Shou Sugi Ban

Shou Sugi Ban is a beautiful, environmentally friendly solution with a practical application and a rich history. The technique was first developed in Japan sometime during the 1700s, sources say, where it was used to naturally preserve and seal wood siding while making it significantly more fire-resistant and unappealing to pests (bugs don’t mess with it).

Using an open flame, Shou Sugi Ban technicians char each plank, one by one. The planks are then cooled, cleaned, and brushed with a natural oil. (Barnwood uses linseed oil, and does all charing in-house. No imports necessary!) Depending on the approach, this technique can achieve a wide range of dark wood colors, everything from an inky smoky-grey to a deep coal-black. It’s a laborious process, but the effort is well worth it. The charred planks have an intrinsic payoff: longevity. Some sources say Shou Sugi Ban siding can last 80 to 100 years without maintenance, and even longer if refinished once every 10 years. Beautiful and low-maintenance. Now that’s what we’re talking about!

Along with exterior siding, Shou Sugi planks can be used for interior construction. They translate beautifully to bookshelves, coffee tables, paneling, flooring and more. Make sure to consult with Barnwood if this is the look you’re interested in incorporating into your next project.

Visit our featured project on Station 76 to see a Shou Sugi Ban application in the wild. And make sure to visit Barnwood’s Solutions page for more examples, ideas and inspiration.