I’m not trying to impress with my use of Japanese — “shou-sugi-ban” is a wood treatment technique invented by the Japanese. It involves charring wood to add beauty and longevity to the wood. Traditionally in Japan, cedar siding and fencing was burnt to increase the wood’s resistance to insects and fire. The basic idea involves burning the surface of the wood to a varying degree of char, anywhere from a lightly burned-in look to a deep black char. When done well, the effect truly creates a one-of-a-kind look. And in addition to being aesthetically unique and attractive, the charring of the surface  preserves the wood, protects from weathering and is bug/pest resistant.

charred wood cabinet trim

So why am I bringing up this topic? We recently finished a custom commercial project where we applied  a shou-sugi-ban treatment on wood paneling that we used on the entrance walls of a retail market as well as a deli marker-board interior wall. We also created wood charred trim for the custom cabinetry inside the market. The end result turned out great — not only was the client happy, but I have to admit we loved it too!

Shown here are a couple pics taken from the project site.

View more photos from this project on our main site by clicking here.

charred wood wall treatment

Other Links:  Here are two website links for anyone interested in exploring this charred wood technique further. These sites contain more pics showing the end result when using this technique. It’s a “hot” trend (pun intended) that we think is pretty “cool” too!

houzz:  shou-sugi-ban home design photos

Dwell:  5 examples of shou-sugi-ban