How To Stain Wood With Coffee | Easy Coffee Stain Recipe

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I honestly never knew how well coffee stained wood until I tried it myself when making this DIY coffee print wall hanging you see below.  Nor did I realise how easy it would be.  You don’t need to go out and spend a fortune on wood stain or expensive coffee.  The coffee I used was a really cheap dark roast coffee from my local supermarket. 

In this article I will show you the results of the coffee wood stain experiment I did and also exactly what you need to do in order to achieve similar results.  

Why use coffee wood stain?

Coffee wood stain is great because it’s:

  • Cheap
  • Non-toxic
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Widely available

I have personally used coffee stain on baseboards (skirting boards), picture frames, small tables, wooden beads and even cabinets!  

You can use it on just about any bare wood and protect with a beeswax varnish if necessary.  
stain wood with coffee

DIY instant coffee wood stain experiment

Using four small pieces of bare pine wood, I did an experiment to see what color variations I could come up with.  

In each glass I placed the following amounts of instant coffee powder, to which 1 cup of water was added:

Glass 1:  1 tablespoon of dark roast instant coffee
Glass 2:  2 tablespoons of dark roast instant coffee
Glass 3:  3 tablespoons of dark roast instant coffee
Glass 4:  4 tablespoons of dark roast instant coffee

instant coffee wood stain

I then left the coffee and water to sit for over an hour after mixing before applying 4 coats to each piece of bare wood.  

And this was the result!  (A handy tip:  Speed up drying time by using hair dryer between coats.)

diy coffee wood stain

To me, there isn’t much difference between the middle two pieces of wood.  I did like the shade of coffee wood stain on the darker piece, the wood at the bottom, which I used this to make the wall hanging poster which is above coffee station.  (If you need some inspiration for your own DIY coffee station, click here.)

Do remember that your results will be different to mine depending on what brand of coffee you use, the strength of the coffee, how long you leave the coffee and water and finally the amount of coats you choose to apply.

How to make coffee wood stain

What you will need:

  • 1 – 4 tablespoons coffee, preferably dark roast
  • 1 cup of water
  • Spoon for measuring and mixing
  • 1 x glass or any container
  • 1 x paintbrush
  • Bare, unpainted and unvarnished wood (I used pine)
instant coffee wood stain


1.  Mix together as many tablespoons of coffee as you wish to use with 250ml water in a glass or container.  Remembering that the more coffee you use the darker the stain.

natural wood stain

2.  Leave to stand for at least 1 hour.

3.  Cover your surface before using a paintbrush to brush on the stain onto the wood.  You may need to sand your wood if it is very rough.  If so, do this before painting.

coffee wood stain sample

4.  Apply as many coats as necessary to achieve the shade of coffee wood stain you are looking for.  

stain bare wood with coffee stain

And that’s it!  Varnish if necessary.  

Related article:

You can use your wood stain it in a variety of DIY projects.  This was the coffee wall hanging I made using the above method.  I downloaded and printed this poster to use in my DIY picture hanger and I’m really pleased with the result.  

Hopefully you’ll agree after seeing this, how easy staining wood with coffee is.

If you’ve used coffee to stain wood, why not tag us on our Instagram page.  We’d love to see your creations!

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