How To Stain Paper With Coffee DIY Tutorial With Video

how to stain paper with coffee tutorial

Here is how to stain paper with coffee. If you have wondered how to create a beautifully aged coffee stained paper, you have come to the right place! Here's the only coffee staining tutorial you will ever need to get a vintage look to any paper.

In this coffee staining paper tutorial, you will learn how to make regular paper look old and vintage by staining it with coffee grounds. This tutorial will make your paper look like it's been around for years and years. There are many uses for coffee stained paper, and it's so fun to make too.


How To Stain Paper With Coffee | Instructions

Step 1: Start out with 3 cups of hot water and add in 1 cup of ground coffee. This will give your water a nice dark coffee color.

Step 2: Stir the coffee mixture really well and let it sit for 5 minutes to get the water fully saturated with the coffee grounds.

Step 3: Strain the coffee mixture with a mesh strainer and discard the coffee grounds. There may be some left, that is fine! It adds darker spots to your paper. 

Step 4: Pour the strained coffee into a shallow pan, dish, or bowl and add in your paper to soak up the coffee.

Step 5: Let the coffee stained paper dry on a piece of paper towel, or hang it to dry with clothespins.

Coffee Staining Tip: Double dipping and letting the paper sit for a few minutes will give an even darker aged look. You can also make the coffee with your coffee maker but doing it with a strainer will keep more of the coffee bits in the liquid which will give better staining designs on your coffee-stained papers.


What types of paper can I use for coffee staining?

Read on to learn about how different papers soak up the coffee differently and for more detailed instructions. Some papers will react very differently when soaking them in coffee water.


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial

It's fun to see how papers soak up coffee in different ways. Keep in mind that aging paper with coffee is not archival because coffee is acidic. Make a whole bunch at once and use them to make your own vintage style book or junk journals.

Another way you can use coffee stained paper is to make it on very thin printer paper and then use it for decoupage crafts.

how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial

For this coffee stained paper tutorial, we tested out four different kinds of paper and got different results depending on the tooth and absorbency. The results were surprising!


Best Paper For Staining

1. Plain Printer Paper For Staining With Coffee

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Printer paper will soak up the coffee water evenly. If you let the printer paper dry and dip it into the coffee again, there will be more of an aged look. This paper would be great for little notes or gift wrapping.

This paper gets pretty delicate when it's wet so be very careful to avoid rips.


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial


2. Watercolor Paper For Staining With Coffee

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A favorite is staining watercolor paper with coffee. Strathmore watercolor paper is a good paper to use. The way this paper soaked up the coffee and little coffee bits was amazing. This type of paper would be great for junk journal inserts and for painting on. 

You can also cut strips and use the coffee stained paper to embellish some small boxes that we were gift wrapping. And this paper would make fabulous greeting cards. Such a nice touch!


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial


3. Mixed Media Paper For Coffee Staining

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Another favorite is mixed media paper. After playing with a few different kinds of mixed media papers, we found that this paper soaked up the coffee extremely well.

This kind of coffee stained paper is perfect paper for card-making, tags and for painting or drawing on. So many ways to use this paper including maps.


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial


4. Lined Paper For Paper Staining

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The regular lined paper was the same as the plain office paper and would be great for adding to your junk journals and for writing notes or poems on. Again, it is extremely delicate when it's wet.

This paper would be great for more advanced coffee staining because it will rip very easily.


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial


5. Printable Graphic Papers For Coffee Staining

Free Downloadable Paper

Here is a great selection of printable downloads, high quality digital art, and printable graphics for coffee staining.

These digital papers are great for making your own wedding invitations, journal spreads, journal inserts, announcements, matting, scrapbooking, cardmaking, photo backgrounds for your products, collage, decoupage, wall art, make items for sale and more.

Now that you know about how different papers react to coffee, let's get staining.



This is the fun part. Use whatever dish or containers that fit your sizes of paper. A cookie tray or plastic container will work for your larger sheets. Fill your container or dish of choice with your coffee.


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial 


Start dipping and emerging your papers into the coffee. Have fun and experiment. Try to crumple the paper or fold it before dipping and after to see what kinds of designs appear.

Double dipping and letting the paper sit for a few minutes will give an even darker and a more aged look. Hang your papers to dry or use your blow dryer or a heat gun. 


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial


Keep in mind that the regular printer paper and lined paper will rip easily. Also if you are going to hand stamp or paint on your paper be sure to do that after it's dry. Don't paint on the paper and then dip into the coffee because your image will smear.

On the other hand, if you are going to print a design on your paper with a printer, best to do that before as long as you are using designs from a laser printer. Inkjet will run.


how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial

how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial


How To Stain Paper With Coffee | Video Tutorial

Watch the coffee staining tutorial below to see how we stained our papers with coffee to give them an old, antique look. You will love how the paper turned out. 

Here are some frequently asked questions about staining paper:

  1. What types of paper are suitable for staining? Answer: High-quality watercolor paper or heavyweight drawing paper is really great for staining. These papers have the absorbency needed to hold the stain well and will give you a smooth surface for consistent results.

  2. What is the best method for getting an even stain on paper? Answer: To get that nicely even stain, apply the stain in thin, consistent layers using a soft brush or sponge. Let each layer to dry completely before applying the next. This ensures that the stain is absorbed uniformly and prevents streaks or blotches.

  3. Can I use household items for paper staining? Answer: Yes, many household items like tea, coffee, or diluted ink can be used for staining paper. However, it's important to experiment on a small sample first to determine the desired color intensity and to make sure it works with your paper type.

  4. How do I preserve the stained paper to prevent fading? Answer: To preserve the stained paper, try using a fixative spray or applying a thin layer of clear sealant. Additionally, store the paper away from direct sunlight and extreme humidity, as these factors can contribute to fading over time.

  5. Can I mix different stains to create custom colors? Answer: Yes, you can experiment with mixing different stains to create custom colors. Start with small batches to test the combination and achieve the color you want. Keep track of the amounts used to reproduce the color in larger quantities if needed.

  6. Is it possible to remove or correct mistakes made during the staining process? Answer: While it can be difficult to completely remove stains, you can try lifting some of the color using a clean, damp cloth or sponge right after applying the stain. For corrections, consider layering additional stains strategically or incorporating the mistake into the overall design creatively.

Now that you have the basics down, try staining other things too! Maps, book pages, canvas, fabrics, and doilies can be stained by this process.

If you found this tutorial helpful, please save the pin below.

how to stain paper with coffee diy tutorial


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