would you try this on your home? burnt wood siding

At some point in the next year or two, we’re going to need to take the stucco down off of our little upstate cottage and replace it with real siding. I would love to do wood shingles, but the area is known for termites and that just seems about as smart as setting up a pest delicatessen. I spotted this chic new solution over at Houzz. It’s charred wood siding, a technique that is become popular from Japan. You literally take wood siding and char it with a torch. Afterwards, you douse it water, and then brush lightly. The result is a surface that is supposedly resistant to rot and pests and lasts for 80 years with little maintenance. (Click over to Houzz to read more.) I’m suspicious; it sounds to good to be true. I love the way it looks though, and matched with some brightly colored trim, the effect could be stunning.

What do you think? Would you put burnt wood on your home?

Photo by ThoughtBarn for Houzz

From our partners

I first saw this technique several years ago and think it’s absolutely lovely (If I recall, Dwell profiled a house in Japan or Korea that had this treatment). However, from what I’ve read, the process is far more involved than what Houzz claims. The idea is to “charcoal-ize” the outer layer and that requires a short, controlled burn in an oxygen deprived environment (just like how charcoal is made). Apparently, it’s been done for many hundreds of years, and does indeed make an impervious layer to protect the wood. Simply torching the surface is not at all the same thing.

At first I didnt like the look of this, however I can see a lot of potential for burnt wood sidings!

I didn’t know about the burning which can be resistant to rot and pests. I would love to do this but I am afraid that I might burnt the whole thing and nothing left to paint it.


Wow — beautiful! And that it protects…fantastic!!! I would definitely reseplace the burning technique though.

“charcoal-ize”… I like…..

Hmm I’m a little skeptical. Wouldn’t vinyl siding be more convenient?


shou-sugi-ban is amazing looking! i love it & would do this to my own home. it looks stunning!

i plan on building my own house soon & hadn’t decided what i wanted the outside to look like, but now i know! :) (i’m more concerned with efficiency of the house than the aesthetics of it.. if it functions how i want it, i would be happy with just about anything!)

Wow, that’s an interesting fact. I didn’t know that you could actually prevent termites from destroying your wood sidings. It has always been a problem for me, that one. I’ll talk to my husband about this and maybe we could try this out the next time we have our wood sidings renovated.