Monday, 2 June 2014

Using coffee to colour or stain wood.

Ive used coffee in the past to give the appearance of age by colouring or staining spoons or bowls, recently I got a bit bored with the plain light colour of the sycamore  I have been carving. 

The first one on the left of the picture had a very nice shape and the handle, I thought would look nicely finished with a bit of chip carving.

After I had carved it I decided to try to age the wood colour with a strong coffee solution, this I have found needs as many coats as you decide to get the effect you desire. It's best to let the spoon or bowl to dry before adding another coat. 

I then remove some of the colour with a light wire wool or scouring pad, This helps remove some of the stain and gives a nice patina effect, an effect that is artificial I know but it's an effect I have been experimenting with.

I decided to add colour with oil paint to the handle and quilted chip carving effect. And so the finished spoon left to dry and the oiled with flax seed oil.
The coffee smell wears off by the time it is dry near enough to oil.


  1. Looks great. Do you boil it in coffee? Or just soak it in cold coffee? I tried it once with birch but probably didn't let it soak long enough.

  2. Hi, I basically use about teo teaspoons of coffee in a cup with about an inch of boiling water, then I paint the coffee solution on with a brush. It seems to work well

  3. Huh! Interesting. I will give it another try.
    Thank you very much !