Shou Sugi Ban Help

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by TNNovice posted 08-15-2016 05:37 PM 3059 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TNNovice's profile


2 posts in 1131 days

08-15-2016 05:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shou sugi ban burnt wood yakisugi charred wood gator gator skin finishing modern traditional

Hey all,
I’m new to the forum and to be honest new to woodworking in general. I am wanting to do a Shou Sugi Ban (Deep “Gator” charred) finish on some cypress planks. My question is, after charring the planks to a gator finish how do I prevent the char from ashing or flaking off? I feel like even if I seal the planks after the char it will still flake out. Any tips or advice?

7 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1170 posts in 3012 days

#1 posted 08-16-2016 05:31 AM

You need to brush off the char – use a brass wire brush. There is no way to seal the char to the wood. Unfortunately you’ll loose most, if not all, of the alligatoring. After brushing off, also wipe off the remaining soot. Then oil.

Wear a mask!

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Kelly's profile


2416 posts in 3425 days

#2 posted 08-16-2016 06:56 AM

The whole idea is to leave the char as a shield to the weather, Mark.

TNN, I DON’T KNOW that they bother sealing the char. I’ve dug up hundred year old charcoal bottle hunting and it was doing just fine without any protective finish.

View SuperCubber's profile


1080 posts in 2765 days

#3 posted 08-18-2016 05:41 PM

I’m not in a place right now where I can re-watch this video again, but IIRC, Matt did a nice job describing the process:

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View TNNovice's profile


2 posts in 1131 days

#4 posted 08-25-2016 12:53 PM

Kelly, I was assuming the sealer was to limit the smell of burnt wood in the house and to potentially protect against ash flaking off all over there place.

View TObenhuber's profile


185 posts in 2073 days

#5 posted 01-02-2017 03:51 PM

Did you end up trying the Shou Sugi Ban? I’m interested in trying it on done plaques I make.

-- Travis, Virginia,

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2768 days

#6 posted 04-21-2017 12:13 AM

The char does help with weathering, but most of the weathering is done microscopically with tiny bits of char. Believe me, you won’t wash out all the char with brushes. I use a wire brush and a stiff nylon brush and there is still plenty of char down in the pours. When you give it a really wet coat of Tung oil it stiffens it up and it’ll last a good 20 years without much change in appearance. I just did an Adirondack today using the method, and I have 5 love seats up next for a customer. I think it’s a hell of a lot easier than stain and seal.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View r33tc0w's profile


174 posts in 965 days

#7 posted 04-21-2017 12:33 AM

Our sign shop did this for a sign not too long ago. Get spray poly or automotive clear coat. It’ll help keep the char bonded together without physically applying a coating. Plan on caking it on big-time, need a lot to hold it on

-- Matthew 13:53-58

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics