot water for several hours, or overnight.
*One gallon of coffee mixture will stain 100 square feet of wood.
*If the wood is not unfinished, measures will need to be taken to remove old paint, varnish, etc.
*Remove hinges, handles and other hardware as the coffee could cause unwanted discoloration.
*After the wood has dried completely, apply a clear sealant.
*Some wood surfaces are more porous than others, which means they will absorb more coffee stain than other types of surfaces.
Summing the Wood Coffee Staining Process
Making wood cabinets, furniture, or other items beautiful is even more satisfying when you know that you have avoided toxic chemicals, and saved money too.