Stain Wood With Snapple Iced Tea




About: I am currently converting a 1988 40' Bluebird school bus into a motor-home / workshop that I plan to live, work and travel in. This is my second such project. This one will probably be my retirement home. S...

This is certainly not a new idea. People have stained wood for years with such things as food coloring, clothing dye, berries and just about any other colored liquid you can imagine.

If you've been following my slow moving school bus conversion project you'll know that I'm converting a school bus to live, work and travel in. Right now I have an OSB board for a kitchen countertop. I've been kicking around what kind of countertop I wanted to make but I knew that I wanted to embed a map of the US in it. A friend donated me a load of 40 year old cedar planking and the wheels started turning. I purchased a map puzzle of the US on and the rest is history.

Step 1: Supplies

  1. Wood (in my case the puzzle map from
  2. Stain (I had three colors of stain and some Snapple Iced Tea packets)

Step 2: Have Fun

I hadn't planned to post this but I was sitting at a picnic table, behind my bus, working on it and people kept coming up and saying how cool it looked that I decided to post it any way.

I downloaded a copy of a map from Google to use as a color pattern. The map had six colors. I only had three different stain colors. I started with the colors I had thinking I could space them out enough but that was not working. I didn't want to stop to run to the store so I decided to see what I had available. Snapple to the rescue. Below is the color pattern I used.

  1. Speckled Oak -
  2. Special Walnut -
  3. Dark Walnut -
  4. Natural (unstained) -
  5. Snapple Peach Tea -
  6. Snapple Sweet Tea -

It only took a very little tea mix to color the wood. Adding more mix did not darken the color so I only added enough to make enough stain to cover the states I was doing.

I even had enough tea mix left over to saunter down by Florida and have a swig of Snapple Sweet/Peach Tea while I was working.

Step 3: Watch for the Full Countertop Project

I was gifted two stacks of 40 year old cedar Which I plan to use for my countertop. I had always planned to inlay a map into my countertop but hadn't decided on what wood to use for the top. Now I can continue on with this project.

Stick around... There's more to come.


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    6 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I have heard of painting with tea, but staining wood is brilliant. Nice write up!

    1 reply

    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a great and unique idea, I might just have to try this! Thanks for the ideas and inspirations! Now my wheels are turning!


    This is really cool! Which colors of stain or tea did you use? I'd like to reproduce some of the colors there, but want to make sure I get the right one! What color is New Mexico?

    1 reply