I've been experimenting with making my own stain; I want something completely non-toxic. I've used tea in the past, but it really didn't seem to do much to the wood, but then I got to thinking about making it stronger somehow. Here's what I came up with.
I started with about two quarts of water. After the water got to a rolling boil, I added six teabags and just let it keep boiling. After about twenty minutes or so, I removed the bags and kept boiling the water down until I had about one cup left.
As you can see, it became quite strong tea:
To test it out, I divided a board into four sections:
Then I left one section unfinished and stained the other three:
After several applications, here were the results:
The first section was left unstained, the second section had one application of stain, the third section had three and the fourth section had five applications.
- Well first, it obviously works. Cool.
- Second - since it's water based, I realized that you have to wait for the previous application to be completely dry before adding another. If you don't, the wood doesn't absorb the stain and not much happens. I think I could have achieved similar results with fewer coats if I had figured this out sooner.
- Third, the blotchy spots are due to my sloppy application and could easily be avoided.
- I'm curious about what might happen if I strained the tea through a coffee filter. Would it act more as a dye rather than a stain?
I'll oil part of the test board and see how that looks.
Also, now I'm curious about coffee...