Shou-sugi-ban--charred cedar siding

I am building a little painting studio in my backyard, and wanted to try out 'shou-sugi-ban,' a traditional japanese technique of burning the wood siding to create a thin charcoal layer to protect the wood, in lieu of staining/painting.

I tied three boards together in a triangle with baling wire, and stood the bundles on a small fire.  The fire wicks up the inside of the bundle after about a minute, with flames coming out of the top after about two minutes.  I then flipped the bundle, burnt from the other end for another 30-45 seconds.

Once I had the surface fully burnt, I laid them down, clipped the wire and extinguished the fire.  I had to use a blow torch to touch up the areas along the edge that didn't get charred.  I have seen some people use a roofer's torch to blacken the surface, then brush off the soot and apply Penofin, but I wanted the full charcoal layer.


And here is the shed with the siding up!

It was a bit of an adventure to maneuver the 8' planks while they are on fire, and messy to deal with (since I kept the charcoal layer intact), but I love the texture and the way it shifts between silver and black in the light.