7 Natural, Non-Toxic Wood Stain Recipes (You Will Love Trying)

Wood Stain Recipes

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. Believe it or not, it’s a storehouse of non-toxic, natural products that can be used to refinish your cabinets or any other wood surfaces for that matter.

Just like regular wood stains, these natural recipes will give your cabinets a beautiful, new look while protecting them from the elements.

If you want your home space to be beautiful and welcoming, but find it tough to use all the chemical-based stains and finishing products, then these natural recipes for wood stains are perfect for you. 

Here in this blog post, I will be listing seven recipes for natural wood stains that are effective and safe. 

DIY Wood Stain – Natural and Homemade

Whether you plan to recolor your old coffee table, oak cabinets, or kitchen countertop, the following recipes will come in handy.

I use them all the time for my projects, and they work like a charm every time. 

1. Black Tea Stain

Using tea bags is one of the most popular, effective, and cheapest ways to make natural wood stains at home. 

It’s my favorite as it gives a nice, even color to the wood regardless of the type of wood you want to add color to. 

You can use this natural wood stain recipe to color plywood, particleboard, raw wood, or others. 

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 tea bags
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • Old cloth or sponge

Here’s how to make black tea stain:

To prepare the stain, start boiling water and adding tea bags. 

Let it steep for 15-20 minutes before removing the tea bags. 

After that, give the concentrated mixture a good stir, and then use an old sponge or cloth to apply it to the wood surface. 

You can also use a paintbrush to brush the hot tea water stain onto your wood if you want. 

Make sure to apply it evenly and in the same direction. 

After that, let it dry for about 30 minutes before adding a second coat, if necessary. 

Finally, let it dry completely for at least 24 hours before using your newly stained wood.

Tea water contains the tannins that work by reacting with the wood. 

And since different tea bags and varied tea quantities can offer you different shades, you can always experiment with this natural wood stain recipe to get your desired color until you are delighted with the color. 

TIP: If you like a lighter color, you can use some old used tea bags instead of new ones. 

2. Instant Coffee Stain

This is another of my favorite natural wood stain recipes as it gives a nice, deep color to the wood. 

It’s perfect for achieving a beautiful, dark espresso color.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • Old cloth or sponge
  • 1/4 cup of instant coffee powder or coffee grounds

Here’s how to make instant coffee stain:

Start by boiling water and adding instant coffee powder or grounds. 

Please give it a good stir until all the coffee powder is dissolved.

Then, dip an old cloth or sponge into the mixture. 

Apply the stain to your wood surface and let it sit for about 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, wipe away any excess stain with a clean cloth. 

And that’s it! Your wood surface will now have a beautiful, dark espresso color.

If the color achieved is not dark enough to your liking, you can constantly reapply the stain. 

3. Black Raspberry Stain

This is another excellent recipe for achieving a dark stain on your wood surface. 

It’s perfect if you want to achieve a rich, blackish-brown color. 

Besides black, raspberries are also available in red, yellow, pink, blue, or purple colors. 

So, you can also use them to create a beautiful, colored wood stain to match your home decor. 

Here’s what you need:

  • Old cloth or sponge
  • A cup of black raspberry

Here’s how to make black raspberry stain:

Start by crushing the black raspberries to extract their juice. 

Then, apply the juice evenly onto the wood surface using an old cloth or sponge. You can also rub the crushed berries directly onto the wood. 

Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes, and then wipe off the excess with a clean cloth. 

Remember that this method is best for wood that stays inside. 

In direct sunlight, these stains will tend to fade quickly, so if you need to use the wood for exteriors – apply a UV-resistant clear coat on it. 

This will protect the deep colors of raspberry for a long. 

TIP: Cherry and beets can give the wood a lovely deep red stain. So, you can use them if you don’t find black raspberries in your area. 

4. Walnut Hulls Wood Stain 

Black walnut hulls work pretty well as a dark wood stain. 

The good thing is you can find these hulls at your local health food store or online. 

I once used this method for staining my old wooden chair, and it worked great. 

It will not help get that gorgeous deep red color like cherries and berries but still, it will give a nice, deep brown color to the wood surface. 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of black walnut hulls
  • 2 cups of water

Here’s how to make the stain with walnut hulls:

Start by soaking the hulls in water for at least 24 hours – it’s good if you can wash them longer for 2-3 days as it will help create a darker color. 

After soaking the hulls for enough time, grind the walnut shells into a powder using a food processor or chopper.

Next, boil the water on the stovetop and add the walnut shells – keep stirring well.

Let the mixture steep, then strain it using a cheesecloth or other fine strainer. 

You can apply this natural homemade mixture to unfinished wood using a rag – make sure to wipe off any excess.

Let the mixture dry on the wood before applying a second coat if needed.

5. Turmeric Natural Stain for Wood

Turmeric is another excellent option that can be used to create a beautiful yellow wood stain that is entirely non-toxic. 

It’s the perfect wood staining technique if you want to add a touch of color to your wood without going too dark. 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 cup turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Here’s how to make turmeric wood stain: 

Start by mixing the turmeric powder and water in a small bowl. 

Add the vinegar and mix well until you have a smooth paste. 

Apply the turmeric mixture to the wood using a rag, then let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour. 

Wipe off any excess before allowing the mixture to dry completely. 

You can apply a second coat if needed for a darker rich yellowish-orange color on your wood furniture. 

6. Old Red Wine Wood Stain

This is probably the easiest wood staining recipe on the list. 

All you need is some old red wine and a rag. 

Pour a small amount of old wine onto the rag and then rub it onto your weathered hardwood floors in a circular motion. 

Allow the wine to sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. 

You can also use this wood staining technique on other types of wood furniture like tables and chairs. All it will deliver is a smooth, consistent color with a beautiful reddish tint. 

7. Cabbage Wood Stain

If you want to tint wood with a beautiful green color, this is an environmentally friendly wood stain recipe idea for you. 

All you need is a small head of cabbage and some water. 

Start by boiling a pot of water and then adding the cabbage. 

Let the cabbage boil for about 15 minutes, and then remove it from the heat. 

Once it’s cooled down, take a rag and dip it into the cabbage water. 

Apply the cabbage water to your wood furniture, then let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour before wiping any excess. 

TIP: Avocado also makes an excellent green wood stain. So, if you don’t have cabbage in your kitchen or don’t like it for any reason, you can always substitute it with avocado. 

Homemade Wood Stain

Pros and Cons of Homemade Colored Stain for Wood

Naturally-made colored wood stains are great for crafts and personal projects that involve coloring small pieces of pine wood or any other wood.

They are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. 

The main downside of these homemade wood stains is that they don’t always provide a consistent color on the wood and might not be as durable as commercial stains. 

In short, the main advantages and disadvantages of these natural wood stains include:

The Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Easy to cleanup
  • Nonflammable and organic
  • No VOCs and no odor wood stain
  • Safe to use in the house and pet friendly
  • Made with environmentally friendly ingredients

The Cons

  • Can raise the wood grain
  • It can fade fast if exposed to direct sunlight
  • It can be hard to apply to certain wood types
  • Colors are not very deep and permanent as oil-based stains

These natural wood stain recipes are worth trying if you’re looking for a fun, easy, and inexpensive method to add some exciting color to your wood projects. 

The bottom line

Hopefully, you enjoyed the cool wood stain ideas I have shared with you in this article. 

As you can see, there are different ways to make your wood stain at home using natural ingredients. 

So, if you’re looking for a non-toxic, organic, and eco-friendly way to add some color to your wood projects, I would highly recommend giving these recipes a try. 

Do you have any cool wood stain ideas that you would like to share with us? Have you ever used any of these homemade wood stains before? Which one is your favorite? Let us know!

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