The ancient Japanese technique of charring wood to preserve it for use as exterior siding. Traditionally, Japanese Cyprus was used, but now we’re seeing this technique applied to cedar, and other woods. We’re also seeing the wood being utilized in new and interesting ways beyond exterior siding.
I first learned about shou-sugi-ban on HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins, and fell instantly in love. No, not with the cousins! With the distinct and unique look of the wood.
Here’s a close-up.
The wood is carefully charred, doused in water and cooled. Once cooled, it’s brushed to remove the dust and loose debris, and then cleaned, meaning washed and dried. The shou-sugi-ban can either be finished with a natural oil or left as is.
Why would you want to do this? Well, its cool factor, for one! But actually, the charcoal barrier preserves the wood and is fire, rot and insect resistant!
Here are a few examples of shou-sugi-ban in action.
Such a great panel look without the nastiness of paneling! Let’s not go back the 70s, okay?
This siding is an example of how the wood silvers once it’s brushed, cleaned, and oiled.
And here you see how it looks cladding a fireplace.
I can’t tell if the wood has been oiled or not. What do you think?
I love this table top burner.
And the irony behind it and the fireplace… you know, charred wood as a feature where fire burns brightly 😉 But seriously, isn’t this burner pretty awesome?
These stools speak for themselves.
Designed by Steve Hamm and Don Wroth of Urban Now Design, in their words, they “Like to create cool stuff, plain and simple.”
I’ll leave you with this last piece, a table by Materia Designs.
This is a great example of blending ancient technique with modern design, and topping it off with a little vintage statement… did you guess the table top is made of reclaimed barn board? Hemlock, actually.
What’s not to love?
I’m thinking a shou-sugi-ban headboard would be pretty cool. But, I do wonder how long it takes for the the charred smell to disappear!
So how about you? Have you heard of shou-sugi-ban before? Do you love it… or would you rather leave the charring back at the camp fire?
Thanks for stopping by!
All image sources credited below each image.