You can stain wood without the use of harsh or toxic chemicals, and instead apply natural looking, food-safe finishes using food-based products that are safe for people and the environment. Use common household items like tea and coffee to create a traditional stained look. Seal your wooden object with rub-on beeswax or another natural polish. Sand the object or piece of furniture before beginning any treatments to allow the wood to absorb as much of the stain as possible.
Make a highly concentrated tea or coffee solution in your teapot or coffee maker. Depending on the size of your wooden object you will need to make anywhere from 2 cups to a half gallon or more of solution. Double the amount of tea or coffee required for the amount of water being used. The more tea or coffee you add to the liquid the richer the color will be. Pour it into a large glass or plastic bowl.
Let the coffee or tea solution cool to room temperature. Wear your latex gloves and soak the cotton rag in the liquid. Ring out slightly and apply the solution to the raw surface of your wooden object. Let the piece dry for at least a couple of hours and apply another coat if you desire a deeper color.
Apply an even coat of the rub-on beeswax sealer with a clean cotton rag. Cover the entire piece and let dry overnight. Apply a second coat to ensure maximum wood absorption.