Staining butcher block?

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Forum topic by Twoot posted 04-09-2015 03:29 PM 1118 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1317 days

04-09-2015 03:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: butcher block staining finishing mineral oil

I am restoring an old butcher block kitchen island for a customer and was asked if I could stain the piece to make it darker. I would like to keep it safe for food prep. Is there a food contact safe stain out there?

I was thinking about soaking some coffee grounds in some mineral oil and making a conditioner out of that, has anyone tried anything like that before?

6 replies so far

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2816 days

#1 posted 04-09-2015 05:11 PM

The only concern that I can think of is that depending how the old butcher block was treated; you may not get consistent coloration. I read somewhere that someone used everclear drinking alcohol to pull out the color of ground coffee and then mixed it with mineral oil as they were concerned with introducing water into the mix.

If it doen’t wook you can always bleach it out and start over.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View AandCstyle's profile


3170 posts in 2430 days

#2 posted 04-09-2015 11:46 PM

I don’t know if the colorant in coffee grounds would be soluble in mineral oil. You would need to test that. As another approach, you could make a strong black tea and try that on a sample piece letting it soak into the wood as long as feasible. However, tea being water soluble it may wash out over time, but the good news is that the client could retreat it as needed. FWIW

-- Art

View jerryminer's profile


944 posts in 1615 days

#3 posted 04-10-2015 06:14 AM

I don’t think tea or coffee will change your butcher block much. You might try these guys:

Non-toxic wood stain

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View mahdee's profile


4006 posts in 1941 days

#4 posted 04-10-2015 11:17 AM

Two options:
1- use charcoal powder (make your own)
2- Use a torch to darken the wood.
jerryminer has a good idea too.


View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2816 days

#5 posted 04-10-2015 04:18 PM

+1 mrjinx007

Like the torch idea.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2470 days

#6 posted 04-10-2015 04:21 PM

I’d try food coloring. Red and green together will make a dark brown, you can get black, too. You’d have to play with how diluted to make it obvioulsy but it’s certainly food safe.

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