Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Staining alternatives.... Coffee?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Wrothgar, Aug 2, 2020 at 9:37 AM.

  1. Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    So I didn't think new cedar would bug me, but wow, does it stand out. I don't normally like staining wood....so I'm looking for alternatives. I know tea works on some work, but has anyone tried coffee? When I spill my espresso it sure stains our white cupboards! I'm going to brew some now and give it a try.
     
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Try it on a piece of scrap first...
     
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Yup.... doing that now
     
  4. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac

    I was not pleased with my attempts to stain white cedar with coffee, tea, rotten leaves, soil, etc. or any other common material. The color was not right to blend with the old cedar in the canoe, too dark brown and very 'wimpy', washed-out, thin dark brown. I wasn't using Starbucks. We're interested if you come up with a good staining method. TM...
     
  5. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    WCHA member Fitz mentioned Minwax Early American to me a while back. Works good for me. If you put it on too dark you can lighten it up by rubbing with mineral spirits if you don't wait too long. But maybe that won't satisfy the purist in you...
     
  6. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Rumor has it that a great cuppa is perking in Cape Vincent. Might be the one.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I got similar results....a little browner but not close to the old stuff. I remember using vinegar to stain wood...but it wasn't cedar. Maybe vinegar and steel wool? Just guessing.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I think I have a small can of that.....just feel that it reminds me of my grandpa's 70's wood working - sturdy and strong, but lots of wood filler.
     
  9. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I found that to be too light so I use a quick pass with dark walnut, rub it off and then the Early American. On some hulls there is simply no way to match the wear and coloration.
    BTW, if you ae using coffee, it needs to be Italian roast.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    What about shellac? Can I make a stronger cut for some areas, then weaker for the rest?

    Actually, I was wondering if most people use shellac as a base anyway. I have lacquer thinner to mix it with.
     
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  11. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Does that mix well with coffee?

    Oh...
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ha....only if you brew your coffee with 100% alcohol.
     
  13. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Since I'm being trolled here, can I put in my 5#s worth?

    First, coffee is meant for drinking, brewed only with high-quality water. Then, preferably drunk in large quantities before noon. Add alcohol only if taking said brew and making Irish coffee. After noon, go to your local brewery who is also using said high-quality water, and get a nice IPA, or brown ale, or whatever cervesa works for you. (If you are really lucky, they'll have brewed a Gato Diablo coffee stout!)

    Second, stains suck. Especially into the wrong parts of the wood to be colorized. Get yourself a nice little palette of Trans-Tint dyes and do a series of color samples. Hit them with your varnish, which in itself is not without a color tone. Zero in on that, and you'll get a color match that no one will detect outside of five feet.
     
    Rob Stevens and Dave Wermuth like this.
  14. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I was staining today. I was mixing minwax stains to find the right color as is the case most times. Provincial, Gunstock and Golden Oak were my goto's today. As Dan mentioned above Trans tint is a option as well. I have them but find that they dry almost instantly leaving blotchy areas when using them mixed with alcohol. They can be mixed with water as well but that's not a option during finishing. Maybe Dan could offer me some pointers as others find them to be a good product as well. Being picky, I spend a lot of time doing this and its not a quick process. This canoe wont be done till next year so I guess I'm in no hurry.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    That's impressive that you have that much time/patience to work on a single canoe. I'm hoping to paddle this one in the fall...it's my first restoration and I'm learning a lot. I find finishing to be the hardest part of woodworking. Seems like once you figure something out, 10 years later all the products are different.
     

Share This Page