A Japanese technique dating to the 1700s, Sho-sugi-ban was intended to preserve exterior wood siding by charring timber boards. Buring the wood preserves the timbers and acts as a natural sealant against wood decay, pests, and other natural elements.
The technique is much more labor intensive than setting boards a-flame. There are many steps involved including applying flame to the wood’s surface, allowing the wood to cool, and brushing away excess soot before finally washing and sealing. In fact, wood species can take to the flame differently leaving a lot of room for play and varied end results.
While the technique has properties of preservation, the process of charring wood timbers can enhance wood’s natural characteristics making it an interesting decorative material.
Seen here in a recent M U S S O remodel (along with the professional help of their contractor) had a pair of barn doors cladded with Sho-sugi-ban panels. In addition, a beam in the kitchen was also charred; each bringing forth a deep blue-black crocodile like finish.