Tea Stain Transformation of Ugly Compost Bins

We have installed a set of three huge compost bins to convert our garden trimmings into compost – so useful but so ugly!

I decided to give the bins a makeover using a homemade tea stain in an attempt to make them less visually obtrusive so they would better blend in with the rest of the garden. What you see at the end of the video is the result of 90 minutes of staining – the stain was still wet. Since drying, the colour has mellowed to a warm light greyish tone, which is quite lovely. 

This was a fun project which cost next to nothing – so much cheaper than buying pots of paint! (The next stage will be to put down a slabbed path around the bins, and finally we will erect a trellis and plant some creepers directly in front of them so that, in time, they will be completely hidden from view.)

Tea Stain Recipe

– Add boiling water to 200 tea bags in a large pan.

– Leave to cool.

– In the meantime, tear off a section of steel wool and place it in a container with some white vinegar and top up with water until the steel wool is submerged.

– Stir the steel wool, vinegar and water mixture for a couple of minutes, then remove the steel wool and place in a dry container, leaving it to oxidise for a couple of hours.

– Throw the steel wool and any “rust juice” into a large container, and add the (strained) tea.

– Pour into a sealable jar or container and leave to steep for two days.

– Apply to raw, untreated timber using a brush.

That’s it!

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