DIY Wood Stain Made With Coffee Grounds

coffee wood stain

Do you ever get tired of the look of a picture frame or a furniture piece in your home? Maybe you don't have extra money to buy new home decor, but there is always the option of changing and updating them.

If the piece you would like to update is made out of unfinished wood, you are in luck: you can make a dark-brown stain yourself and change the whole look of the item.

No need to even pay for paint: updating an unfinished wood frame or furniture piece only takes a few ingredients you probably already have at home: steel wool, coffee grounds, and vinegar.

You will need these supplies:

  • unfinished wood picture frame or furniture item
  • used coffee grounds
  • steel wool
  • vinegar
  • glass container with a lid

DIY Wood Stain Tutorial:

1. Put a piece of steel wool into the glass container, add about ¼ of a cup of coffee grounds, and top that with about 1-2 cups of vinegar.

2. Close the container, shake the mixture, and then let it stand overnight. 

3. If you are painting a frame, take the picture, glass, and back out of the frame. I had to keep the glass in my frame because it is a shadow box and the glass is attached to the frame.

4. Open the container with stain and mix it up a bit. Then take the steel wool out of the container and start applying the stain to the frame or furniture piece. Applying the stain with a sponge brush wouldn't work – rubbing the steel wool against the frame is what makes the stain turn out darker. 


5. After you apply the first coat, let it dry for 20 minutes. Then apply the second coat. I applied three coats, but you could add one or two more to get a very dark brown color.

6. After the stain dries, enjoy the updated look of your frame or furniture piece!            


I really like the color of this homemade coffee/steel wood/vinegar stain. I bought the shadow box at a garage sale for $1 because it was the right size to finally display my husband's old headshot, and it makes such a nice addition to our home. I'm definitely making this stain again for some furniture pieces we have.

Do you have an unfinished-wood item in your home that could use a new look?

{Inspired by this post. Images by Dagmar Bleasdale}


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DIY Wood Stain Made With Coffee Grounds

Dagmar tackles motherhood, thrifty home decorating, DIY projects, and green and frugal living on her lifestyle blog Dagmar's Home. She loves finding treasures in thrift stores and sells her handmade candles on Dagmar's Home Decor. Connect with her on Twitter (26,000 followers), Facebook, and Pinterest. ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Brittany says:

    does any one know how old the coffee grounds can be?

  2. mary says:

    i love this idea i am making a tabel this is going to work for what i need

  3. Karthick says:

    Hi Dagmar,
    Thank you. I am going to try this on my DIY Bamboo Floor Lamp. BTW, I don’t think its a good idea to showcase your Husband’s photo to other ladies. He looks so handsome. Lol.

  4. Sharhonda83 says:

    I am going to try this on an old table that I have, it looks easy enough!!! Thanks!


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