If you’re like me, and love being crafty while saving money, this DIY guide to DIY staining wood with coffee grounds is right up your ally. I love making things for my home that not only add beauty, but also allow my kids to get their hands dirty. Did I mention the major bonus? There are NO chemicals in this project, and you’re actually recycling! That’s why I had a lot of fun staining these wood items for my home. This is a very low-cost project (can even be free!). I got my coffee grounds free from my local Starbucks, and spent just a few dollars on a piece of wood to make the growth chart from my local hardware store. The toy chest was handmade by my husband’s grandfather, who just recently passed away, making this even more special to our family. Try to be creative for something meaningful yet usable that you can enjoy in your home!
DIY Coffee-Stained Toy Chest
- 5 pound bag of “fresh-ish” coffee grounds (this covered me for use on two projects; you will use more/less based on the size of your project And how dark you want it to be)
- Untreated wood (if you’re wanting to create a growth chart, I suggest a six foot long 2×4)
Cover untreated wood with coffee grounds! I stained both the inside and outside of the chest but this is optional. This is messy and fun, so let your kids help out! Don’t worry about an uneven coat of grounds—you’ll just want to make sure that the entire surface is covered with at least a bit of the grounds.
Tip: You’ll want to use recently used coffee grounds so they aren’t completely dry. This helps them soak into your wood. If you have really dry coffee grounds, just moisten them up by adding a bit of water.
Let it sit for several hours. The longer it sits, the more you allow the stain to set in.
Wipe off the grounds and let dry. Here’s the somewhat tedious part. The coffee grounds like to go in every nook and cranny, so you may even need to use a hose to spray the grounds off. I sprayed mine with a hose and then wiped it down with a towel And let it air dry. If after wiping/spraying your project down, the stain isn’t dark enough for your liking, reapply stain and let it sit even longer this time.
Step 4: (optional)
If you want, you can seal the stain in. I opted not to do this part to keep my product chemical-free. I did this project in 2014–over 5 years ago and the stain is still as beautiful as the day I did it!
DIY Coffee-Stained Growth Chart
Follow the same directions above in staining the wood. Once the wood is stained, follow these simple steps:
After the wood is stained, decide how high you want to hang your growth chart. I would go with either 6 or 12 inches from your floor. (The exact measurement is based on if you want your plank to start at the 6 inch or the 12 inch mark. I chose 6 inches.)
Using a ruler and pencil, mark “hash” marks along the side of your wood plank to denote each ½ inch and inch. Small hash marks=every ½ inch; large hash marks=every 1 inch. Double check your work to make sure it’s how you want your final product, and then go back through with a Sharpie and trace over your pencil marks.
For the numbers that denote each foot, I used a stencil and a Sharpie (without tracing first). I just put a tiny little pencil marking next to the correct hash mark so I didn’t accidentally stencil the wrong spot.
Side notes: If you mess up on the Sharpie, the good news is you have the other side of the wood! My daughter really loved this project, and I loved the time spent watching her have fun with it. I especially love having something to decorate our home that also serves a purpose! Find something special to you that you can enjoy displaying for years to come!