Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More on Staining Wood with Tea


Okay, here's an update on the staining wood with tea experiment; I added two different oil finishes to the test.

First, let's revisit the test board with only the tea stain:


Applications of the tea stain from left to right: five, three, one, and none.

Now the oil from top to bottom: four applications of dark tung oil, four applications of Tried and True Danish Oil, and none.


And the same, but rotated 90 degrees:


I think it is interesting how the angle makes such a difference. The wood is planed, so the chatoyancy might be a factor - I don't remember seeing such a difference when the wood was sanded. But then again, it's been quite a while since I've done much sanding or staining, so maybe I'm just wrong about that.

Oh, and I'm still working on on the coffee stain - more on that later.

16 comments:

  1. Dan, I just found your blog and so glad that I did. I really like your project archives and looking forward to taking more time and going through them one by one. I'm new to blogging (started yesterday). My wife posted one of my projects on her blog and got so many responds that she convinced me to try it. Pay me a visit, I just have one post at the moment, but having a few followers would really give a guy more incentive to post. So, if you like, please follow . . . your newest follower, Steve

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  2. Hi Dan.
    I have been reading your blog for a while.
    I have a question about your experiment with tea.
    .
    Does the finish have any scent trail?

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    1. Not much really. The coffee I've been experimenting with has a much stronger smell...

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  3. It would be interesting to see how the tea stain fades with time and light exposure

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  4. I agree. If it does anything dramatic, I'll post it.

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  5. Dan, have you tried adding the tea to food grade mineral oil....I need to darken some wood but want it to be food safe...
    thanks
    Ed

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  6. Ed - I did - and it didn't work. Apparently the tea is not oil soluble (same with coffee and onion skins). Of course, you could stain it first and then oil after, or oil/beeswax which is very easy to make (just remember to use a double boiler approach). Thanks for commenting!

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    1. Hey Dan. Awesome little post!
      Ok since I do everything all natural and organic even in my soaps and makeup, this really perked my interest.
      How do I use beeswax to seal it?
      Also what kind of tea is it.
      And how's the coffee expirimenting going? I want to see pics!
      I kinda want to try the coffee maybe. Because I want a darker stain.
      What's your thoughts?

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    2. Caterina,
      I make my own mixture of beeswax and mineral oil (which I consider "natural" but your opinion may vary - you could use almost any oil, although some are less prone to going rancid in hot climates) by mixing them in a double boiler. Just experiment to get the viscosity you prefer. Then you just apply, let soak in, and buff. I also highly recommend Tried & True oils (use the search box in the upper left corner for relevant posts). The tea is just plain old Red Rose. Didn't I post the coffee picks? Sheesh! I will try to get on it. It worked fine, a slightly different palette of browns. Sorry for the delay in responding.

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  7. Dan, Just found your blog. I hope you can help this amateur! I have some unfinished but sanded carved wooden cookie molds. I want to use them for decoration only. I am afraid the tea will puddle in the carvings and be a disaster. Thought? Thanks!

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    1. I think you will be fine.

      First I'd boil the tea stain down until it is very reduced and thus much stronger. Then I'd wipe it on and let it soak for a couple of minutes. Then I'd wipe it off. When it was dry, I'd repeat until I got the look I wanted. The tea stain is of course water based, which means you will probably get some grain raising which you can sand lightly after the first coat if it bothers you.

      What kind of wood are they?

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  8. Hi Dan, I love what you have done here! I am about to use the dark tung oil on a butcher block countertop, and I am also considering using tea as a stain. I'm just curious what type of wood it is in the pic that you did the testing on. And also, in using the dark tung oil, which would look better with oak, a beech or a birch. I am stuck between the two, and samples are hard to come by. I currently have an oak butcher block island top and therefore, I would like to have consistent colors throughout the kitchen. Any advice is much appreciated!

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  9. Hi Dan, I love what you have done here! I am about to use the dark tung oil on a butcher block countertop, and I am also considering using tea as a stain. I'm just curious what type of wood it is in the pic that you did the testing on. And also, in using the dark tung oil, which would look better with oak, a beech or a birch. I am stuck between the two, and samples are hard to come by. I currently have an oak butcher block island top and therefore, I would like to have consistent colors throughout the kitchen. Any advice is much appreciated!

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    1. Hi Faith - the wood I used for the test was a standard construction grade 2x6 - which is most likely fir. I'm not sure I understand the oak, beech or birch question - if you are trying to match a color you can repeat applications until you like the outcome. I would predict that the oak would take a darker final color with either the tung oil or the tea. However, remember that while the tea darkens the wood, it provides no protection, so you are probably going to want to oil over it as well. If I were trying to match a darker color, I'd start with the tea stain until I got close and then switch to the dark tung oil. Good luck and have fun!

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  10. i have beech kitchen work tops that are quite dark now after a few yrs of using danish oil, i now have 1 new worktop that has had 3 treatments with danish oil but is still a lot lighter, any suggestions on how i can speed up the darkening process so they all match ?

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    1. Hmm. I doubt you can stain it now that it has the Danish Oil on/in it. Might work though, if the stain was oil based. If the piece is mobile, you might see if letting it sit in the sun darkens it - some wood darkens quickly from sun exposure, but I really don't know about beech. Good luck.

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