How to Tea-Stain Poster Board

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The process of tea staining turns plain white paper or poster board into a weathered or antiqued project. Once you learn the method, experiment with different types of tea and hot versus cold water. The results will vary based on the type of tea and type of paper or poster board being used. Some teas are acidic, which may reduce the archival properties of the finished project.

Things You'll Need

  • Tea bags
  • Hot water
  • Non glossy poster board
  • Sponge
  • Fork
  • Scrub brush
  • Sponge brush
  • Glass sheet

Brew two to three inexpensive type tea bags in 2 cups hot water for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the bags from the tea and let both the bags and tea cool so they can be easily handled.

Lay the poster board on a flat surface with the glossy side down. Brush the wet tea bag evenly across the poster board to stain the surface. Dip the tea bag in tea if it is too dry to rub on the board.

Let the tea bag break open slightly to leave small pieces of tea leaves on the poster board if texture is desired.

Rub a sponge across the surface of the poster board to remove excess tea liquid.

Weather the edges of the poster board by rubbing it with a fork or scrub brush. Add a little tea water to the edge if it is too dry.

Let the poster board dry completely to verify the finished color. Repeat the staining process if it is too light or rub wet sponge brush across the surface if it is too dark.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tea staining may cause the poster board to crinkle when it dries. Place a piece of glass or Plexiglas over the poster board while it is drying to reduce the amount of crinkle or buckling that occurs.
  • Create a mottled product by pouring loose tea leaves and rubbing with tea water. Remove the leaves once the paper or poster board is dry.
  • Do not stack wet pages or poster board together as it will stick and ruin the project.

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