Tea wood stain
Tea is a very economical wood stain, but slow.
- One teabag (standard black tea) in a mug
- Add boiling water
- Leave till next day and remove teabag
- Soak wood for 2 weeks, keeping it under the water's surface
The wood surface is saturated and must dry out afterwards. This creates some risk of warping, perhaps even splitting.
Time.... its a slow process! Shorter immersion gives lighter shades, and stain can just be wiped on for light results. A stronger brew is quicker.
With the test piece above, black slime formed on the top of the tea and caused patchy black marks on the top of the wood (the side not shown in the photo). This can be avoided by keeping the wood under the water surface.
Coffee has also been used.
There are various other freeish materials that can stain wood, but almost all of them fade after not long, including beetroot.