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Dye hardwood

Budding Contributor

Dye hardwood

Does anyone have any experience with using dark tea or coffee to intensify the color of hardwood?


Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Dye hardwood

Hi @Wendy_S,

Great to see you back on Workshop. Hope all is well.


Some of our woodworking friends on Workshop might be able to assist you with this, such as @AndrewJones, @Wayne, @Yorky88, @LePallet, @gbaker1512, @darylhewston, @Brad, @Rusty-Saw or @woodalwaysworks.


Can you tell us a bit more about your project Wendy?



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Experienced Contributor

Re: Dye hardwood

Hi Wendy 


i have used Coffee and Tee quite a lot to change the context of pallet wood which is more of a soft wood but I do know it has worked also on hard wood planks as well, that's for pine any way,


what are you wanting to do exactly? I create my own stain with Vinager and steel wool method, which It then combines with the coffee that gives me a dark brown stain 

Established Contributor

Re: Dye hardwood

Hi @Wendy_S

I prefer the Coffee metod over tea, although i do enjoy a good brew.

Tea staining is always a little too light for me.

I'm with @LePallet with the coffee and steel wool method.

Make a real cup of coffee, (non of this pod stuff) save the grinds and once cooled add them to a cup of white Vinegar and i add a handfull of stealwool. 
The coffee is your stain
the steal wool will get disintergrated and absorbed into your solution, this will then add some extra character to your timber, distress.

You'll want to put your made up solution into a sealable glass jar and leave it for a couple of days to a week. The longer you leave it the darker it will become. If all the wool hasn't disolved then just remove it or add more vinegar and wait longer.

Filter through an old siv and brush on, be patient as it will take time for colour to show. It also works well without coffee if you just want to distress your timber. I've had to do this before by running a saw blade over the timber, burning it lightly, few hits with a hammer. The stain takes really well to the effected areas. I'm not a big fan of making things then smashing them up but people do like 'rustic'

I find it goes on best applying with a old cottom rag (clean!)

play, experiment, drink coffee

Experienced Contributor

Re: Dye hardwood

Very well said @woodalwaysworks, I have done this too many times, I have never put the coffee in the vibager though, I have always just mixed a strong Brew at the time then paint on. I have noticed mould appear on top of coffee in Jar over time. 


But overall, it's cost efficient and I can't find a stain to match it, and with a clear coat of varnish, it comes up amazing @Wendy_

Established Contributor

Re: Dye hardwood



Yep and a couple of coats of Clear coat once all is dry to protect your piece

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