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March 28, 2011

Stain wood with tea - a natural, non-toxic ebonizing stain

A little fun with your morning pot of tea and a handful of rusty nails...




Love it! Do you think it would be safe to do on a butcher block countertop? We're considering the Oak counters from Ikea, but I really wanted them a lot darker.


Hi LoriD,
I don't think the stain will be stable enough on a countertop and it's healthier to use bare wood anyway. I think the first time you cut up a lemon or tomatoes, the acids will interact with the stain in the wood and cause blotching. Carbonized bamboo would give you a darker foodsafe surface, although I don't know if IKEA is carrying it yet.
Hope that helps.


Another, very similar approach


Thanks for the link, Keith. That's a divinely detailed account with lots of addtional tips. Loved it. By the way, I tried my process again recently using red wine as the tannin and I got a lovely indigo black as opposed to the greeny black of the tea base. Even before adding the iron mixture, I liked the look of red wine on oak: a cheap version of purple heart!


router bits

Thanks for this handy and natural solution. I am all for this natural processes.

waste management services

Thank you for this cool, natural tip on staining wood! This is helpful for those who want to do a little redecorating without getting exposed to too much chemicals.

new mom

Thank you for the info and instructions, i will use these techniques to stain the wood decor items (like a wall length pine shelf) with so that my son wont have to breath those nasty toxic fumes from standard staining. Yay!

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