Staining butcher block?

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Forum topic by Twoot posted 04-09-2015 03:29 PM 602 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Twoot's profile


1 post in 562 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


986 posts in 2061 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


2537 posts in 1675 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


496 posts in 860 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

View mahdee's profile


3456 posts in 1186 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


986 posts in 2061 days

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

+1 mrjinx007

Like the torch idea.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View dhazelton's profile


2283 posts in 1715 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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