926 words • | Tags: Woodworking

DIY coffee ground wood stain

A simple method on how to make a DIY coffee ground wood stain.

By Whiskey Wood Creations, Whiskey Wood Creations

There are so many wonderful things you can do with leftover coffee grounds. Next time you go to throw away your morning’s coffee leftovers, think again! Coffee grounds make for an excellent medium when mixing up your own DIY wood stain.

A while back, I tried my hand at creating a coffee ground wood stain and found the whole process to be very simple to make and the stain gave the wood a nice, organic tone.

Coffee ground wood stain

1) What you’ll need

For making your own DIY wood stain, there isn’t a huge supply list, but these essentials will get you on the path to creating a coffee ground stain. It’s essential to let the coffee brew or steep for quite some time and I found that a French Press works best for this. Click any of the linked items to securely purchase through Amazon

2) Making your own coffee ground wood stain

Here is how I made it:

  1. Gather your leftover coffee grounds and pour at least one cup of the grounds into a coffee pot or french press.

  2. Boil water and add the boiling water to the container with the coffee grounds.

  3. Let the coffee grounds soak in water for at least two hours, leaving it overnight will work best.

  4. Once the water has cooled and it has sat for a couple of hours, filter the coffee grounds out.

  5. Using a french press is by far the easiest method for the coffee ground stain, plus they make amazingly smooth cups of coffee for all of your morning woodworking projects!

  6. Be sure to put the coffee into a container that is large enough so that you can reach a paint brush or staining cloth into.


  • You can add a small amount (2-3 tablespoons) of vinegar to your coffee ground mixture if desired. When using steel wool for application, it is recommended to add some distilled white vinegar to the mix.

  • Soak the fine steel wool in the coffee and vinegar mixture until it dissolves into it, this takes 48 hours or more. Note: leave ventilation room when doing a steel wool and vinegar solution, as it naturally release gases that need to escape.

3) Applying the Coffee Ground Wood Stain

Cloth, Paint brush or Old T-Shirt:

  1. Briefly soak/dip it in the coffee mixture.

  2. Leaving it fairly moist, apply generously to the wood.

  3. The wood will take the stain and dry quickly, so many layers or coats are needed.

  4. Every 10 minutes or so (once the wood has flash dried from previous layer) add a new, even coat of the coffee ground stain mixture.

  5. If you have any extra coffee grounds left, applying and rubbing/working the grounds themselves into the wood does help stain it and ultimately makes your woodworking project’s finish that much darker.

  6. If you add grounds to the wood, be sure to wipe off before next coat.

Repeat the process until the desired color has been reached.

Finish the wood off with a clear finish of choice. I personally recommend using Varathane Water-Based Polyurethane, as it is both less toxically harmful and gives a very smooth, protecting finish.

Steel wool Method:

I have heard of others using steel wool to apply the coffee stain to wood, I personally have not tried this method.

The only difference in using the steel wool is that you need to soak the steel wool in the coffee for at least two hours. You could let is completely dissolve into the mixture by adding vinegar to the coffee ground stain and leaving the steel wool pad in the mixture for 48 hours or until it dissolves. Again, Note: leave ventilation room when doing a steel wool and vinegar solution, as it naturally release gases that need to escape.

When you are originally making the stain, drop the steel wool into the mixture and let soak.

If you’re using the steel wool during application, it will give the wood a little extra aged or worn aesthetic, as stiff enough steel wool pads will scratch up the wood upon application.

Thanks for checking out this woodworking project of ours, here on the Whiskey Wood Creations blog! I hope this has helped guide you in the straightforward process of creating your own coffee ground wood stain.

If you do have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

I’d love to see how your DIY wood stain turns out on your next woodworking project. Post/share photos with all of us in the comments, below.

Next chevronRight icon

Related Posts

Wedding Wine & Letter Box - Woodworking video | 05 Aug 2017
Free woodworking plans: Wood 6-pack Beer Caddy | 02 Nov 2016
The Carpenter's Apprentice - Woodworking Lesson One: The Dovetail | 16 Aug 2016
Whiskey Wood Creations logo