How to Stain Wood Naturally with Coffee

14 Sep

I’m not really a crafty person.

But doesn’t pinterest make you feel like you can create anything? I’m embarrassed to say this, but most of the projects I find, Nic ends up doing most of the time. That’s so bad! But he’s so handy and good at creating things that it just ends up that way. I wouldn’t use the word “crafty” to describe Nic. More like a hands on-perfectionist-likes to get projects done, kind of guy. Love him.

So. I finally did a project on my own. I created a height chart for Lyla. She is growing so fast and is so tall (95 percentile – holla!) that I really wanted to start tracking her height. I saw some super cute wooden height charts on pinterest, mostly linking to etsy.com. I thought, c’mon, I can do this. I bought all the supplies – the board, paint, brush, and we already had the color stain I wanted to use. And then, six months went by.

Here is the thing with me and crafty projects: I hate starting something that I can’t finish RIGHT AWAY! Mom of a two year old + working + running a household= No time. That’s why I procrastinate on these things. But last weekend I started and finished Lyla’s height chart!

Not to toot my own horn (but I’m going to): I really liked how it turned out! Should I start selling these babies on etsy, or what?!

Height Chart | WholeGreenLove.com

(When we hang this on the wall, it will be mounted 6 inches from the floor. We just haven’t chosen a place for it yet.)

So, I finished this one and then thought it would have really been cool to stain it with a more natural option. I attempted creating my next height chart with a coffee stain.

How to Stain Wood Naturally with Coffee | WholeGreenLove.com

In my eyes (which really, really, really love dark wood stain), I wasn’t totally in love with the final product, even after four coats of the coffee stain. I want to be honest here and let you know that I did end up re-staining the board to get the dark color I desired.

Before & After Coffee Stain | WholeGreenLove.com

I still thought it was important to share this technique because:

  • There is a noticeable difference in the wood color (which I wish the before and after pictures better depicted), so if you are looking to stain wood and aren’t hoping for a very dark color, this might be a great option for you.
  • The staining process was much more enjoyable with the coffee vs. conventional oil based stain which is stinky and can really do damage if it accidently gets on a surface you didn’t want it to.
  • If you are pregnant, very sensitive to fumes, or need to stain something in an area that is not well ventilated, coffee stain may be the way to go.

Have you ever tried staining wood with anything other than a conventional stain? How did it turn out?



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7 Responses to “How to Stain Wood Naturally with Coffee”

  1. Ann November 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    I would try it again but this time I would try boiling water with coffee and concentrating it. i.e. 2 cups of coffee grounds with 6 cups of water and let it boil down to about 1-2 cups. than strain it. it helped for me and gave me a different look when i reused old tea bags in addition to coffee grounds. :-) it also doesn’t hurt to try using some walnut shells in the mix as well.

  2. Terry September 11, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    I am gonna try this on the posts on my old wood fence. The posts are a cedar kind of color, like an almost reddish color while the old wood is a darker well worn old wood off the back of a 60 year old flat deck truck, the old wood looks cool but the posts make it look crappy, maybe this coffee stain idea might soak into the posts and make the posts match up to the old wood better.
    Here is what I am gonna do. Make a very strong pot of coffee and put it in a spray bottle and shoot the posts, I got this idea from your suggestion above so thanks, I’ll let you all know how it comes out.

  3. carol September 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    You could use refined Coconut Oil. It has no odor!

  4. Donna September 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Just started a project today that will require stain. This is just what I’m looking for. Thanks for the post.

  5. Nadia September 17, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    This is AWESOME! And I couldn’t agree with Jill more on the growth ruler – too cute!

  6. Jill P. (MamaGing.com) September 16, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    I have also heard (but have not tried yet) that coconut oil is a great conventional stain alternative. It dries faster than stain, doesn’t highlight flaws like stain, brings out the natural colors in wood and the obvious, you don’t need gloves or ventilation – it smells great! Since I’m not a coconut fan, I think I’d rather smell coffee! ;)

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