Can You Stain Wood With Coffee? 5 Simple Steps

Ever wondered to yourself, “Can you stain wood with coffee?”. Read more to find the answer.

Can you stain wood with coffee?
Coffee can create beautiful stains

Take extra pride in your home by doing some projects yourself. Coffee may discolor teeth, but it can also create beautiful stains as well – on wood.

Save money on buying toxic stains and wake up your wood furniture with coffee staining. Utilizing coffee stains would allow you to bring organic color to your furniture without doing a full paint job.

Why Use Coffee To Stain Wood?

Coffee is a great resource to stain wood. You probably already have some in your home.

Looking for a particular shade or brand of stain or paint may require trips to different stores. On the other hand, it is hard to find a store that doesn’t sell coffee – brew or instant.

If you already drink coffee and have access to running water, no extra trips to the local home improvement store or paint shop are needed.

Coffee stains give your wood furnishings a warm, caramel tone. You can control the intensity of your stain color since each coffee application only adds a small amount of pigment.

Can You Stain Wood With Coffee? Is it Safe?

having coffee outdoors
Coffee is not flammable

Feel safe and cozy while doing your project. Unlike traditional oil-based wood stains, coffee is not flammable. You also don’t need to be in a ventilated area.

Coffee aroma is not only non-toxic but is one of the most appealing scents in the world.

How Does Coffee React To Wood?

Both coffee and wood have similar compounds known as tannins. These mutual tannins even out the tone of the wood.

This will produce a uniform color that is free from blotches. You also won’t need to use a pre-stain conditioner with this method.

What Kind Of Coffee Should I Use?

Top view of the different types of coffee
You can use any coffee

There is no need to focus on brands, bean types, country rankings, or brew styles. As long as you can brew enough coffee to produce the necessary amount of color and provide complete coverage, you can use any coffee. Yes, that also includes instant.

If you want the darkest stain possible, you should opt for a dark roast.

Have no plans to drink that unique licorice-flavored coffee that has sat in the pantry for ten years? Well, now you can put it to good use and spare your taste buds.

What Kind Of Wood Can I Stain?

Use any kind of wood to model the beauty of coffee stains. However, I think it is safe to say that you would produce better results trying to stain light wood like oak as opposed to dark cherry wood. Other light woods include pine, cedar, and cypress, among others.

5 Steps To Stain Wood With Coffee

1. Sand your wood first. Then wipe it off with a rag.

2. Brew your coffee and let it cool.

3. Apply the coffee on the wood with a foam brush or rag. Make sure you conduct a sample first.

4. You will have to sand the wood again since water-based products raise the grain.

5. Once you have achieved your desired color, seal it with a product of your choice. You can always use water or oil-based ones.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.