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Tea Stained Painting Techniques

Kayla Lowe

Tea staining is an innovative way to color many items, from fabrics to surfaces. It is quickly becoming a popular eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood stains and paints. It is much cheaper than paint or wood stains and safer for the environment as well.

Plus, it is an original style of artwork that can add an aged, antique look to clothing items or a warm, natural tone to surfaces.

Types of Tea Stains

The color and hue of a tea stain depends upon many factors, such as what kind of tea is used, how long the tea is steeped and how many applications of tea are used. Black tea will produce a soft brown, cream-colored or wheat-colored stain. Green tea will produce reddish hues. The tea will be more concentrated the longer it steeps. Consequently, the stain will be darker. Tea dries a shade lighter than it appears when it is wet, so several applications are usually required for a dark stain.

Tea Staining Fabric

Tea staining fabric is an easy way to create an antique look. You can tea stain almost any cotton fabric, and there are two techniques for doing this. To stain the entire fabric, place it in a bowl of tea and allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the fabric, wring it out and hang it out to dry. To get a splattered look, pour tea into a spray bottle and mist it onto the fabric. Use different types and concentrations of tea to create a splatter with contrast. Doilies, aprons and towels are all ideal fabrics to tea stain.

Tea Staining Surfaces

Stain surfaces with tea to give them a warm tone. Walls and cabinets are ideal surfaces to stain with tea. Boil tea and paint the surface with any standard paintbrush using varied strokes to create a textured look. Be careful when staining surfaces, though. Staining with tea is a very messy and drippy process. You can even spray furniture with tea to give it a splattered, antique appeal.